Editors note: This is the first Newsletter of IFLA President Ingrid Parent. The tradition of IFLA Presidential Newsletters started several years ago on the initiative of Past IFLA President Claudia Lux (2007-2009), and was continued by Past IFLA President Ellen Tise (2009-2011). We are very pleased to announce that IFLA President Ingrid Parent wishes to continue the publication of the Presidential Newsletter during the period of her IFLA Presidency to share strategic IFLA activities and achievements with the IFLA membership and the international library field.  The Newsletter contains information on activities of the IFLA President, combined with topical issues from IFLA HQ. The Newsletter will be published quarterly and is available online and through IFLA-L. In between newsletters, keep up to date with Ingrid’s news and programme and read more about her theme on the President’s section of the website.


Farewell from Ellen Tise, IFLA President 2009–2011

Outgoing President Ellen Tise is thanked by Secretary General Jennefer Nicholson for her work with IFLA during 2009-2011

Dear Colleagues,

Before handing over the IFLA Presidential Newsletter to my successor Ingrid Parent, I would like to take this opportunity for a personal note of farewell to all IFLA members that have supported and inspired me during the past four years I served as IFLA President-elect and IFLA President. I look back on a successful IFLA period that was both professionally and personally rewarding, a period during which the IFLA World Library and Information Congresses in Gothenburg (2010) and recently in Puerto Rico (2011), and my two Presidential Meetings in Stellenbosch, South Africa, in 2010 and in The Hague, Netherlands, in 2011, will be remembered as only some of the many highlights of my Presidency. 

I am confident that through working with my Presidential Theme 'Libraries Driving Access to Knowledge' I have been able to support the international library community in this important era. I wholeheartedly thank everyone who joined me in enhancing and promoting my theme.

In the two years of my IFLA Presidency I had the pleasure of working intensively with Ingrid Parent in her role of IFLA President-elect. I have faith that the Presidency of Ingrid Parent will highlight IFLA’s role as the inclusive global voice of libraries. With her Presidential theme “Libraries – A Force for Change” Ingrid strongly supports the international library community to continue advocating for the important role libraries play in the information society of today. May the Presidential Newsletter reach all corners of the world to support this leading theme for IFLA in the next two years. 

Ellen Tise, IFLA President 2009-2011

Introducing Ingrid Parent, IFLA President 2011–2013

Ingrid Parent and Ellen Tise in San Juan, Puerto Rico

“It is a great honour to be elected President of IFLA,” said Ingrid Parent stepping from position of President-elect to become IFLA President at the end of the IFLA World Library and Information Congress in August. "I believe that libraries have the power to change people’s lives, and thus change communities and society. There are so many examples of stories where libraries have improved the social, economic and cultural fabric of societies around the world.  And it often starts with one person, one book, one helping hand in a library or drop-in centre.”

Ingrid Parent is the University Librarian at the University of British Columbia (UBC) Library in Canada and for the next two years will be IFLA’s President. She joined the UBC Library in 2009 and since then has spearheaded a digital agenda, hired a new Director of Library Digital Initiatives and opened a new Digitization Centre, and is leading the implementation of a five-year strategic plan to ensure that the Library remains vital to communities at UBC and beyond. Referring to these she indicates that “the drivers and priorities in the information profession that I see in my daily job as University Librarian significantly influence my vision for IFLA."

And what is that vision? The theme of Parent’s IFLA Presidency is Libraries – A Force for Change. She explained more through her Presidential address.

All at IFLA HQ look forward to working with Ingrid on her theme over the next two years and we now hand over to her the baton of the Presidential Newsletter so that she can communicate to you, the IFLA members, directly about her activities and her priorities over the coming months.


IFLA Presidential Newsletter, September 2011

Ingrid Parent

Dear IFLA colleagues

I hope that you have all returned safely home after our recent World Library and Information Congress held in San Juan, Puerto Rico. Some of you may have encountered Hurricane Irene in your travels (and I am grateful that the world’s meteorological society named it Irene and not Ingrid). I have always said that every IFLA conference is memorable in some way!

World Library and Information Congress (WLIC) 2011, Puerto Rico

Opening ceremony, WLIC 2011, Puerto Rico

And what a wonderful conference we have just experienced! Our sincere appreciation goes to Dr. Luisa Vigo-Cepeda and the other members of the National Committee for their energy, enthusiasm and dedication in making this conference a success in so many ways.

