NOTE: a version of this message was sent by the IFLA President on 16 February 2024 directly to all IFLA Members, including directors and presidents of library associations. It was also sent to all IFLA volunteers.

I hope you are well, and that the first weeks of 2024 have been good for you and those around you.

The first Governing Board meeting of the year was held yesterday [15 February], and I would like to share with you the Board’s latest work.

Firstly, we have continued to progress our planning for the IFLA Information Futures Summit. I am excited to welcome you to my hometown, Brisbane, Australia, from 30 September to 3 October 2024. It will be a great opportunity to meet and work with each other differently.

I am part of regular planning meetings for the Summit. Registration and information about speakers will be shared with you shortly.  At the Governing Board meeting I reported on progress and discussed how we can make this the most engaging event possible, as well as maximising its contribution to sustainability and resilience in our field.

Financial sustainability is also at the heart of another major priority I wanted to highlight.

As you are aware, a key priority of my Presidential term is to accelerate our efforts to build partnerships which can help us continue to provide maximum support to libraries, and to the communities that they serve, long into the future. I also hope that engagement with IFLA becomes a way for our Members to become involved in exciting projects.

This is an effort that will require work in different areas, but a key element of this refers to IFLA’s own legal status, and how we can officially become a charity under Dutch law, while continuing our work as a vibrant membership organisation.

In addition to making it easier for us to engage with a wider range of funders, a change of legal status also promises to make us more transparent as an organisation, to the benefit of partners, members and volunteers alike.

To comply with Dutch law, a minor change to our Statutes will be necessary. In the coming months, we will be engaging with our members to seek your approval. We will be sharing more information, following our April Governing Board meeting, and in other opportunities for discussion that we will be organising. The first of a regular series of IFLA Town Halls will commence in March.

Yesterday’s meeting was also an opportunity to receive an update on the planning for WLIC 2025. We look forward to taking a decision on next steps at our April Governing Board meeting.

I’m also happy to say we welcomed new members onto our Advisory Committee on Cultural Heritage, agreed on a timeline for our General Assembly this year (which will take place earlier than usual, and in a hybrid format), and noted the results of the survey on experiences of our nominations and elections process.

Our next Governing Board meeting is in April, and I will provide further updates on our work. In the meantime, look out for invitations to our first IFLA Town Hall discussion in March!

Best wishes,

Vicki McDonald
IFLA President 2023-2025