Policy Plan 2024

    Overview of Activities

    Throughout 2024, and in line with its own Statutes, SIF will focus on meeting its objective of supporting activities of the International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions (IFLA) in the following areas: to promote and support international cooperation, exchange of information, education, research and development within the scope of the library and information service sector, and to protect, preserve and document written and printed cultural heritage.

    Key focus: delivery of the Knowledge Rights 21 Programme

    A significant part of the work of SIF is the delivery of the Knowledge Rights 21 Programme, supported by a grant from the Arcadia Fund. This is focused on building capacity for engagement in copyright law and policy reform across Europe, as well as on promoting change in the short-term in laws. The overall goal is to ensure that libraries and their users benefit from rules that are fit for purpose for providing access to research, education and culture in the 21st century.

    In this context, SIF will support activities that:

    1. Strengthen the capacity of library fields at the national level in Europe in order to advocate effectively for copyright law and policy reform, both through direct advocacy, and through the mobilization of networks of libraries and other stakeholders. In particular, we will support the work of national coordinators in order to deploy their time and knowledge to achieve their goals, as well as support smaller grants in order to make possible activities that would otherwise not take place, and which contribute to the achievement of Programme goals. 
    2.  Support wider advocacy by delivering research reports that fill evidence gaps and build the case for copyright laws and policies that facilitate the work of libraries. In 2024, we anticipate in particular producing reports that focus on whether library eBook markets are working well, technological protection measures, research exceptions to copyright laws, and more, as well as a training course on copyright and advocacy and more work on rights retention policies.  
    3. Shape attitudes and priorities in Brussels, in particular in the run-up to the next European elections and the shaping of agendas for 2024-2029, through supporting a presence in Brussels, as well as remote and in-person engagement by people involved in the Programme. 
    4. The work of the Programme is governed by committees – a Management Committee made up of partner organisations (IFLA, LIBER, SPARC Europe), ensuring quality assurance and risk management, and a Policy Committee made up of independent experts, guiding the policy direction and relevance of activities. Calls for projects are made openly through the Knowledge Rights 21 website, and in line with the governance rules agreed between Programme partners.

    Background: SIF’s Approach to Fundraising and Deployment of Funds

    In line with its Statutes, SIF will raise funds through grants and donations. In turn, it makes donations through grants where it considers the purpose to meet the goals of SIF, for example to support advocacy and capacity building activities managed by IFLA, and activities within IFLA’s Key Initiatives. Proposals for grants can come from the IFLA Governing Board or Secretary General, and should answer both to IFLA’s own strategic priorities and the purposes of SIF.

    The Board of Directors will determine the amount and terms of any grant it makes. SIF funds may be used for:

    • Support for the development of IFLA and/or the benefit of members
    • Activity that increases IFLA's impact
    • Contribution to relevant activities of the IFLA World Library and Information Congress (WLIC)
    • Grants for IFLA WLIC participation from developing countries
    • As leverage when requesting other grant-making bodies to support IFLA
    • Support for projects that are of strategic value to IFLA

    In considering proposals, the Board of Directors take care not to allow for conflicts of interest, and so will not consider proposals that carry this risk with regard to the work of the members of board. The priority for the allocation of its grant funding is for activities that are unlikely to be funded through other sources or bodies.

    In considering grant proposals the Board of Directors will take into account:

    • Strategic dimension: does the proposal meet the objectives of SIF and the strategic directions of IFLA?
    • Ethical dimension: does the proposal meet the values implicit within SIF objects and explicit in relevant IFLA policies and manifesto?
    • Financial dimension: is the proposal within the scope of SIF funding capacity and priorities?
    • Sustainability dimension: does the proposal have the potential to build capacity and strengthen international librarianship?
    • Public benefit: is the proposal for public or private benefit?
    • Feasibility: how achievable and realistic is the proposal and how likely is its success?

    Depending on the type of grant approved, the Board of Directors may require that SIF enters into a formal agreement with funded parties that will include the responsibilities of each party, reporting requirements and evaluation. Funds will only be released on invoice from the funded party when and as required for the grant.

    SIF will also deploy the funds necessary to cover costs incurred for legal advice relating to its statutes, any required taxation or other advice related to its activities, accounting, audit and management/administration costs.

    In 2024, subject to the level of reserves and taking into account SIF estimated operating costs, SIF may consider providing a general grant to support IFLA’s strategic activities that meet the goals of both SIF and IFLA such as major projects that are of strategic value to IFLA through its Key Initiatives; advocacy representation at international or regional meetings or congresses of significance to the sector and strategic value to IFLA.

    Further, SIF may fund the 2024 membership fees for library association and institution members that are unable to pay their IFLA membership due to the impact of natural or warfare/conflict disasters.

    Background: Management of SIF assets

    SIF reserve and cash funds are invested in standard no risk savings accounts with one or more of the major Dutch banks that are government guaranteed. Cash that is unlikely to be needed in the short term may be moved to longer-term savings accounts where minimum terms (e.g., three or six months) are required for a higher rate of interest.

    SIF utilizes the services of IFLA to assist with the management of assets and governance requirements. The Board of Directors and IFLA may decide on an annual basis whether these services will be charged to the SIF or provided by IFLA on an in-kind contribution basis.

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