Role and responsibilities of Division Chairs and Division Secretaries

IFLA professional units are grouped with other similar units into five Divisions. This helps promote communication between the units and sharing of best practice and ideas.

The Division is coordinated and represented on the Professional Committee by a Division Chair, who is elected by the Officers every two years from among the outgoing Officers of the Division’s Sections (see the Rules of Procedure R17.3 - R17.11).

The Division Chair is assisted by a Division Secretary.

See the current contact on each Division page for the current Division Chair.

Chairs of IFLA Divisions

The Division Chairs represent the interests of the Sections, Special Interest Groups (SIGs) and Strategic Programmes that make up each of the five IFLA professional divisions.

The tasks of a Division Chair include coordinating the activities of their professional units as well as representing their interests at the Professional Committee meetings and at IFLA Headquarters.

They need to facilitate good two-way communication.

See rules of procedure R17.12 – R17.19 for more details.

More precisely, their responsibilities are:

 During the year:

  • Facilitate discussion and exchange across the division’s professional units.
  • Convene virtual meetings of the division officers (for example, via Skype) to discuss issues related to the professional programme such as progress of projects, mid-term meetings, planning, etc. and to report and discuss items from the PC meetings.
  • Solicit from Division members issues that need to be brought to the PC meeting.
  • Maintain regular contact with the Officers of the Division (for example, via email) and monitor the work of the Sections (Newsletters, Minutes, Agendas, Web pages, programme and project proposals).
  • Monitor and advise on project proposals according to the PC projects call and criteria.
  • Monitor and advise on conference programme proposals (making sure the appropriate proposals are submitted, controlling Sections who have not submitted proposals, controlling the content and conference threads).
  • Monitor and advise on Satellite Meeting proposals according to the PC’s guidance on Satellite Meetings.
  • Establish division-level working groups to address issues related to the division.
  • Ensure the division web pages are updated as relevant (with minutes of meetings, annual reports, etc).

During the IFLA annual conference:

  • Convene and Chair the relevant Division Leadership Forum.
  • Conduct an election for the position of Division Secretary from among the members of the incoming Leadership Forum.
  • Attend Standing Committee meetings.
  • Monitor the division’s professional units’ programmes during the conference (participation, organization, infrastructure, etc).
  • Attend the Professional Committee and Governing Board meetings.
  • Represent IFLA in meetings and events.

At the Professional Committee meetings:

  • Discuss issues of the Professional Committee (Congress professional programmes, finances and projects, IFLA professional programme and professional structure, IFLA publications).
  • Vote on resolutions concerning Professional Committee matters.
  • Chair and/or participate in working groups established by the PC.
  • Represent IFLA in meetings and conferences where appropriate.
  • Report back to the Division after each meeting of the Professional Committee to highlight important decisions and issues;
  • Prepare a brief annual report about the activities of the Division, before the April meeting of the Professional Committee.

Role of Division Secretary

Elected during the Leadership Forum from among new Officers (see R17.16, and R17.22 concerning casual vacancy). Some proposals on changes to the Rules of Procedure concerning the election procedure and term of the Division Secretary are still pending discussion in the PC and GB.

The responsibilities of the Division Secretary are as follows:

During the year:

  • Assist the Division Chair in their duties during the year.
  • Assist the Division Chair in convening virtual meetings of the Officers during the year to discuss issues related to the professional programme, take the minutes of such meetings, and distribute them to the Division's Officers shortly afterwards.
  • (With the Division Chair) ensure the Division web pages are updated as relevant (with approved minutes of meetings, annual reports, etc).
  • Step in for the Division Chair when necessary to Chair the meetings of the Division.

During the IFLA annual conference

  • Assist the Chair during the Division Leadership Forum, take the minutes of this meeting and distribute them to the Division Officers shortly afterwards.
  • Assist the Chair in attending Standing Committee meetings and monitoring the congress programmes of the Sections, SIGs, and Strategic Programmes (participation, organization, infrastructure, etc.).

For the Professional Committee meetings

  • Assist the Division Chair in reporting back to the Division after each meeting of the Professional Committee to highlight important decisions and issues.
  • Assist the Division Chair in preparing a brief annual report about the activities of the Division, before the April meeting of the Professional Committee.

Last update: 29 May 2017