IFLA GB 2021-2023 and IFLA Headquarters Staff, June 2023
IFLA GB 2021-2023 and IFLA Headquarters Staff, June 2023; photo by Louis Takács

All Members of IFLA’s Governing Board met last week in The Hague, providing a valuable opportunity to take stock of progress in delivering on the plan for securing IFLA’s future, take key decisions for the coming months, and officially to welcome our new Secretary General, Sharon Memis. The in-person meetings provided a great chance to explore issues in depth, to examine different perspectives, and to come to formal conclusions.

Key actions and highlights of the meeting included the Governing Board:

  1. Discussing an update on the Plan for Securing IFLA’s Future, and strongly welcoming the reaching of key milestones, including IFLA’s new Handbook and of course the appointment of the new Secretary General. GB members stressed the need to maintain the momentum of action and activities to ensure IFLA prioritises continuous improvement.
  2. Welcoming progress on establishing a clear and workable risk framework for IFLA the GB commissioned the Secretary General to build on the work of the Finance and Risk Committee to develop proposals for implementation and further risk mitigation.
  3. Looking forward to an exciting World Library and Information Congress. In particular, WLIC 2023 will be an opportunity to start wider discussions about IFLA’s future strategy. The GB focused as well on planning the Meet the GB session, making clear its goal to establish a dialogue with participants. Communication with the Governing Board will be intensified both in this session and across the Congress.
  4. The GB also appointed chairs and members of IFLA’s four Advisory Committees, with names published today.
  5. Addressing concerns raised by IFLA volunteers and members about engaging with peers from countries and institutions subject to sanctions. The GB committed to implement its principles on responding to conflict agreed in February, as well as to respond on this basis to volunteers’ requests.
  6. Agreeing to sign a framework agreement for cooperation with the Organization of Ibero-American States for Education, Science and Culture (OEI) to advance cooperation with them around supporting libraries and our missions.
  7. Noting positive engagement with Stichting IFLA Global Libraries, which continues to underline its commitment to enabling IFLA to reach further, and looking forward to a report on what its support has made possible.
  8. Held a thoughtful, rich, and robust discussion about the 2024 World Library and Information Congress – watch this space for more on this topic.

Barbara Lison, IFLA President on behalf of the IFLA Governing Board.