Dear colleagues and friends

I trust everyone is doing well since our last newsletter.

As we approach the midpoint of the year, I am heartened by the progress that we have taken in such a short period.

The project teams of the Regional Division Committee (RDC), focusing on the identified action plans for 2023-2025, have commenced meetings with the different IFLA Professional Sections to collaborate on various projects. Some potential plans that have been discussed include webinars for librarians and information professionals on Artificial Intelligence, machine learning and more for the promotion of discovery tools for libraries. As rapid technological changes in the library landscape have inevitably led to transformation in the roles of Librarians, librarians have to change too. IFLA RDC will be partnering with the Continuing Professional Development and Workplace Learning (CPDWL) professional unit for their Webinar and Online Coaching Initiative.

The recent string of natural disasters serves as a sobering reminder for us all. Given the challenges posed by climate change and the growing unpredictability of weather patterns, it is essential that we redouble our efforts to raise awareness about the critical importance of disaster planning, which is one of the key focus areas for the new term. Equipping librarians with the requisite skills to protect and conserve our cultural heritage for generations to come is paramount. For a start, there are plans to invite professionals to a webinar to discuss on this topic

I am also excited to share that the IFLA Management of Library Associations (MLAS) section will be co-organising the 13th Eurasian Academic Libraries Conference in Kazakhstan from May 29-31, 2024. Themed Connect, Collaborate, Create: Advancing Library Associations and Partnerships to Future-proof our Profession, the conference will share experiences and provide recommendations to strengthen library associations worldwide. For more information, please visit the conference webpage here.

In other news, RDC together with IFLA Regional Office is organising an upcoming webinar on Information Integrity: The case of Asia and Oceania, which will be held in the afternoon of 28 September 2024. The hybrid webinar will focus on the libraries’ role in promoting information integrity and literacy on the national and local levels, aligning with the United Nations’ upcoming code of conduct, which will be introduced in June 2024.

Additionally, RDC has complied two comprehensive reports for the Regional Council, delving into the nations’ interactions with the United Nations and the changing perception of libraries in the aftermath of the pandemic. A copy of the findings for the post-pandemic perceptions of libraries can be found here.

Contributed by Soh Lin Li, Chair, Regional Division Committee for Asia and Oceania