6 August 2020
Suriname’s libraries align with the IFLA Strategy
IFLA is organising a series of regional workshops on Strategies for Stronger Libraries in order to bring the IFLA Strategy to libraries worldwide. A key focus is on using the Strategy to identify priorities and high-impact actions that can be taken, including coordination with IFLA.
As a result of its participation at the regional workshop for Latin America and the Caribbean, the Foundation Nationale Database Suriname (NDS)–which acts as a Suriname’s Library Association–decided to focus on library education in the country.
This work relates to IFLA’s Strategic Direction 2: Inspire and Enhance Professional Practice of the IFLA Strategy 2019-2024.
The Foundation recognised that Suriname has a structural lack of qualified active librarians. Most libraries are managed by trained library assistants. Librarians were trained in the Netherlands and they then trained qualified library assistants.
The Foundation had organized the last training in 2010. However, with the last active librarian due to retire in 2021, the need to train new qualified library managers is urgent.
In 2019 the Foundation received a grant from the GO Fonds Foundation (Netherlands) to execute a Project: “The Library School Suriname: expertise for Surinamese libraries”. With this project they want to overcome the shortage of qualified library staff in Suriname. Besides setting up a library school they decided to organise two library programmes, one for library managers and one for library assistants. The instructors will be local, regional and international library experts.
The curriculum of the ‘Training Library managers’ course consists primarily of various management skills and important information about the library sector.
However, there is a specific module, entitled ‘Introduction to Librarianship’ which will focus on global, regional and local librarianship, collection development, information services, information
processing and consortia. There is also a dedicated subject titled “Global Librarianship” that will deal with IFLA, the IFLA Strategy 2019-2024 and the IFLA Library Map of the World.
Jane W.F. Smith, director of the University Library of Suriname and President of the Foundation NDS said:
Librarianship in Suriname can really benefit from the IFLA Strategy. The value of getting engaged in IFLA and planning actions aligned to the IFLA Strategy is about our national library success planning. It means making evident to the next Surinamese library leaders that being active internationally and belonging in the global library field, where you can discuss, exchange, reflect and always improve, is more important than ever before. Therefore, this year in the Library University of Suriname, which is the coordinator for the Foundation NDS, we started a library school, where the IFLA Strategy is part of the curriculum at the training of Library Managers. Sharing this information is not only a way to inform, but to also create awareness about IFLA.”
The program is ready to kick-off, as soon as the situation with COVID-19 allows it. We’re looking forward to following how it goes!
Read more about the IFLA Strategy 2019-2024
How is your library or library association engaging with the IFLA Strategy? Let us know! Post on your social media, using the hashtag #IFLAStrategy and #WeAreIFLA or send an email to Despina Gerasimidou, IFLA’s Strategic Development Officer at firstname.lastname@example.org.