International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions

The International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions (IFLA) is the leading international body representing the interests of people who rely on libraries and information professionals. An independent, non-governmental, not-for-profit organization, IFLA was founded in Scotland in 1927 and maintains headquarters at the National Library of the Netherlands in The Hague. IFLA sponsors the annual IFLA World Library and Information Congress, promoting universal and equitable access to information, ideas, and works of imagination for social, educational, cultural, democratic, and economic empowerment.

IFLA closely partners with UNESCO, with several IFLA manifestos recognized as UNESCO manifestos.[1] IFLA is a founding member of the Blue Shield, which works to protect the world's cultural heritage threatened by wars and natural disaster.

International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions (IFLA)
International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions logo
TypeInternational nongovernmental organization
  • Prins Willem-Alexanderhof 5, Den Haag, The Netherlands
Gloria Pérez-Salmerón
Secretary General
Gerald Leitner


IFLA was founded in Edinburgh, Scotland, in 1927 when library associations from 14 European countries and the United States signed a resolution at the celebration of the 50th anniversary of the Library Association of the United Kingdom. Isak Collijn, head of the National Library of Sweden, was elected the first president. The first constitution was approved in Rome in 1929 during the World Congress of Librarianship and Bibliography.[2]

During the 1930s the first library associations from outside Europe and the US joined, these being China, India, Japan, Mexico and the Philippines. By 1958 membership had grown to 64 associations from 42 countries. A permanent secretariat was established in 1962. By 1970 there were 250 members from 52 countries. The secretariat was moved to The Hague in 1971. By 1974 IFLA membership had become virtually global with 600 members in 100 countries.[2]

Membership criteria were expanded beyond library associations in 1976 to include institutions, i.e. libraries, library schools and bibliographic institutes. At this time, the word Institutions was added to the organisation's name. Since then further new categories of membership have been created, including personal affiliates.[2]

IFLA has now grown to over 1,400 members in approximately 140 countries. It is headquartered in the Koninklijke Bibliotheek, the National Library of the Netherlands, in The Hague.


IFLA's objectives are:

  • To represent librarianship in matters of international interest
  • To promote the continuing education of library personnel
  • To develop, maintain and promote guidelines for library services

Core values

The objectives are informed by the following core values:

  • The endorsement of the principles of freedom of expression embodied in Article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights
  • The belief that people, communities and organizations 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.

Strategic Programmes

Action for Development through Libraries Programme (ALP)

Launched in 1984 and initially known as Advancement of Librarianship in the Third World before changing name in the 1990s, the programme supports capacity building through a series of small grants and projects in developing and transition countries and advocacy for access to information[3] Its main activities include:

  • Building Strong Library Associations Programme
  • International Leaders Programme
  • Advocacy for the role of access to information and libraries in the UN 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development

Committee on Copyright and other Legal Matters (CLM)

Copyright and intellectual property issues and laws have long been recognized important to the library profession.[4] A volunteer-driven committee, the CLM was created to advise and represent the IFLA on matters of international copyright law.

The CLM produces legal briefs and is the representative for the IFLA at meetings of the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO).[5] The CLM's activities for the WIPO involve:

  • Copyright limitations and exceptions for libraries and archives
  • Copyright limitations and exceptions for visually impaired persons
  • Relations with WIPO Secretariat
  • Opposition to the Broadcast Treaty at WIPO
  • Development Agenda at WIPO
  • Preservation of Traditional Knowledge at WIPO[6]

Committee on Free Access to Information and Freedom of Expression (FAIFE)

One of the core activities of IFLA is the Committee on Free Access to Information and Freedom of Expression,[7] which monitors the state of intellectual freedom within the library community worldwide, supports IFLA policy development and co-operation with other international human rights organisations, and responds to violations of free access to information and freedom of expression.[8] FAIFE provides guidance and leadership on issues of intellectual freedom around the world through the publication of annual reports, guidelines, manifestos, special reports, and statements.[9]

The mission of FAIFE is to:

  • Raise awareness of the essential correlation between the library concept and the values of freedom of expression.
  • Collect and disseminate documentation and aim to stimulate a dialog both within and outside the library world.
  • Act as a focal point on the issue of freedom of expression, libraries and librarianship.[10]

IFLA/FAIFE is a member of the International Freedom of Expression Exchange, a global network of non-governmental organisations that monitors freedom of expression worldwide.[11] It is also a member of the Tunisia Monitoring Group, a coalition of 16 free expression organisations that lobbies the Tunisian government to improve its human rights record.

