Mexican libraries + IFLA Strategy: on the road to empowerment
25 February 2021
Closely aligned to IFLA Key Initiative 3.3 “Empower the field at the national and regional levels” the Mexican library field is paving the ways for libraries not only in Mexico, but also throughout Latin America and the Caribbean to empower, revolutionize and innovate.
The empowering work of the Mexican Association of Librarians
The Asociación Mexicana de Bibliotecarios (AMBAC), the largest association of librarians and information professionals in Mexico, has lately been contributing to the achievement of the IFLA Strategy 2019-2024.
The Association’s annual plan considers each of the four IFLA Strategic Directions, with actions and projects established and carried out for each of these areas.
The Association has rapidly expanded its official YouTube channel, through broadcasting a vast number of webinars on different areas of interest, thus enhancing the capacity building of Mexican and other Spanish speaking library professionals around the globe.
A few examples of the webinars offered are:
- Reading in times of COVID-19
- GLAM: labour trends for the information professional
- Intellectual property and repositories
- Makerspaces: the diversification of library collections and services
- Round Table: The Social Library: from the Human Library to digital humanism
- Libraries contribute to the formation and transformation of their communities. “Reading sustains”
- Roundtable-Conversation: Libraries in the context of Sustainable Development
An important Round Table entitled: “Libraries in the context of sustainable development” was held on August 18, 2020 during one of the two Forums for the 2030 Agenda. Those Forums have been the result of the joint effort of several university institutions and the main library associations in Mexico, including the General Directorate of Libraries, the Institute for Bibliotechnology and Information Research, AMBAC, the National College of Librarians, CONPAB and IFLA. during the aforementioned Conference.
Statistics so far show that AMBAC’s webinars are highly attended by librarians not only in Mexico, but also in other Spanish speaking countries. For example, one of their webinars first broadcast in August 2020, the Roundtable-Conversation: Libraries in the context of Sustainable Development, has been watched 2,810 times, by librarians from 11 countries (see the statistics below).
With all this work currently being done by AMBAC, it is not a surprise that many innovative projects have emerged in Mexico to address the United Nations 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.
- The Mexican Chamber of Deputies and the Mexican Association of Librarians (AMBAC) organized the colloquium entitled “Libraries and Sustainable Development Goals: Good Practices in Latin America and the Caribbean“, held at the Chamber’s facilities located in Mexico City on March 2, 2020.
To demonstrate the power of libraries in the implementation of the SDGs, AMBAC’s associates, like Rosa Chavarria carried out important actions in Mexico.
The “17 de Abril” library located in the city of Cuernavaca, in the state of Morelos, held a training workshop for 150 librarians for the sustainable development. With the library staff having learnt how to work with the SDGs, they developed projects to be carried out in their libraries. The projects differ and benefit the entire community: workers, women, children and librarians themselves.
A few examples are:
- “Agenda 2030 and SDGs” workshop for librarians, taught by a UN-Mexico volunteer and a member of the Council of the Youth of the State of Morelos
- “Introduction to gender equality policies”, workshop given by the Training Director of the Morelos State Institute for Women.
- “Disruptive innovation for public libraries 2030” taught by an UN-Mexico volunteer and member of the Council of Youths of the State of Morelos
- “Development of social projects” given by Rosa Elena Chavarria Flores, “17 de Abril” Library.
Innovative work by the Colegio Nacional de Bibliotecarios
In 2019, another Mexican library association, the Colegio Nacional de Bibliotecarios A. C. (CNB) celebrated its 40th anniversary. As part of this celebration, a ceremony was held in which IFLA Secretary General, Gerald Leitner participated, talking about the importance of library associations and the strengthening of the library profession.
In early 2020, before the global lockdown, the CNB participated as co-organiser of the event called: “Bridging the gap between research and practice in library science”. This event was held in conjunction with other institutions and brought together different IFLA sections.
Since the middle of 2020, CNB has held several events related to the library community. Among these was the webinar “Documenting LGBTTTIQ + history: experiences and needs”, where representatives of various communities spoke about the importance of documenting the history of LGBTTTIQ+ collectives today.
In addition, another event held at the CNB was the virtual forum “Educational programs in librarianship: challenges and visions against the COVID-19”, where library schools in Mexico presented their position on the pandemic and lockdown, and how they are responding to the challenges that have impacted the library education.
Finally, as part of the celebration of Mexico’s National Librarians’ Day (July 20), a virtual forum was held on “The Prospective of librarianship: present and future”, in which three generations of library professionals spoke about their current perception of the library profession today.
 LGBTTTIQ stands for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, transsexual, two-spirit, intersex and queer.
Read more about the IFLA Strategy 2019-2024
How is your library or library association engaging with the IFLA Strategy? Let us know! Post on your social media, using the hashtag #IFLAStrategy and #WeAreIFLA or send an email to Despina Gerasimidou, IFLA’s Strategic Development Officer at firstname.lastname@example.org.