Dynamic Units

Dynamic Unit and Impact Award

About the Dynamic Unit and Impact Award and current call.

Expectations for a Dynamic Unit

IFLA has a global membership, far beyond those who attend the World Library and Information Congress (the WLIC), and also a potential audience of thousands, if not millions, of librarians who look to IFLA for leadership and inspiration in an ever-challenging world.

It is the role of an IFLA Professional Unit to help deliver the services that only IFLA can provide.

The Standing Committee of an IFLA Section therefore has the responsibility, and the honour, to identify how it can help its specific community, whether that is by facilitating discussion on overcoming new challenges, sharing best practice to improve the profession and library services, producing tools or text that can be used by Members in advocacy, or tackling a specific challenge that needs a global solution.

There is an expectation* that IFLA Sections, through their activities and the activities of the Special Interest Groups that they sponsor, will:

  1. deliver services to IFLA Members that have high quality and impact,
  2. communicate its activities within and beyond IFLA,
  3. engage and develop its own membership and leadership

Expectations related to: Quality and impact of the work

The Standing Committee of a dynamic Professional Unit is expected to:

  • Effectively network with its community in order to define and develop IFLA’s role:
    • Clearly and explicitly identify its community of interest and its stakeholders, including those beyond the IFLA Members,
    • Regularly consult its community of interest in order to define its Unit-specific aims,
    • Engage the community of interest and other stakeholders in global level activity;
  • Synthesize ideas and suggestions into objectives that reflect IFLA’s strategy and unique position as a global library organisation;
  • Write and communicate clearly expressed objectives that correspond to the expectations of a dynamic IFLA Professional Unit;
  • Identify a variety of activities that contribute to achieving the objectives of the Unit;
  • Have a well-formulated (clear, realistic and well thought-out) Action Plan that is communicated effectively to all stakeholders;
  • Think about how the results of its work are communicated for maximum impact;
  • Regularly review and update activities to meet the changing demands and environment.

Expectations related to: Communications

The Standing Committee of a dynamic Professional Unit is expected to:

  • Have a written communication plan which clearly identifies responsibilities within the Standing Committee, the audiences, the communication methods it will use, the activities it will communicate and how the communication relates to its objectives;
  • Have frequent and regular communication within its own committee, with at least one (possibly online) meeting between Congresses;
  • Frequently and regularly communicate with its IFLA Members:
    • Regularly consult and review its objectives and revise its Action Plan accordingly,
    • Facilitate ongoing discussion, especially in order to identify ‘hot topics’ and where IFLA might have a role to play,
    • Invite questions, suggestions, discussion, or participation,
    • Report briefly at least twice a year on progress with regards its Action Plan,
    • Publish an annual report (in September) summarizing its objectives and achievements for the previous year,
    • Report on and promote the results of all completed projects, and projects that have been ended before completion;
  • Proactively communicate its activities beyond IFLA Members and reach out to other IFLA Units or other stakeholders in order to identify synergies;
  • Perform communication during the year of a level that might be nominated for the Professional Unit Communication Award;
  • Communicate progress, questions and problems to its Division Chair;
  • Increase publication output via IFLA’s publication channels (IFLA Journal, Professional Report series (online, Open Access publications), IFLA Publications series (“Green Backs”)).

Expectations related to: Membership and leadership engagement and development

The Standing Committee of a dynamic Professional Unit is expected to:

  • Attract a minimum of new Standing Committee members at each election;
  • Have an inclusive process that involves all SC members in both planning and execution;
  • Achieve diversity in its membership, and if this is not possible, be able to seek diverse views and input to its work, for example, in relation to geographical representation, gender and age;
  • Have capable leaders that:
    • ensure the Unit has a clear goal and sense of direction and produces quality work with the associated communication,
    • identify roles, tasks and responsibilities for others,
    • ensure all members of the committee have a voice,
    • ensure all Standing Committee members adhere to a code of ethics (which will be developed),
    • communicate progress, questions and problems regularly to the Division Chair;
  • Have succession planning and mentoring in place for both the Officer roles and the SC member roles;
  • Ensure there is continuity of activities when membership or responsibilities change, and that the transition to the new Standing Committee in an election year is smooth;
  • Articulate what value a Standing Committee member gains from involvement;
  • Function effectively using volunteers, encouraging remote participation either of Standing Committee members who cannot attend physical meetings or people beyond the committee where relevant and appropriate;
  • Have involvement, partnerships and communication with relevant non-IFLA partners;
  • Have an international community that identifies itself as an active supporter of the Unit’s objectives or an active contributor to the Unit’s work, and includes individuals who regularly and actively engage with the SC.

*These expectations were developed through consultation with the Professional Committee and Officers during 2016 - 2017.

What makes a dynamic IFLA Professional Unit? WLIC 2016 explanation and worksheets.

Last update: 16 July 2018