19 May 2017

Vacancy statement

Policy and Research Officer at IFLA Headquarters

The International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions (IFLA) is looking for a new Policy and Research Officer to work with Cultural and Heritage issues within the Policy and Advocacy Team at IFLA Headquarters.


IFLA Headquarters is located in The Hague (next to The Hague Central Station) in The Netherlands.

Key areas of Responsibility

Libraries are central to the cultural lives of their communities. They promote reading and creativity at a local level, record and preserve national cultural life, and work internationally to ensure that the world’s heritage is kept safe and celebrated. IFLA, as the global voice of libraries, not only supports its members’ work at the local and national levels in the field of culture and heritage, but also directly represents the interests of libraries internationally.

The successful candidate for this position will be the lead within IFLA Headquarters on culture and heritage issues. Working with relevant IFLA sections and committees, external partners and in support of colleagues and Governing Board members as appropriate, s/he will develop initiatives that underline the role of libraries in the field, facilitate exchanges, research and the production of materials that help libraries fulfil their role, and maintain and expand existing IFLA networks and projects in the area.

In more detail, the successful candidate, working to the Manager, Policy and Advocacy, will be responsible for the following areas:

  • Advocating for the Role of Libraries in Cultural Life: IFLA has a unique potential to advocate for libraries as central to the development, promotion and safeguarding of cultural expression and diversity. Through a strong understanding of relevant institutions and fora, the successful candidate will identify opportunities to make the case for libraries, and support relevant work at the international, regional and national levels through events, policies, briefings and other materials. 
  • Engagement with UNESCO: the successful candidate will lead on IFLA’s engagement with UNESCO, in order to ensure that the role of libraries is recognised in the Organisation’s work. IFLA’s cooperation with UNESCO covers a wide range of issues, from promoting books and reading (for example, through the World Book Capital programme), to access to information and digital preservation (PERSIST). IFLA is also a member of a number of UNESCO-coordinated committees. 
  • Policies and Practices for Preserving Heritage: the successful candidate will facilitate cooperation between members, coordinating IFLA’s Preservation and Conservation Centres, supporting the development of standards, and contributing to advocacy work in favour of appropriate policies. S/he will also drive IFLA’s engagement in the Blue Shield initiative, as well as managing and promoting the Risk Register, intended to support efforts to avoid the destruction of unique cultural heritage materials in times of disaster, conflict or otherwise.
  • General contribution to IFLA objectives: all staff are expected to contribute to cross-cutting IFLA work, for example the annual conference, preparing briefing for the Secretary General or Board Members, and other work on an ad hoc basis.

Qualifications and Experience

The successful candidate will have the following skills and experience:

  • Extensive experience in the field of culture and heritage, and in particular of relevant policy and practical issues;
  • Extensive experience of working with governments and/or international institutions. Experience of working with UNESCO is a bonus;
  • A strong record of working effectively with committees and networks of contacts, including those based in different countries;
  • Degree-level education in cultural policy, library and information science, or another relevant subject involving research and analytical skills.

Additionally, the candidate will have:

  • Ability to monitor news from a variety of sources, and a proactive attitude, able to spot and evaluate opportunities for action;
  • A strong sense of discretion;
  • Flexibility to change priorities in the face of changing priorities;
  • Strong project management skills;
  • Clear and effective communications skills, in public, in private conversation, and in writing;
  • Fluency in English (fluency in other IFLA languages is a bonus);
  • Proficient user of ICT (experience with creating and uploading website content is an advantage).


The gross monthly salary offered will be € 3,570 per month in line with the Collective Agreement of Public Libraries in The Netherlands.  You will also receive a holiday allowance (8% of your annual salary), an end of year bonus and enjoy 25 days of holidays per year.  You will also participate in IFLA’s group pension scheme.

Closing date

The closing date is 25 June 2017, with an initial round of interviews planned in the week of 3 July, and a final round in the week of 10 July. Due to the high volume of applications we are expecting to receive, interested candidates are advised to submit their applications as soon as possible.

How to apply

Please send your CV including a motivation letter addressing the responsibilities and skills required for the position in English to vacancies@ifla.org.  Only candidates with valid documentation to work in The Netherlands will be considered.