NOTE: a version of this message was sent by the IFLA President on 21 June 2024 directly to all IFLA Members, including directors and presidents of library associations. It was also sent to all IFLA volunteers.

IFLA General Assembly 2024

I’m happy to be writing to you, just after an informal meeting of Governing Board colleagues to reflect back on yesterday’s IFLA General Assembly and the actions we will need to take going forwards.

I encourage you to look at the news story on our website for a fuller details of the Assembly, including the changes to our Statutes that were approved by our members, and the winners of our Dynamic Unit and Impact Awards and IFLA Scroll of Appreciation. I’m grateful to everyone who made the Assembly a success, with participants from everywhere from California to Vanuatu, from Peru to Finland, and from Namibia to Japan.

A key focus that I emphasised in my address at the General Assembly is the work coming up to build our sustainability as an organisation.

This is both about getting enough funding to enable IFLA to continue to support and mobilise the library field fully, but also about working to ensure that we are realising our own potential.

Approval of the change in our Statutes to allow us to apply for ANBI (charity) status is a big help. One of the topics we discussed at the Board is the process for doing this, and I’m happy to say that the application has already been filed with the Dutch authorities. We will keep you informed on how this goes.

Thanks to the agreement of the budget with Stichting IFLA Global Libraries (SIGL) last week, we have also moved quickly to launch the projects they are funding. You will start seeing more information on our website  shortly; with requests for proposals for reports, as well as plans for meetings and more, all on our website.

There is of course also the work that is always going on at IFLA in order to build recognition and partnerships with libraries through our advocacy, to provide our volunteers with the best possible platform to deliver impact, and to build skills and capacity across the field.

Next month, we will focus our Governing Board meeting on sustainability issues, including the agreement of our Strategy 2024-2029 (thank you to all those who responded to our survey, we will be publishing the results next week). We will also continue our work on IFLA’s wider sustainability strategy and make a decision on the location of WLIC 2025.

IFLA President’s Priorities: Dashboard

Closely linked to this, I am very happy to share a first version of a dashboard which I will be updating for each of my monthly messages, reporting on progress against each of the six key goals I set out in my first speech as IFLA President in August 2023.

IFLA President's Priorities - June 2024

I hope that this will not only help you keep track of what I and the Governing Board are doing, but also provide the information you need to engage more closely in our work. You also will be seeing more about the topics on the agenda of upcoming Governing Board meetings on our webpages.

In addition, in the coming weeks, we will be publishing information about the next survey as part of our WLIC review, as well as dates for the next round of townhalls, likely to take place in September.

Information Futures Summit

Finally, I want to encourage you, if you have not done so already, not to miss out on the early bird rate for the Information Futures Summit. This closes on 24 June for international participants.

We are regularly adding speakers, with the diversity and depth of the programme getting clearer week by week. It is going to be an inspiring time together, addressing the big questions for the future of knowledge, information and libraries in a stimulating new way for IFLA.

Kind regards,

Vicki McDonald
IFLA President 2023-2025