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2nd Forum on The Silk Road International Library Alliance 21 February 2019, Singapore

Thu, 28/03/2019 - 09:23

The 2nd Forum for the Silk Road International Library Alliance was held on 21 February 2019 at the National Library Building in Singapore. Hosted by the National Library Board, Singapore, it was convened in the afternoon after the conclusion of the 27th Conference of Directors of National Libraries in Asia and Oceania (CDNLAO) held earlier in the day.

The Silk Road International Library Alliance was founded on 28 May 2018 in Chengdu, China. It is an open platform for international library cooperation, with the aims of promoting cultural exchange and collaboration between libraries along the Silk Road and for the mutual development of library professionals.

Thirty-eight delegates from 20 countries attended the Forum, which focused on the initiatives and proposals to develop and support the alliance. The Forum commenced with a speech by Mr Rao Quan, Director of the National Library of China, followed by presentations from Ms Tan Huism, Director of the National Library, Singapore, and Mr Stuart J. Hamilton, Deputy Executive Director of the Qatar National Library.

Proposals for the development of the alliance by the National Library of China

Post establishment, the promotion of the alliance and its relevance to the library industry is vital to its development and to raise the alliance’s profile in the international circle as shared by Mr Rao Quan in his speech. The National Library of China has promoted the alliance at various international platforms including the 84th IFLA General Conference and Assembly in Kuala Lumpur in 2018. It has also introduced the alliance to government departments and embassies of other countries to advocate participation. The number of members in the alliance has increased to 27As a result of active promotional efforts.

On the future of the alliance, he noted that it faces challenges in seeing to the varied needs of its members and the transmission of information, owing to the diversity among its members. He raised several proposals to ensure the sustainable development of the alliance:

  1. form a secretariat within the National Library of China to take charge of daily operations in the alliance
  2. create communication platforms, specifically a newsletter and an expert database for various library professions such as cataloguing, preservation and conservation, international exchanges etc.
  3. strengthen cooperation, resource sharing and cultural exchange by building a digital library and collaborating on research, exhibitions and programmes
  4. organise professional training like seminars, exchanges and visits to uplift the proficiency of librarians
  5. welcome libraries that are keen to contribute to regional development to the alliance, regardless of whether they have historical connections to the Silk Road or not.

Mr Rao Quan spoke on the strategies for the sustainable development of the Silk Road International Library Alliance.

Programmes to engage the public and showcase Silk Road-related collections by the National Library Board, Singapore

Ms Tan Huism first touched on the National Library Singapore’s efforts in developing its print and digital collections on the contemporary Silk Road and the Belt and Road Initiative. She then outlined several well-received talks for the public that the National Library Board has conducted to raise the awareness of the Belt and Road Initiative. The talks, which were conducted in English and Chinese and helmed by both experts and subject librarians, featured the opportunities presented by the initiative and highlighted the National Library’s collections. On the digital front, she shared that the National Library has launched the Eye on Asia portal (www.eyeonasia.com) featuring resources on ASEAN countries, China and India, as well as resources on the Belt and Road Initiative.

She presented on increasing public awareness in the contemporary Silk Road through collections and programmes.

Digital resource sharing by the Qatar National Library

In his presentation, Mr Hamilton introduced the Qatar National Library which was officially opened in 2018. The library is building up its digital collection by working with other libraries to digitise materials relating to the history and culture of Qatar, which are then incorporated into the Qatar Digital Library (https://www.qdl.qa/en). In addition, it is looking at using digital storytelling to explore Qatar’s place in the history of the Silk Road through its collection. He encouraged members to adopt the digital storytelling approach so that resources could be combined and used to develop a joint digital library on the Silk Route. Lastly, Mr Hamilton concluded his presentation with an offer to host a symposium on library preservation and conservation for members.

Mr Stuart Hamilton recommended enhancing the accessibility 
of collections and sharing of resources through digital libraries.   



