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Introduction: The Global Voice of Libraries

IFLA is unique. Thanks to the reach of its membership, the breadth of its mission, and its ability to inspire, engage, enable and connect, it has a special role in the global library field.

IFLA works both to represent libraries on the world stage, and to strengthen the ability of our member associations, institutions, and individuals to advocate for and deliver library and information services that improve lives.

We do this by bringing together the biggest brains trust in the library field – the 1200 volunteers drawn from our members who participate in IFLA’s Professional Units – as well as a dedicated team at IFLA Headquarters, and a network of regional offices and language centres which allow us to operate in seven languages.

IFLA Strategy 2019 - 2024

This document represents a milestone in IFLA’s journey from Vision to Strategy to Action. It is the result of a uniquely inclusive process – the IFLA Global Vision – launched in March 2017.
By engaging tens of thousands of library and information workers from over 190 countries in a conversat...

Our Strategy: A Roadmap for the Future

This document represents a milestone in IFLA’s journey from Vision to Strategy to Action. It is the result of a uniquely inclusive process – the IFLA Global Vision – launched in March 2017.

By engaging tens of thousands of library and information workers from over 190 countries in a conversation about the strengths and opportunities of the library field, the Vision has provided the energy, and represented the guiding star, for this Strategy.

On this basis, IFLA’s Members, Professional Units and Governing Board, working with the Headquarters team, have developed this document, drawing also on an assessment of IFLA’s existing strengths, and its commitment to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. It was approved by the IFLA Governing Board on 12 April 2019.

Structure: A Framework for Actions

The IFLA Strategy 2019-24 is a document for the library field, by the library field.

It is designed to be a reference point, not only for IFLA’s own Professional Units, headquarters and regional and languages offices, but also for our membership and the library field as a whole. It should be the catalyst for a new energy and a new alignment in our efforts.

Our Strategic Directions highlight four areas of focus in delivering our mission:

1. Strengthen the Global Voice of Libraries
2. Inspire and Enhance Professional Practice
3. Connect and Empower the Field
4. Optimise our Organisation

In each Strategic Direction, four Key Initiatives provide a framework around which we can all develop actions to strengthen our field and achieve our vision.

Our Vision

A strong and united library field powering literate, informed and participative societies

Our Mission

To inspire, engage, enable and connect the global library field

Our Values
  • The endorsement of the principles of freedom of access to information. ideas and works of imagination and freedom of expression embodied in Article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights
  • The belief that people, communities and organisations need universal and equitable access to information, ideas and works of imagination for their social, educational, cultural, democratic and economic well-being
  • The conviction that delivery of high-quality library and information services helps guarantee that access
  • The commitment to enable all Members of the Federation to engage in, and benefit from, its activities without regard to citizenship, disability, ethnic origin, gender, geographical location, language, political philosophy, race or religion
A Call to Action

This Strategy has been made possible by the ideas and energy of the global library field.

Yet it is a milestone, not a destination. It is a document not only to be read, but to be used, because everyone has a role in building our future. Its success will be our success, but it depends on each of us to play our part.

The four Strategic Directions and 16 Key Initiatives are therefore a framework for the thousands, if not the millions of individual actions which will be necessary to transform our field and achieve our vision.

We need you to reflect on what actions you can take that contribute to the goals of the Strategy, both individually and collectively. What can you do to share its message, and to inspire and engage others, just as you have been inspired and engaged?

Share your actions, build your connections, and spread the word.

Together, we can build a strong and united library field, powering literate, informed and participatory societies.

Download the Strategy

The IFLA Strategy 2019 – 2024 is available in PDF format in all seven official languages of IFLA.  Additional translations are added as they become available.

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