As the new chair of the FAIFE Committee I am delighted to send you a reminder of our annual appointment. I hope this email finds you all well, ready, and motivated to enjoy this year’s conference in Gothenburg.  This year we will have some activities designed to welcome new members, such as the offsite Open Session, and others to foster discussion within the conference as a whole, such as two dedicated conference sessions on the themes of censorship and the controversies of the new information environment. In addition we have two business meetings to discuss the work of the FAIFE Committee.

We want you to get involved! FAIFE will embrace social media in Gothenburg with the aim of becoming more visible and approachable for IFLA members. A new page on Facebook is waiting for you – take a look and feel free to join us.

Gothenburg programme highlights

The Open Session is an opportunity to discuss matters of intellectual freedom and libraries in an informal setting. Anyone can join the meeting to understand more about the work of the FAIFE Committee and get involved with IFLA’s work on Freedom of Access to Information and Freedom of Expression. Everyone is welcome to meet the FAIFE Committee members and become familiar with how FAIFE works on Thursday 12th of August from 09.30 to 12.30 offsite at the West Swedish Regional Library, Rosenlundsgatan 4 Göteborg. This location is 15 minutes by tram from the conference centre and you can find a map by clicking here.

The Sida Showcase session also takes place on Thursday 12th of August from 13.45 to 15.45 in the Congress Hall. This session will present successful FAIFE projects from the period of Sida funding and describe how lessons learned from during this time led to the creation of IFLA’s new Building Strong Library Associations (BSLA) programme. Those involved in developing the BSLA programme, including educational designers and impact evaluation specialists will explain its content and importance, and attendees will have an opportunity to understand some of its content and how to apply for BSLA project funding in the future.

The first FAIFE conference session is titled "Have the Censors Retired or Just Gone to the Internet?" and it will be held on Friday 13th August from 16.00 to 18.00 in the Congress Hall. The session offers an insight into the evolution of censorship in the digital age with a keynote speech by ISMAIL SERAGELDIN, (Director of the Library of Alexandria, Egypt), an interview with ERLAND KOLDING NIELSEN (National Library of Denmark), about the controversial cartoons of the prophet Muhammad, the launch of the new IFLA World Report, and a discussion of FAIFE’s role in informing librarians worldwide about the importance of freedom of access to information and freedom of expression.

The title of the second conference session is "The New Information Environment – Who Controls the Information in the Future?" and it will be held on Saturday 14th August from 13.45 to 15.45 in Room F 4-6. An international panel formed by CHRISTIAN ENGSTRÖM (European Parliament for Piratpartiet, Sweden), STUART HAMILTON (Senior Policy Adviser, IFLA, The Netherlands), JONATHAN HERNÁNDEZ PÉREZ (Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, Mexico), KATE WILLIAMS (Graduate School of Library and Information Science, Urbana, USA), and KERRY SMITH (Department of Information Studies, Curtin University of Technology, Australia) will look at the controversies of the new information environment.

FAIFE Business Meetings in Gothenburg

The business meetings of the FAIFE Committee are open to non-committee members who wish to attend as observers. The first FAIFE business meeting takes place on Tuesday 10th August 11.30 – 14.20 in Room J1, while the second shorter meeting is on Friday 13th August 9.45 – 11.15 in Room G4. During the business meetings future FAIFE training programmes will be discussed along with a new FAIFE media plan designed to promote and communicate FAIFE issues to the wider IFLA community.

See You in Gothenburg!

We value the importance of a wider discussion. Your involvement will raise the profile of our global intention: to advocate at a national and international level for a better correlation between the library concept and intellectual freedom values.

We look forward to meeting all of you in Gothenburg. If you have questions on FAIFE don’t hesitate to contact me at or from IFLA HQ.



Kai Ekholm
National Librarian of Finland and Chair of The FAIFE Committee