Strategic Programme on Preservation and Conservation (PAC)

Established in 1984, the Strategic Programme on Preservation and Conservation (PAC) focuses on efforts to preserve library and archive materials, in any form, around the world.[12] Unlike other IFLA Strategic Programmes, PAC features a decentralised approach, with global strategies implemented by a Focal Point and activities managed by Regional Centres.

PAC aims to ensure that both published and unpublished library and archive materials are preserved in an accessible form. In doing so, the programme follows three main guiding principles:

  • preservation is essential to the survival and development of culture and scholarship;
  • international cooperation is a key principle;
  • each country must accept responsibility for the preservation of its own publications.[13]

IFLA Trend report

The first IFLA Trend commissioned report entitled "Caught in the waves or caught in the tide? Insights from the IFLA Trend Report,"[14] was published in January 2013 and launched at the World Library and Information Congress in Singapore on 19 August 2013.[14] The IFLA trend report resulted in the identification of high level societal emerging trends which may affect the global information environment. The research consists of a number of documents—including an overview, annotated bibliography and research papers—is intended as a web platform for ongoing consultation.[14]:3 In this first stage of the review from November 2012 through 2013, "social scientists, economists, business leaders, education specialists, legal experts and technologists"—who were mainly outside the library sphere—were consulted.[14]:3

One of the key focal points of the report was the inundation of the archives with a tidal wave of information. By 2010 this represented more than 1 zettabytes of data or 1.8 trillion gigabytes.[14]:3[15]

The report listed "five key trends" which will change the "information environment...New technologies will both expand and limit who has access to information... Online education will democratise and disrupt global learning ...The boundaries of privacy and data protection will be redefined... Hyper-connected societies will listen to and empower new voices and groups... The global information economy will be transformed by new technologies..."[14]:4


Manifesto for Libraries Serving Persons with a Print Disability (LPD)

Endorsed by the Governing Board of the IFLA in April 2012, the first draft of the Manifesto for Libraries Serving Persons with a Print Disability was intended to support the Marrakesh VIP Treaty. After further drafts, the LPD Manifesto was passed in November 2013 at the 37th UNESCO General Conference in Paris.[16] The LPD Manifesto encourages libraries to provide more accessible library and information services for blind and visually impaired patrons. According to the IFLA, lack of access to information is the biggest barrier for persons with a print disability to fully and effectively participate in all aspects of society.[17]

The six statements of the LPD Manifesto are as follows:[17]

  1. IFLA recommends that all library and information providers, as part of their core services, put in place services, collections, equipment and facilities, which will assist individual users with a print disability to access and use resources that meet their particular needs for information.
  2. IFLA encourages library and information service providers to consult individuals with a disability, and groups representing them, in the planning, development and ongoing delivery of services.
  3. IFLA acknowledges that the best services are provided by professionals who are aware of the needs of, and service options for, people with a print disability. Therefore, IFLA encourages all library and information services to ensure that staff are adequately trained and available to work with users with a print disability, and supports career-long professional development and formal library and information studies programs, which will facilitate the strengthening of equitable library and information services to people with a print disability.
  4. IFLA supports efforts to improve access to resources by people with a print disability through service agreements, referrals and sharing of resources between library and information services; and between these and other organisations specialising in services targeted for people with a print disability. Therefore, IFLA encourages the establishment and development of an international network of libraries of accessible materials.
  5. IFLA supports efforts to ensure that copyright legislation enables equal access by people with a print disability to information from all libraries and information providers.
  6. In addition to meeting legislative requirements, IFLA encourages the observation of universal design principles, guidelines and standards to ensure that library and information services, collections, technologies, equipment and facilities meet the identified needs of users with a print disability.

Jay Jordan IFLA/OCLC Early Career Development Fellowship Program

Sponsored by the IFLA and OCLC, the Jay Jordan IFLA/OCLC Early Career Development Fellowship Program "provides early career development and continuing education for library and information science professionals from countries with developing economies."[18] Each year, the four-week program provides up to five individuals with the opportunity to interact with important information practitioners in the field. Additionally, the Fellows deliver presentations that grapple with libraries' challenges and formulate development plans that benefit their personal career growth.

2017 IFLA/OCLC Fellows

Announced in August 2016, the five selected 2017 IFLA/OCLC Fellows are:[19]

How to Spot Fake News.pdf
How to spot fake news
IFLA publication (2017)


According to IFLA "The most important work in IFLA happens in the various groups that make up the organisation".

