As part of the Midterm Meeting of IFLA’s Regional Division Committee for Latin America and the Caribbean, the International Seminar on Advocacy: “Working Experiences for the Advocacy of Libraries at LAC” was held in the city of Santa Marta, Colombia, on Friday, May 20.

The opening remarks were given by IFLA President Barbara Lison and later, Mr. Alejandro Santa, Chair of IFLA’s Regional Division Committee for Latin America and the Caribbean, delivered a welcome speech, stressing the importance of the presence of so many representatives of the library field in the region.

Ms. Gloria Pérez Salmerón, Chair of Stichting IFLA Global Libraries, attended this important event. She talked about the challenges faced by libraries in different communities, and the need to join forces among all libraries.

Jeimy Hernández Toscano, on behalf of CERLALC/UNESCO, spoke about the agenda of priorities for the development of libraries and for the promotion of reading and writing in Ibero-America.

Afterwards, Ms. Diana Patricia Restrepo Torres, Director of the National Library of Colombia, and Ms. Sandra Suescún Barrera, Director of the National Network of Public Libraries, took the floor.

Advocacy activities were carried out throughout the afternoon. Many people made their statements sharing their experiences with other guests: Diana Rey, Director of Fundalectura, Verónica Maigua from Ecuador, Alejandro Santa from Argentina, Alejandra Velez from Colombia and Dorys Liliana Henao, Director of EIB Colombia. The event ended with a speech delivered by Souldes Maestre, who talked about the experience of the Biblioteca Pública del Resguardo Indígena Kankuamo (a public library dedicated to the protection of the indigenous Kankuamo culture).

The recording of the seminar is available at the YouTube channel of the Library of Congress of the Nation of Argentina (BCN).

Read about the Memorandum of Understanding signed between IFLA and CERLALC at the meeting.