10 Years!

This year the IFLA New Professionals Special Interest Group (NPSIG) is celebrating its 10th anniversary. The group was founded in 2004 during the IFLA Congress in Buenos Aires. Since then it has become the main global network for new librarians and students.

From its beginning senior library leaders supported the NPSIG and opened doors to promote more inclusion of LIS New Professionals in IFLA and library work worldwide.

I would like to warmly congratulate the New Professionals SIG for your 10th Anniversary! You have done a great work to unite globally the LIS New Professionals and supporters. The New Professionals SIG has been an active promoter of new ways of communication and collaboration within the LIS sector. Webinars, IFLA Camps, virtual business meetings and social media have been your working methods in seeking for new trends and ways to modernize the LIS sector.  The New Professionals SIG has been a good way to get introduced to the IFLA network. For IFLA it has been a useful channel to find new active members to various IFLA activities. I wish every success to your important and inspirational work also for the years to come!"

Sinikka Sipilä, IFLA President 2013-2014 

Highlights include:

  • Hosting Congress sessions in more than 14 countries across four continents
  • Hosting satellite conferences in coordination with IFLA Sections in Bologna, Borås, Hämeenlinna, Singapore and Lyon;
  • Establishing the two-day “unconference” IFLAcamp since 2012;
  • Organizing the 2013-2014 midyear conferences, IFLAcampLab, both in Russia in cooperation with local library organisations;
  • Presenting virtually at international LIS conferences such as BOBCATSSS and Library 2.013.
  • Presenting the free quarterly webinar series, 'New Librarians Global Connection', in partnership with the Continuing Professional Development and Workplace Learning Section, IFLA and the American Library Association;
  • Connecting the global library community via our successful social media presence on many platforms;
  • Engaging new librarians worldwide via innovative virtual business meetings;
  • Receiving the 2011 IFLA Communicator of the Year Award.

NPSIG was founded by Loida Garcia-Febo (USA/PR), Andrew Cranfield (DK), and Stuart Hamilton (UK). Current Co-Convenors are Sebastian Wilke (DE), and Bridgette Hendrix (USA). Stuart Hamilton, now IFLA Deputy Secretary General, reflected on this: “Hard to believe that the NPSIG is ten years old! It’s great to look back and see how far it’s come since we helped it take its first steps – congratulations to everyone who has been involved over the years, and all those building the library networks of the future!” 

NPSIG is an open global network for LIS New Professionals and supporters. The group meets during IFLA Congresses and other international events where they organize sessions and workshops. The group’s leadership and members are also very active coordinating virtual meetings and online collaborations. About this, Loida Garcia-Febo, now a member of the IFLA Governing Board said: “It is remarkable to see how the NPSIG has grown over the past 10 years. It is inspiring to see how library associations around the world also welcomed our message and established groups for new graduates and students. Here's to many more collaborations for new librarians and students for years to come. Congratulations to everyone! You made it happen!” 

Being sponsored by the Management of Library Associations Section (MLAS), NPSIG is led by its two Co-Convenors and its Information Coordinator. Together with a global network of enthusiasts they drive the activities of NPSIG, all on a voluntary basis. Bridgette Hendrix, new incoming convenor as of WLIC 2014, said: “One of the things that first drew me to NPSIG was the enthusiasm of its leadership for getting new librarians and students involved. NPSIG was absolutely my gateway into IFLA and the broader international LIS landscape, and I’m excited to contribute to this great group!” 

The group always welcomes new members and supporters who are encouraged to join the informal network and to contribute to the group’s online and on-site activities. Sebastian Wilke, NPSIG Convenor since 2009, adds to this: “Being involved with the group lets you get to work in manifold capacities, organize sessions and conferences, facilitate workshops and business meetings, work on associational committees, create promotional materials and try out various online and social media tools. I highly recommend every LIS student and new librarian to get actively involved in NPSIG or any similar national group. You will take away some unforgettable memories, learn many useful skills and make lots of valuable contacts—and friends—all over the world!” 

The NPSIG will be celebrating our anniversary throughout the Congress and invite you to attend our joint session on Tuesday August 19th with the Education and Training Section, “Residency models on the rise – chances and challenges for new librarians, educators and employers”.  Our Business Meeting takes place Monday August 18th. 

Congratulations to all members of the New Professionals, past and present, for their sustained commitment to self-empowerment for a decade. May the enthusiasm and team work that has encouraged all members to take ownership of self-development thrive. Your engagement assures the future of professional relevance and innovation within the exciting, dynamic LIS and knowledge society space of the 21st century.  I wish the movement continued growth and creativity in the nurturing of future generations of New Professionals.” 

Kay Raseroka, IFLA President 2003-2004