More than 60 sections and special interest groups are organized in five divisions to carry out a variety of IFLA's activities and programs.


See also


  1. ^ "IFLA: The International Federation of Libraries". Retrieved 2013-05-08.
  2. ^ a b c Henry, Carol. "International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions", World Encyclopedia of Library and Information Services ed. Wedgeworth, Robert. 3rd ed. 1993. Pages 378–382. ISBN 0-8389-0609-5, ISBN 978-0-8389-0609-5.
  3. ^ "Action for Development through Libraries Programme".
  4. ^ Rubin, Richard (2010). Foundations of Library and Information Science (3 ed.). New York: Neal-Schuman. p. 343. ISBN 978-1-55570-690-6.
  5. ^ "Committee on Copyright and other Legal Matters (CLM)". International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions.
  6. ^ "Activities". IFLA. 24 March 2014. Retrieved 11 November 2014.
  7. ^ FAIFE website
  8. ^ "About FAIFE". International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions.
  9. ^ "Publications from FAIFE". International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions.
  10. ^ "FAIFE Mission". International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions.
  11. ^ IFEX website
  12. ^ "About the Preservation and Conservation Strategic Programme". International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions.
  13. ^ "About the Preservation and Conservation Strategic Programme". IFLA. 22 September 2014. Retrieved 11 November 2014.
  14. ^ John Gantz; David Reinsel (June 2011), "The Digital Universe Study: Extracting Value from Chaos" (PDF), International Data Corporation, Framingham, MA, retrieved 9 February 2016
  15. ^ Marlin, Mike (November–December 2014). "Promoting Access for Blind and Visually Impaired Patrons". American Libraries. American Library Association. 45 (11/12): 21–22. Retrieved 2014-11-04.
  16. ^ a b "IFLA Manifesto for libraries serving persons with a print disability". International Federation of Library Associations. 2014-05-07. Retrieved 2014-11-04.
  17. ^ "Jordan IFLA/OCLC Fellowship Program". Retrieved 2 September 2014.
  18. ^ "Five librarians selected as 2017 IFLA/OCLC Fellows". 16 August 2016. Retrieved 22 August 2016.

External links

Barbara J. Ford

Barbara J. Ford is an American librarian who served as President of the American Library Association from 1997 to 1998. She earned a bachelor's degree from Illinois Wesleyan University, a master's degree in International Relations from Tufts University and a master's degree in library science from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.She served in the Peace Corps volunteer in Panama and Nicaragua.Her professional positions include assistant commissioner for central library services at the Chicago Public Library; executive director of the Virginia Commonwealth University libraries; and associate library director at Trinity University in San Antonio, Texas. She has also served in several positions at the University of Illinois at Chicago.

Ford was Director of Mortenson Center for International Library Programs at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign Libraries from 2003-2014.Ford's ALA Presidential theme was “Libraries: Global Reach – Local Touch” during. Earlier in her career she was president of the Association of College and Research Libraries from 1990- 1991.

She served as an elected member of the Governing Board of the International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions from

2005-2009 and as a member of the U.S. National Commission for UNESCO from 2011-2013.

Claudia Lux

Claudia Lux (born on 24 March 1950 in Gladbeck, Germany) is German librarian and the Member of the National Committee of International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions.

Collection development

Library collection development is the process of building the library materials to meet the information needs of the users (a service population) in a timely and economical manner using information resources locally held, as well as from other organizations.According to the International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions (IFLA), acquisition and collection development focuses on methodological and topical themes pertaining to acquisition of print and other analogue library materials (by purchase, exchange, gift, legal deposit), and the licensing and purchase of electronic information resources.

Digital dark age

The digital dark age is a lack of historical information in the digital age as a direct result of outdated file formats, software, or hardware that becomes corrupt, scarce, or inaccessible as technologies evolve and data decay. Future generations may find it difficult or impossible to retrieve electronic documents and multimedia, because they have been recorded in an obsolete and obscure file format. The name derives from the term Dark Ages in the sense that there could be a relative lack of records in the digital age, as documents are transferred to digital formats and original copies are lost. An early mention of the term was at a conference of the International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions (IFLA) in 1997.[1] The term was also mentioned in 1998 at the Time and Bits conference,[2][3] which was co-sponsored by the Long Now Foundation and the Getty Conservation Institute.


