Guidelines for Proposing or Sponsoring IFLA Professional Awards

Guidelines for establishing a new professional award

The existing guidelines for IFLA Honours and Awards also govern the establishment of a new professional award:

The IFLA Governing Board may consider establishing a new Professional Award to be conferred by IFLA, or jointly by IFLA.

In establishing the need, scope and criteria for a new Professional Award the Governing Board will take into consideration:

  •  IFLA's values;
  •  the existing Honours and Awards structure;
  •  the perpetuity of the proposed honour or award;
  •  the benefits of the honour or award to IFLA and international librarianship, and including for joint honours or awards the benefits of such a partnership for IFLA;
  •  the benefits of the honour or award to recipients.

Proposing new professional awards

Proposals for new Professional Awards must be submitted to the Professional Committee for referral to the Governing Board. Answers to the following questions will normally be required for consideration:

Award description

  1. Proposed name of award
  2. External sponsor (if any)
  3. Professional unit(s) or committee(s) affiliated with the award and unit with prime responsibility
  4. Contact person within IFLA unit (name and email address)
  5. Short summary of award
  6. Who is eligible to apply
  7. How call will be announced
  8. Date call will open and date call will close 
  9. Date (and place) award will be announced and presented
  10. How applications will be received and processed
  11. Criteria for selection of winner
  12. Number on jury and who they will represent; jury members’ names for first year (if known)
  13. Award prize details (certificate, announcement on web, cash prize, etc) and responsibility for coordination or administration of each of these

Prize and financial details (if applicable)

  1. Sponsor’s total financial commitment (total maximum prize value for winner)
  2. Details (specific things covered) by the prize (e.g. cash prize, tickets, etc.)
  3. Financial costs not covered by sponsor (if any)
  4. Implications post-award for the winner (any follow-up commitments) in relation to sponsor

Agreements and administration

  1. Term length of sponsor contract/agreement
  2. What benefit there is to the sponsor in being involved in the award
  3. How the sponsor wishes to use IFLA’s name and/or logo
  4. Review date for the award (usually every three years)
  5. Relevance to IFLA’s strategic plan or initiatives.

Sponsorship of professional awards

Sponsorship of professional awards should adhere to the same (existing) principles of fairness that govern members of IFLA’s Corporate Sponsor Programme and were agreed by the Governing Board in April 2011:

  1. Corporate sponsors should respect IFLA’s positions and values.
  2. A balance of interest is required between the Corporate sponsor and IFLA.
  3. One Corporate sponsor will not be favoured over another Corporate sponsor; to that end a good level of transparency is required, for which the opportunities need to be available.

Principles of IFLA Professional Awards

  1. When IFLA's name is lent to an award, there must be IFLA representation on the jury, at a minimum either a Professional Committee member or someone from an appropriate committee to ensure accountability and relevance to IFLA goals and standards.
  2. The Professional Committee should always be informed of the winner of an IFLA professional award prior to it being made public.
  3. On a sponsored award IFLA is named first - though the precise name will have to be negotiated with each sponsor.
  4. When the presentation of a sponsored award is made at an IFLA conference, the sponsorship should cover (all) the costs of the winner to attend the IFLA conference.
  5. Award funding should benefit the winner and not provide expenses for the jury. Jury members should communicate via virtual means if they cannot meet in person.

Note on grants and prizes

Financial prizes for attendance at an IFLA event, or cash prizes, which do not specifically provide recognition of the contribution of an individual or organization to IFLA’s professional activities or to the international library and information services sector in a specific professional area, will be known within IFLA as a “grant” rather than an “award”. Grants available to support attendance at the IFLA World Library and Information Congress (WLIC) will be listed on the registration pages for that WLIC.

Winners of such grants or prizes may be identified by a jury, on selection of a winning application which may take the form of an essay or other application form. Persons involved in IFLA may be present on such a jury but no endorsement by IFLA must be implied unless otherwise agreed.

Any organization is allowed to make a grant for attendance at an IFLA event and does not need IFLA’s approval. However, if the organization wishes to ask IFLA to advertise or otherwise appear to endorse the grant, then the Professional Committee will consider the principles and guidelines for awards in making its decision. IFLA endorsement might include (but is not limited to):

  • lending of the IFLA name or logo to promote the grant,
  • participation of IFLA representatives on the jury,
  • announcement or presentation of the prize during an IFLA event (such as during the WLIC).

The Professional Committee may delegate an IFLA professional unit to coordinate the grant with the sponsor, and act as primary contact on issues concerning the grant.

Any changes to a grant that has IFLA endorsement or involvement will require further Professional Committee acknowledgement, therefore the sponsor or other person responsible for the grant should inform the Professional Committee in writing of the details of the call announcement in advance each year.

Last update: 12 February 2015