This IFLA Section works to promote best practice in delivering library services and collections to cultural and linguistic minorities.


MCULTP began in 1981 as an IFLA Working Group, then, in 1983, became the IFLA Round Table on Library Services to Ethnic and Linguistic Minorities. It was at the 1986 conference in Tokyo that the group formally became the IFLA Section on Library Services to Multicultural Populations.

Our aims

This Section produces events, activities and publications focused on the following aims:

  • To bring together libraries and institutions interested in the development and availability of library services designed to meet the needs of cultural and linguistic minorities.
  • To share its experience in library services to multicultural populations and to ensure that every member in our global society has access to a full range of library and information services.
  • To achieve this, MCULTP promotes international cooperation across the field.

Who we are

As an IFLA unit, the section is represented by a Standing Committee of elected members from different countries, many of whom are emerging leaders and advocates for providing services to culturally and linguistically diverse communities.

The Standing Committee has an active cohort of corresponding members, who contribute to the section’s activities.

What we do

The Standing Committee meets every year at the IFLA World Library and Information Congress (WLIC) to report on and plan the year’s activities. Delegates to the Congress are welcome to observe these meetings. The Section also participates in the planning of open sessions of the Congress, usually with a selection of speakers corresponding to the Conference theme.

Often, the section holds a satellite meeting before the annual congress, &/or a mid-year meeting in February or March.

The Section also shares news of initiatives and projects in the global library sector, communicated through its bi-yearly newsletter and social media channels.

The Section has delivered key strategic publications, most notably Multicultural Communities: Guidelines to Library Services, and the IFLA/UNESCO Multicultural Library Manifesto, currently available in 24 languages; an accompanying toolkit has been developed to give practical approaches on how libraries can apply the concepts in the manifesto. It continues to work with the international library community to translate the manifesto, and its implementation toolkit, into more languages.

This unit is sponsored by the Professional Division A.