In The Trustees agreed to allocate a grant to the IFLA to support the strategic directions of IFLA through its Key Initiatives and activities that meet the objects of the SIF.
The IFLA Key Initiatives encompass activities for enhancing digital content and access; International Librarianship leadership development; outreach for advocacy and advancement of the Library and Information sector; and Cultural Heritage disaster reconstruction.
SIF funds supported Stage 1 of a second cohort for IFLA’s International Leaders Programme. Following a call for applications, nine leaders (known as Associates) were chosen by a selection panel comprising members of the Governing Board. Three mentors were also appointed to assist with the Programme. The nine Associates represent countries from all IFLA regions including Europe and North America and included three people with strong public library backgrounds. The International Leaders Programme will run over three years from 2016 – 2018 beginning at WLIC 2016 in Columbus, Ohio and ending at WLIC 2018 in Kuala Lumpur. The 2016 grant supported the attendance of the leaders and mentors at WLIC 2016. The SIF funding supported the costs of flights, hotels, WLIC registrations, per diems, and audio visual hire and catering for the two seminar days. The benefits of the week spent together at WLIC can be seen in the work and confidence of the Associates in the months since their meeting. Many are taking lead roles in their national associations or have begun to speak on behalf of libraries at regional meetings. Others have been invited to attend IFLA’s IAP regional workshops and have been involved in follow up advocacy activities back in their home countries. Recently some have stood for election to IFLA Standing Committees.
The IFLA International Leaders Programme aims to develop professionals who are already leading within their own countries to be able to advocate and lead strongly at regional and international levels, on behalf of others and IFLA. The SIF funds have been the basis of a very strong and promising beginning to the Programme.
The SIF also supported an update to IFLA’s landmark Trend Report. Based on the successful initial document, published in 2013, and which brought together a range of contributions from high-profile experts, this looked to establish to what extent the trends and phenomena highlighted initially were still relevant, and what new issues had emerged, as well as drawing on experience of disseminating the Trend Report and putting it to work. IFLA produced new external insights, but also drew on the lessons from the 60 events and discussions organized by national library associations and others in 30 different countries, based on the Trend Report and its findings. In particular, the Update set the key questions which had most characterized debate in different regions, offering a valuable overview of libraries’ reflections on the different environments in which they work around the world. The report has also helped libraries and library associations develop their own plans and strategies for the future. It drew together case studies of uses of the Report, as well as lessons on how others may wish to do this. As such, it has provided not only further valuable information and lessons for libraries now, but will also inform future iterations of the report.
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