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

While we don’t have a meeting of our Governing Board this month, I nonetheless wanted to write to you to highlight a couple of key areas of work and upcoming opportunities for you in the coming weeks.

IFLA Information Futures Summit

First of all, there are just under 200 days until the IFLA Information Futures Summit opens in Brisbane, Australia! Last week IFLA’s communications team released a video setting out 5 key reasons to attend.

Let me summarise some of these reasons, which I hope will leave you as excited as I am.

A key highlight of the Summit will be the launch of our new Trend Report, the first major update in over 10 years. The 2024 report will focus on the future of knowledge and information, and what this means for libraries. Take a look at our news story setting out what you can expect in Brisbane, and in the coming months!

Helping us to dig deeper into these trends – and how we can respond – will be a really inspiring collection of speakers. I’m honoured that we’ll be joined by leading figures from libraries and beyond, ready to share their insights with you.

Recent additions include the UNESCO Chair on International Law and Cultural Heritage, Ana Vrdoljak, and the CEO of Digital Science, Daniel Hook. You can meet them on our speakers’ page, and we’ll be sharing more in the coming weeks and months.

Importantly, the Summit will be as much about sharing as listening! You can also share the work that you are progressing. Don’t miss the opportunity to submit your application to give an Ignite Talk by 22 March (tomorrow!). We’ve also published our first call for candidates to receive grants to attend.

State Library of Queensland; image Jon Linkins RGB
State Library of Queensland; Jon Linkins RGB

I’m particularly excited to be welcoming you to my hometown, Brisbane. It is a great time of year to visit, but of course we also have great libraries year-round. Participants in the Summit will have the opportunity to take part in one of our Explorer Tours, including of my own library, the State Library of Queensland. There is also a growing list of associated events organised by our different units and committees – keep an eye on the Summit website for more.

Finally, if you would like to know more about the Summit, don’t forget to register for our information session taking place on 27 March to find out more – a recording will also be available if you can’t attend.

IFLA Townhalls

The Summit will also be a key point on the agenda for our first round of IFLA Townhalls, taking place in the weeks of 8 and 15 April. These discussions are focused on our membership and volunteer communities, and I hope will complement my regular emails to you.

The other major topic will be the upcoming proposal to amend IFLA’s Statutes in order to allow our Federation to become a charity under Dutch law. This is an important part of our wider approach to ensure IFLA’s financial sustainability, and our ability to support the field into the future, while not affecting our wider governance structures.

The Townhalls will provide an opportunity to hear these key areas of work, as well as other recent developments, and to ask questions about these and other issues that matter to you.

Find out more and register by clicking on one of the following links – when registering you will also have the opportunity to pose questions you would like to see answered:

Finally, the Governing Board meets in the week of 15 April, and I look forward to sharing updates from this soon after!

Kind regards,

Vicki McDonald
IFLA President 2023-2025