4 September 2020
IFLAPARL: Parliaments. Partnerships. Professional guidance
Networking and partnerships are what the IFLA Library and Research Services for Parliaments Section (IFLAPARL) is about. Their collaborative spirit and work aligned to the IFLA’s Key Initiative 1.2, is what brought them to IFLA’s spotlight!
Parliamentary library and research services are an aid to good governance.
When policies are debated, formed and passed into laws by parliaments, library and research services provide reliable and non-biased information to elected representatives, an alternative to what is supplied by governments, political parties, the media, pressure groups and lobbyists.
Filling a demanding and unique role for each jurisdiction – there is no one else who does this work locally.
This work requires expertise in networks and partnerships.
IFLAPARL’s collaborative approach leads to notable outputs:
- Checklist on Parliamentary Research and Library Service Ethics
- Valparaiso Declaration
- Guidelines for Parliamentary Research Services
- A significant contribution to the series of World e-Parliament Reports
- Conference Session and workshop proceedings
IFLAPARL’s collaborative approach brings added value to regional parliamentary library organisations:
IFLAPARL offers a truly diverse perspective:
Parliamentary services are found in a variety of countries, cultures, development levels, services models, and types of parliaments, enriching its network of participants. While the strength of a regional association may be its commonalities, IFLAPARL’s strength is its diverse network.
IFLAPARL is unique in the sector for its global role:
IFLAPARL synthesises global professional guidance and standards which aid in their acceptance at the institutional level and allows the profession to connect to global bodies and gives it a voice in global fora. They articulate professional concerns that may be difficult to express at the institutional or even regional level. IFLAPARL can increase value by improving communication and voluntary coordination.
IFLAPARL connects its members to a wider professional world:
IFLA PARL Members have the opportunity to collaborate with other IFLA Sections such as Knowledge Management, Law Libraries, Government Libraries, and Government Information and Official Publications, to bring a diverse and global perspective to their work.
IFLAPARL provides a working model for new and developing associations:
IFLA PARL mobilises practical support for regional associations and provides a basic network in regions where there is no strong or active association.
IFLAPARL explicitly and strongly represents research services:
IFLA PARL supports professional cooperation amongst parliamentary research services, associations and libraries.
IFLA PARL Chair, Iain Watt describes the Section’s focus for 2020:
The new IFLA Strategy was a prompt for IFLAPARL to reflect on a changing world and to consider new opportunities. IFLAPARL’s relation to the regional associations of parliamentary library and research services is one example. Although many associations are formal members of IFLA, and there has been mutual communication of activities, the global and regional had largely a parallel existence. We thought more value could be created with collaboration, but respecting the role and independence of the regional associations we had first to reflect on the unique offer of IFLAPARL”