11 February 2016
IFLA Secretary General’s Visit to Sri Lanka
In December 2015, the Sri Lankan library community had an excellent opportunity to meet IFLA Secretary General, Ms Jennefer Nicholson. Several important activities took place during her visit to Sri Lanka.
She visited the Sri Lanka National Library on Tuesday 29 December and addressed the Sri Lankan library community at the National Library Auditorium. The topic of her talk was "Transforming Library Services in the Digital Information Environment" which she connected exceptionally well to the work of IFLA and especially to IFLA’s Key Initiatives and Trend Report, Ethics Statement and related issues. After her very timely and thought provoking talk, a number of questions were raised by the audience which led to a fruitful discussion and exchange of views.
During the afternoon, Ms Nicholson met with the Sri Lanka Library Association’s (SLLA) Building Strong Library Associations (BSLA) Programme Committee members to discuss about the Professional Conduct and Ethics (PCE) project, including how it relates to the SLLA’s strategic plan and most importantly the sustainability of the project. Afterwards, a Memorandum of Understanding was signed between IFLA and the SLLA.
The Secretary General also inspected the IFLA PAC Centre which had been established at the National Library in August 2015.
On Wednesday 30 December, the Secretary General visited the Palm-Leaf Manuscript Study and Research Library (PLMSRL) of the University of Kelaniya and the Department of Library and Information Science (LIS) of the University. Prof Piyadasa Ranasinghe who initiated the PLMSRL project, made a brief presentation to give Ms Nicholson a glimpse of the Buddhist Monastic/Temple and Personal libraries of Sri Lanka. At this meeting, the importance of developing guidelines and standards for safeguarding and preserving these resources and how IFLA could support these initiatives was discussed.
While thanking Ms Nicholson for taking time to visit the University of Kelaniya, Senior Prof W.A. Weerasooriya mentioned that this was a historic occasion for both the Department of LIS and the University of Kelaniya as this was the first time an IFLA Official had visited.