Thanks to the input of our members and volunteers, IFLA’s Governing Board took a first key step towards our new Strategy at its last meeting, leading to a set of 10 suggested change pathways. We are now seeking your input on these – the priorities that will guide the preparation of our Strategy 2024-2029.

With over 1200 contributions, the process of developing the next IFLA Strategy got off to a great start at the end of 2023 through four pulse surveys. 

Your inputs – which are also available on our website – were the basis for a Governing Board workshop that explored experiences of working with the current Strategy, and what success will look like from the revision process. 

Board members addressed a wide range of issues, from the different roles that the IFLA Strategy can have for different parts of our field, from the volunteers who lead the work of our different units to our membership, as well as its potential to help explain the work of IFLA to external partners.

The result of this was a set of ten change pathways – areas where the Governing Board felt that IFLA needed to focus on. These describe where we need to focus in preparing the first draft of the Strategy 2024-2029, and give an idea of what success looks like. They do not propose specific language for the Strategy. Now we want to make sure these are the right priorities, via a survey.


The pathways are:

1) Make a stronger connection between Vision and Actions

This would respond to the feeling that it wasn’t clear how these connect, and so how we make sure that actions align with the wider vision and mission.

2) Be adaptable and adoptable by members, volunteers and librarians everywhere

This would respond to the evidence about how different contributors use the Strategy in very different ways, from inspiration to practical guidance in their work. 

3) Be fit for and responsive in an uncertain world

This would respond to the sense that the previous strategy, in taking a five-year perspective, risked being less able to adapt to changes in circumstances.

4) Bring out libraries’ contribution to human development and resilience

This would respond to the argument that the role of libraries is increasingly seen in terms of the positive change it can make in the lives of individuals.

5) Provide a basis for meaningful synergies with partners

This would respond to the priority to build stronger partnerships in order to support the sustainability of our field and our federation – the Strategy should support this. 

6) Reflect the public interest goal of our Federation

This would respond to the sense that we need to set out more clearly what our impact in the world is, not least in order to explain why it is worth working with libraries.

7) Be relevant for all people and regions

This would respond to the clear differences between respondents (both in terms of type of respondent and geography) in what they prioritise in the Strategy, and the need for everyone to see something of use in the Strategy.

8) Focus more strongly on the wider world (not just on ourselves)

This would respond to the feeling that having spent some years focused on engagement and strengthening connections in the field, we need to look at how we engage in wider processes.

9) Be more easily communicable, and use attractive and resonant language 

This would respond to the feedback indicating that the current Strategy was not always easy to explain to others, and could benefit from being more easily understood.

10) Include Key Performance Indicators and other means of measuring progress

This would respond to the suggestion that it was difficult to assess whether the Strategy had been a success, raising questions around accountability. 

In order to prepare a first draft of the Strategy by April, we are therefore asking you for your inputs now, on the following:

  • Your overall view of the change pathways
  • Which pathways are most important for you, and gather specific suggestions on how to achieve them
  • Whether there are any pathways you would alter, or if there are additional pathways you would suggest

The survey is open for four weeks, until 12pm Amsterdam time on 19 February 2024.