Functional Requirements for Subject Authority Data (FRSAD), previously known as Functional Requirements for Subject Authority Records (FRSAR), is a conceptual entity-relationship model developed by the International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions (IFLA) and published in 2010. It is a continuation of the work done on the FRBR model, detailing how "entities that serve as subjects of intellectual or artistic endeavor" can be related and controlled within the bibliographic universe. The model is intended to support global sharing and reuse of subject authority data.

Functional Requirements for Bibliographic Records

Functional Requirements for Bibliographic Records (FRBR ) is a conceptual entity–relationship model developed by the International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions (IFLA) that relates user tasks of retrieval and access in online library catalogues and bibliographic databases from a user’s perspective. It represents a more holistic approach to retrieval and access as the relationships between the entities provide links to navigate through the hierarchy of relationships. The model is significant because it is separate from specific cataloguing standards such as Anglo-American Cataloguing Rules (AACR) or International Standard Bibliographic Description (ISBD).

IFLA Journal

IFLA Journal is a quarterly peer-reviewed academic journal that covers the fields of librarianship and information science. It publishes original research, case studies, and essays on library and information services and the social, political and economic issues that impact access to information through libraries. The editor-in-chief is Steve Witt (University of Illinois at Urbana–Champaign). It was established in 1975 and is published by SAGE Publications on behalf of the International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions (IFLA).

IFLA World Library and Information Congress

The World Library and Information Congress (WLIC) is an international conference held annually by the International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions (IFLA) for the library and information services sector. It brings together over 3,500 participants from more than 120 countries. It sets the international agenda for the library profession and offers opportunities for networking and professional development. The congress also offers an international trade exhibition.The 2019 conference will be held in Athens, Greece, and the 2020 event in Auckland, New Zealand.

Ingrid Parent

Ingrid Parent was University Librarian at the University of British Columbia from July 1, 2009 to June 30, 2016.

From 1994 to 2004 she was Director General of Acquisitions and Bibliographic Services at the former National Library of Canada, then became Assistant Deputy Minister for Documentary Heritage, Library and Archives Canada, responsible for the development, description and preservation of Canada's documentary heritage, from 2004 to 2009.

Parent has represented Canada with the International Federation of Library Associations. In June 2009 IFLA announced that Ms Parent was chosen as President-elect for the term 2009-2011 and President for the term 2011-2012, taking 895 votes to 844 votes for the Mexican candidate Jesus Lau.She is the second UBC University Librarian to have had a career at the national level, following in the footsteps of National Archivist and National Librarian William Kaye Lamb.

International Standard Bibliographic Description

The International Standard Bibliographic Description (ISBD) is a set of rules produced by the International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions (IFLA) to create a bibliographic description in a standard, human-readable form, especially for use in a bibliography or a library catalog. A preliminary consolidated edition of the ISBD was published in 2007 and the consolidated edition was published in 2011, superseding earlier separate ISBDs for monographs, older monographic publications, cartographic materials, serials and other continuing resources, electronic resources, non-book materials, and printed music. IFLA's ISBD Review Group is responsible for maintaining the ISBD.

One of the original purposes of the ISBD was to provide a standard form of bibliographic description that could be used to exchange records internationally. This would support IFLA's Universal Bibliographic Control program.

Kista Galleria

Kista Galleria is a shopping mall located in the Kista Science City in Stockholm, Sweden. It has 185 stores, including a multiplex, bowling alley, karting track and restaurants. Known for its generous opening hours (9 AM to 9 PM), it has been the most visited mall in Stockholm with approximately 18 million customers annually, and the third largest in terms of sales. The mall, which opened in 1977, has expanded and been redesigned several times; most recently in 2002 and again in 2009, increasing the retail area to 62,000 m2 (670,000 sq ft), with a total gross leasable area of 90,000 m2 (970,000 sq ft).The shopping mall has 2,500 parking spaces and is situated between two major motorways, E18 and E4. Public transport is close, with entrances in the west leading directly to the Kista metro station. A light rail line is planned to be built in 2016.From 2014, it has also been hosting the Kista bibliotek, the City of Stockholm Public Library - Kista Branch, which has been named as "Public library of the year 2015" by International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions (IFLA).The mall is currently managed by Kista Galleria KB, which is co-owned by Finnish real estate company Citycon and Canadian CPP Investment Board.Compared to other malls in the City of Stockholm

Kista Galleria is the biggest shopping mall in the City of Stockholm with 185 stores and restaurants while for instance Gallerian at Norrmalm has 83.

