IFLA Global Vision

22,000 votes from 213 countries and areas of the world

The challenges facing the library field from ever-increasing globalisation can only be met and overcome by an inclusive, global response from a united library field.

This is why IFLA has engaged thousands of librarians and library friends in IFLA’s Global Vision discussion – a venture that will generate a united library field roadmap for the future.

There has never been such an initiative before, which gives every single librarian in the world the chance to contribute. With feedback and input from 213 countries we are already on the best way to create together, with you, the Global Vision of a united library field.

Global Vision Roadmap

2017 Regional Workshops 

Following up the kick-off event in Athens, Greece in April 2017 IFLA organised a series of high-level meetings involving participants from 140 countries who engaged in the discussions held in Washington D.C., Yaoundé, Alexandria, Buenos Aires, Singapore and Madrid. The workshops focused on how to strengthen the ties within the library field, helped identify future challenges and opportunities for the library field, and prioritise actions that the library environment could take in response to the fast-pacing changes in societies. 

Learn more about the Global Vision kick-off and regional workshops organised by IFLA:

Numerous meetings and online threads under #iflaGlobalVision led by librarians from all over the world—with active participation of library associations—built on the momentum started in Athens. The meetings followed a similar format and were focused on a set of questions designed through a collaborative process, e.g. What are libraries exceptionally good at? What are the main challenges to libraries? What would be the characteristics of a united library field? See the reports from meetings organised by IFLA Units and Sections.

The participants of all meetings organised by IFLA were asked to facilitate their own workshops within their communities, countries and library networks. Also, a set of guidelines for librarians and library friends interested in organising their own, self-facilitated meetings were made available in 7 languages. From the kick-off meeting in Athens in Spring 2017, each workshop has contributed its own droplet into an ever-expanding river of ideas.


To make participation in the discussion even easier, an online voting platform was launched in August 2017 during IFLA’s World Library and Information Congress in Wrocław, Poland. The platform included the set of questions used in the regional and self-facilitated meetings and the survey answer options were based on the outcome of the regional meetings in six continents. The voting was completed on 16 October 2017. In total, we had received 22.000 votes from 213 countries and areas of the world, from 190 out of 193 UN Member States. 

The Global Vision report

Conclusions from the meetings along with voting data are now being gathered and analysed by IFLA. This unique material will provide a basis for the IFLA Global Vision report – a roadmap of the united library field. The report will be published on Monday 19 March 2018 during the IFLA President’s Meeting in Barcelona, Spain. Based on the document, the library field will develop concrete action plans on how to put our collective vision of the future into practice. The first results of this process will be presented during the upcoming IFLA’s World Library and Information Congress in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia in August 2018.

Call to action

The IFLA Global Vision discussion has already involved thousands of librarians and library friends worldwide. Thank you for your invaluable contribution!

And we encourage you to spread the news about your participation in the Global Vision discussion. Please share your stories and thoughts and help inspire others using the hashtag #iflaGlobalVision.

We firmly believe that only a united and connected library field will be able to fulfil one of the true potentials of libraries: to build literate, informed and participative societies.

Together we create the future. Join us!

Gerald Leitner

Gerald Leitner
IFLA Secretary General