Exhibition opening, WLIC 2011, Puerto Rico

Not forgetting all the volunteers who helped the event run so smoothly. Thank you to all those who cannot be named!

Cultural evening, WLIC 2011, Puerto RicoFor a final flavour of the conference, don’t forget to read the latest posts on IFLA Express where you’ll find photos from the Closing Session and pictures of the winners of our honours and awards.  And if you’re interested in reading reports from personal points of view, there are blog posts from those who’ve used the 'wlic2011' tag.

Handover and launch of the new Governing Board

The Closing Session of the WLIC was also the time when I received the gavel from outgoing President Ellen Tise to take on the leadership of our great Association. As I mentioned at the Closing Ceremony, I feel very honoured and humbled in taking on the Presidency; and I intend to continue to build on the successes of the past several years with my theme of 'Libraries—A Force for Change' encompassing the principles and practices of inclusion, transformation, innovation and convergence. Libraries can be a true force for positive change in a world where nations are increasingly facing social and economic challenges.

Members of the IFLA Governing Board, 2009-2011

We have already begun to work as the new IFLA Governing Board (GB) to guide the future direction of IFLA as expressed in our Strategic Plan. To add to the Strategic Plan 2010-2015 practical and tangible actions, the GB at its Meeting in Puerto Rico has formulated and endorsed five Key Initiaves on which IFLA will focus in 2011-2012. These Key Initiatives are closely connected to IFLA's Strategic Plan, and also elaborate and enhance activities that are already taken up in various Sections, SIGs and Core Activities. They also provide IFLA with strong and important topics to enhance cooperation with its Strategic Partners.

IFLA's five Key Initiatives for 2011-2012 are:

  1. Digital Content Programme: Driving access to content and digital resources, for library users.
  2. IFLA International Librarianship Leadership Development Programme: Capacity building to raise the voice of the professional nationally, regionally and internationally.
  3. Outreach Programme for Advocacy and Advancement of the Profession: Connecting, collaborating, representing strategically.
  4. Cultural Heritage Disaster Reconstruction Programme: Culture is a basic need, a culture thrives through its cultural heritage, it dies without it.
  5. Multilingualism Programme: a multilingual IFLA website opens windows to the world.

Our aim through these initiatives is that IFLA—as the trusted global voice of the library and information community—use its influence and apply its expertise to position libraries as a force for change and secure equitable access to knowledge, cultural heritage, and information for the library user community in the rapidly changing and competitive environment of information resources.

Line-up of the new IFLA Governing Board 2011-2013

Changing faces

Regarding my elected colleagues, I would like to congratulate Donna Scheeder of the Library of Congress who was elected by the GB as IFLA Treasurer for the next two years. Also, to Paul Whitney of Canada and Buhle Mbambo-Thata of South Africa for being elected as GB members on the Executive Committee. The full line-up with our pictures is on the web if you don’t already know us.  All the members of the Governing Board are eager to begin their official duties for the next two years which will consist of challenges of course, but also some great opportunities to advance and promote libraries.

Changes at IFLA HQ

To support our work we’ve welcomed two new colleagues at IFLA’s headquarters in The Netherlands:

Wiebke Dalhoff is IFLA's new Policy Officer and will be working to support our policy development and advocacy. She brings with her valuable experience of working within the worlds of publishing and communications through her previous work with both IFRRO, the International Federation of Reproduction Rights Organisations, and FEP, the Federation of European Publishers. Wiebke also has worked at TUV NORD, a German technical service provider. Wiebke will join Stuart Hamilton and Fiona Bradley as part of the Policy and Advocacy unit at IFLA. This unit works closely together to build the relationship between IFLA's policy development, advocacy activities and training programmes. Additionally, it links with the IFLA Communications unit to connect the advocacy activities with the general communication strategy of IFLA.

Joanne Yeomans is IFLA's new Professional Support Officer and will be working to support and coordinate the activities of the Professional Committee and the IFLA Professional Units, Regional Offices and Language Centres. Joanne has a professional librarian background and international experience through working at CERN in Geneva and most recently as the Director of EBLIDA, the European Bureau of Library, Information and Documentation Associations. Joanne will work closely with Ingeborg Verheul and the Communications unit (Louis Takács & Susan Schaepman) and the Membership unit (Tatjana Hoeink) on improving the practical and administrative processes of IFLA's professional activities and in promoting the visibility of all IFLA's professional outcomes for the international library world.