Library science education in India

Library science education in India has existed since the late 19th century. During the post-independence period, library-science education gained momentum with the assistance of the International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions and UNESCO, and is centered at the university level. Library and information science (LIS) increased in popularity during the early 1990s with the establishment of the Indira Gandhi National Open University (IGNOU). In addition to the IGNOU, several of the 13 state open universities provide LIS programmes. U.P Rajarshi Tandon Open University (UPRTOU) in Allahabad offers LIS degree programs through distance learning at the bachelor's, master's and doctoral level. Dr.B.R.Ambedkar Open University established in 1982 is offering BLISc, MLIS, M.Phil. & Ph.D. Programmes in Library Sciences.

Marianne Scott

Marianne Florence Scott is a Canadian retired librarian and educator. She has held several positions in her career, the most notable being the third National Librarian of Canada (NLC). She was not only the first woman to be appointed to the position but also the first professionally educated librarian to hold the post.

Marta Terry González

Marta Terry González (May 7, 1931 – June 18, 2018) was a Cuban librarian. She is known for her leadership of several important libraries in post-revolutionary Cuba, including those of the Junta Central de Planificación (JUCEPLAN), Casa de las Américas, and the National Library José Martí, as well as her role in the International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions (IFLA). In these roles, she worked with well-known Cuban revolutionaries such as Che Guevara and Haydée Santamaría.

National Library of Myanmar

The National Library of Myanmar, located in Yankin Township, Yangon, is the national library of Myanmar. Established in 1952, the National Library, along with Yangon University Library, is one of only two research libraries in Yangon. The library houses more than 220,000 books, divided into 10 sections.Its collection used to be about 618,000 books and periodicals as well as 15,800 rare and valuable manuscripts. However, in 2006, the military government announced a plan to move a large part of its collection to a new National Library in Nay Pyi Taw, and to auction off its 8-story building and 10-acre (4.0 ha) lot in Tamwe Township. In October 2008, the National Library was moved to its current location.

The library's current collection of ancient Burmese texts includes 16,066 palm-leaf inscriptions, 1972 parabaik (folded writing tablets made of paper, cloth or metal), and 345 handwritten scripts of famous writers. The library's preservation and conservation section, established in 1993, regularly maintains rare Burmese manuscripts. The library plans to offer an online catalogue.The National Library is a member of the International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions and National Libraries Group-Southeast Asia.

Palau Congressional Library

The Palau Congressional Library was founded on August 18, 1981, and is housed at the Palau National Congress in Koror. As of 1996, it was headed by Congressional Librarian Harry Besebes. It has a 5,000 item collection, with annual additions of 350. The library employs 2 staff members, both professional librarians.

The collection highlights legislation passed by the Congress, journals of sessions deliberation, committee reports on legislation, and directories.

In the facility, Congressional Clerks index Palau's parliamentary papers, and Legal Counsel staff perform their analysis and research. Members, parliamentary staff, and the public are all permitted to use the facilities.

The facilities were prompted by the Constitutional Government, newly installed on January 1, 1981.

According to a paper by Besebes on the library, prepared for the 62nd IFLA Conference, "The Congress Library is organized as one of the Joint Programs under the President of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Delegates. All reports and other matters pertaining to the Congress Library have to be approved by the President of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Delegates."

It is not a member of the International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions.

Robert Wedgeworth

Robert Wedgeworth is an American librarian who was the founding President of ProLiteracy Worldwide, an adult literacy organization. He is also a former executive director of the American Library Association, served as president of IFLA, served as Dean of the School of Library Service at Columbia University, and was university librarian at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. He has also authored and edited several major reference works, and has won many awards over the course of his career.

Universal Bibliographic Control

Universal Bibliographic Control (UBC) was a concept championed by the International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions (IFLA). Under the theoretical UBC, any document would only be cataloged once in its country of origin, and that record would then be available for the use of any library in the world.

During the 1970s, IFLA established an office for Universal Bibliographic Control.Dunsire, Hillman, Phipps, and Willer have suggested that Semantic Web technologies, including BIBFRAME may allow UBC.

World Book Capital

The success of World Book and Copyright Day, launched in 1996, encouraged UNESCO to develop the concept of World Book Capital City, selecting Madrid as the Capital for 2001. This was again a success, and so UNESCO's General Conference resolved to make the designation of a World Book Capital City an annual event.

UNESCO invited the International Publishers Association, the International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions and the International Booksellers Federation to participate in the nomination process, to ensure the three major branches of the book industry can participate in the decision.

The nomination does not include any financial prize; it rather acknowledges the best programmes dedicated to books and reading.


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