Units + IFLA Strategy 2020

It is safe to say that 2020 was not what any of us expected, many having overcome great difficulties. 2021 is a time to look forward and put our planned goals for the year into action!

The IFLA Strategy 2019-2024, a roadmap for IFLA’s future, guides us now more than ever, providing the framework for the actions of IFLA’s Professional Units. To show how each expert group is playing a role in building the future of the global library field, in June 2020 we began a new initiative to celebrate the work of the Units, also known as Units + Strategy. Highlights of these achievements were shared through IFLA From Home, also launched in 2020.

IFLA Strategy

Seven months into this initiative we have celebrated a first round of eleven Professional Units and their completed or ongoing projects. These were identified through the Units’ 2020 Action Plans and come from across areas of expertise. The projects cover all four IFLA Strategic Directions and are making a global contribution to the advancement of our profession.

Let’s look back at the excellent work found in Units + Strategy publications for 2020:

IFLA Celebrates World Refugee Day

IFLA celebrates World Refugee Day: The IFLA Section on Library Service to People with Special Needs (LSN) is developing international guidelines for library services to refugees, immigrants, migrants, and asylum seekers.

IFLA Coaching Initiative: a dynamic IFLA Professional Unit programme: The IFLA Section on Continuing Professional Development and Workplace Learning (IFLA CPDWL Section) developed the IFLA Coaching Initiative with great success.

Interlibrary loaning across the globe: a gap turned into a successful new global service by an IFLA Professional Unit: IFLA’s Document and Resource-Sharing Professional Unit (IFLA DDRS) engaged with the IFLA Strategy, by creating a new global service for interlibrary lending during Covid-19.


Can old buildings be turned into libraries? A sneak peek into ENSULIB’s upcoming open access book: IFLA’s Environment, Sustainability and Libraries Section (ENSULIB) engaged with the IFLA Strategy, taking sustainability and environmental awareness one step further.


IFLA PARL: Parliaments. Partnerships. Professional guidance: The IFLA Library and Research Services for Parliaments Section (IFLAPARL) showed amazing collaborative spirit across sectors and regions leading to notable outputs regionally and internationally.

NPSIG + IFLA Strategy

No matter your age: New Professionals – an open global network eager to meet you: The IFLA New Professionals Special Interest Group (NPSIG) strengthened its network, inspired professional practice with music and connected the field together through multilingual online meetings.

World Health Literacy Day + IFLA Strategy

Evidence for Global and Disaster Health: IFLA celebrates World Evidence-Based Healthcare Day: The IFLA Health and Biosciences Libraries Section (HBS) and its sponsored Special Interest Group showed their commitment to working with partners and advocating for the critical roles that healthcare librarians play, highlighting the impact of poor health literacy, which seriously hampers global healthcare efforts.

LBES + IFLA Strategy

Inspiring library buildings: a new Instagram account you will love! The IFLA Library Buildings and Equipment Section (LBES) embarked on a new initiative, inviting us to reimagine libraries through cool design and inspiring architecture.

IFLA LAC Section + IFLA Strategy

Uniting libraries in Latin America & the Caribbean: The IFLA LAC Section took the lead in connecting library associations in Latin America and the Caribbean, illustrating the importance of teamwork in the promotion of the library profession and the value of the LAC region’s commitment to IFLA and the IFLA Strategy.

IFLA ARL Section + IFLA Strategy

IFLA ARL Section + IFLA Strategy: Acting locally, Reaching Globally: The IFLA Academic and Research Libraries Section (IFLA ARL) enhanced their online presence, through webinars on their YouTube channel and their social media content, engaging hundreds of librarians around the world.

IFLA SET + IFLA Strategy

IFLA SET + IFLA Strategy: celebrating collaboration: The IFLA Section Education and Training (IFLA SET) worked “outside of silos” resulting in outputs, such as a white paper on building strong LIS education, webinars on emerging LIS competencies and the student spotlight project.

IFLA Secretary General, Gerald Leitner highlights the importance of the Professional Units in their contributions:

The work planned and produced by the above IFLA Professional Units is excellent, especially in such challenging times as in 2020.

Each of the 11 Units has solidified its role in the field demonstrating the value of aligning in a common direction, the IFLA Strategy 2019-2024. I am looking forward to celebrating all the IFLA Professional Units that will follow their lead. This work shows what it means to be a strong and united global library field!”

Stay tuned to discover the innovative work of Units + Strategy. Which IFLA Strategic Direction are you interested in?

Read more about the IFLA Strategy 2019-2024

IFLA Strategy 2019-2024

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