Both Wiebke and Joanne have a strong international background and very relevant professional experience—each in their particular field of working—to support IFLA and the HQ team in a great way and we are looking forward to working with them to strengthen IFLA for its members as the global voice of libraries, library associations and librarians and their users all over the world.

Jennefer Nicholson and Jaime Rios OrtegaAlso, at the IFLA Highlights and News Session during WLIC 2011, IFLA Secretary General Jennefer Nicholson and Jaime Rios Ortega–Director of the Centro Universitario de Investigaciones Bibliotecológicas (CUIB) of the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, signed the contract for the new IFLA Regional Office for Latin America and the Caribbean.  The office will be based at CUIB in Mexico City, Mexico; José Adolfo Rodríguez Gallardo has been apointed LAC's Regional Manager.

Activities in the coming months

I will have several functions to attend over the next few months, including giving a keynote speech in Tunis in September at an international symposium organized by the Tunisian Federation of Library Friends, Book Association and IFLA’s Literacy and Reading Section.  Work is already starting to prepare for my First Presidential Meeting which I’m looking foward to. It will take place on 12-14 April 2012 in Vancouver, Canada on the topic: ‘Indigenous Knowledges: Local Priorities, Global Contexts’. Please put it in your diary now and I’ll be giving you more information about it over the coming months.

Fight for fair Copyright to support library work

Work is proceeding on many fronts in preparation for IFLA’s involvement in the Standing Committee on Copyright and Related Rights (SCCR) of the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) in Geneva in November.

IFLA has been advocating in support of an updated framework of copyright exceptions and limitations that meets the needs of libraries in the 21st century. At the next WIPO SCCR meeting in November there will be an extensive discussion dedicated to exceptions and limitations for libraries and archives. We are working with WIPO Member States to gain support for a binding international instrument. To demonstrate what is needed, IFLA has produced a draft treaty to guide WIPO’s Member States in updating exceptions and limitations for libraries worldwide. Great efforts are also being undertaken by our members: in preparation for this important meeting National Library Associations worldwide are contacting their governments and asking them to support libraries at WIPO.

Copyright is also an important topic at the Internet Governance Forum (IGF) in Nairobi, Kenya in the end of September: with the theme of the 'Internet as a Catalyst for Change', representatives of Governments, international organisations, the private sector, and civil society will meet to discuss issues on access, development, freedoms and innovation. IFLA’s Senior Policy Advisor, Stuart Hamilton, will be speaking there about recent developments in national copyright legislations, such as the HADOPI law in France and the Digital Economy Act in the United Kingdom, that threaten to make libraries liable for online copyright infringement by their users. The laws impose new monitoring restrictions on library networks that run counter to our vital mission of providing freedom of access to information to our users, and are potentially very worrying.

Building Strong Library Associations

Our Building Strong Library Associations programme is moving forward. We are delighted to announce that Nepal and Argentina were selected from a strong field of applicants and will take part from 2011. In Nepal, the Community Library Association will strengthen their partnership with the national Library Association during the project and in Argentina, the Asociacion de bibilotecarios Argentinos, has goals to partner more effectively with other library associations and organisations, and to advocate on behalf of the profession for a new statute. 

Together let’s be a force for change!

Ingrid Parent at the WLIC 2011, Puerto Rico

I will be sure to share with you news about all these events, as well as several others that will take place over the next few months, through my newsletters and other means. So stay tuned.

Finally, I would like to thank in particular my Canadian colleagues from all parts of the country who supported my IFLA presidency right from the start and for the fantastic reception that they hosted in San Juan. Several of them came to the WLIC specifically to celebrate my inauguration. Vous etes tous formidables! I am truly touched by all the best wishes I have received from around the world as well as the offers of support to work together over the next two years to grow our Association and to continue to promote libraries for the benefit of all people.

With sincere appreciation,

Ingrid Parent
IFLA President 2011-2013

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The Letter of the President is distributed quarterly and provides an overview of some of the current activities of the IFLA President, President-elect, the Governing Board and IFLA Headquarters staff. It is sent to IFLA-L and other mailing lists organised by IFLA. The newsletter is sent in plain-text and so should cause no reception problems.