Thu, 28/03/2019 - 08:38

The constitution of the Republic of Indonesia asserts that one of objectives of the Republic of Indonesia is to develop the nation. One of the instruments in developing the nation is library. National Library of Indonesia was established on 17 May 1980 and has now been affirmed by Act No. 43 of the year 2007 concerning library which supports national library as patron of all libraries in Indonesia, This Bill declared that Indonesia is the only country that state library is a prime public service from central government into village government and its an obligation for all of the local leaders to provide good library services. The NLI also mandated the Depository Act that concerning printed and electronically recorded works which states the function of national library as central repository of nation’s cultural treasures.  National library is also supported by other acts, among others, Act No. 23 of the year 2014 concerning regional government in which we managed to confirm that library is a mandatory issue which must be funded by every government in province and regency levels. In addition, one of the privileges of National Library of Indonesia is that it is a non-ministry governmental institution directly under the president, in which director of national library directly reports to the president and coordinates with Ministry of Education and Culture.

National Library of Indonesia is well aware of the changes taking place around us brought about by the industry 4.0 and society 5.0 era. To facing the industry 4.0 era, National Library of Indonesia elaborates digital library through iPusnas. It is a mobile library application in which library users can read and interact with anyone as that in the social media. This application uses Digital Right Management which enables authors, publishers, and readers to connect and create technology ecosystem to adapt to industry 4.0 era in which artificial intelligent and big data are crucial. Until now ipusnas has more than 40.000 titles and 600.000 copies that are fully accessible to the people across our country.

Library is a social institution with a long history in community and is capable of standing against the test of time as the centre of knowledge and information capable of enlightening civilization. In its interaction with community, library intensely carries out information and knowledge dissemination. The society 5.0 era has changed community mindset about library, National Library of Indonesia is well aware that libraries in Indonesia have to transform not only to be information centre but also community place for dialogue, collaboration and cooperation in order to improve people’s welfare.

This programme has succeeded in creating positive impact on more than 14 million people, increasing quality of more than 5.000 librarians and implementing information technology system for 1.250 libraries in Indonesia. We are well aware of a number of challenges faced by the National Library, one of which is the advocacy for stakeholders from country to village levels. Through welfare improvement and community accompaniment in line with UN Sustainability Development Goals launched in 2016, National Library of Indonesia also focuses on how library remains relevant for communities today and the next 20 years.

National Library of Indonesia attempts to transform public libraries not only as places to provide knowledge for people but also to give them new experiences. In 2011, National Library of Indonesia and Coca Cola Foundation funded by Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation established PerpuSeru—a programme which expands its area of coverage to 80 regency libraries in Indonesia. Today, this programme already has of hundred libraries as partners and continues the selection process to other regional libraries that commit to transform their libraries to be ICT-based community learning centre which can help people get a better life. From this programme, National Library of Indonesia attempts to offer new methods to transform library to be a place to reduce the poverty of information and increase the quality of education, health and economic development of the communities in Indonesia by transforming regional and village libraries to be centre of innovation to fulfil community needs through improvement of access to relevant technology and services.

In addition, the National Library of Indonesia will continue to bring services closer to the community and provide guidance to public libraries through stimulus in the form of multimedia-based mobile libraries and motorcycle libraries as well as attempting to rebrand the library through reaches by reading ambassador and influencers in the social media that library is a fun place for learning, sharing experience and skills.

  Photos :

Figure 1. Ipusnas App

Figure 2. Social Inclusion Library as a part of Library Transformation Program in Sukamara District Central Borneo

Figure 3. Learning Space in Central Bengkulu District - Bengkulu Province

IFLA MetLib Conference 2019 in Helsinki - Registration now open!

Wed, 27/03/2019 - 21:27

Registration for the 2019 IFLA MetLib Conference is now open! 

The event will be held from May 8 to May 10 in Helsinki at the new iconic Helsinki Central Library Oodi (Töölönlahdenkatu 4, Helsinki, Finland). 

You will find all the information about the registration process on the MetLib 2019 webpages

We have a compelling program lined up for MetLib this year. Some highlights include:

  • Keynote speaker Eric Klinenberg
  • Helsinki City Library’s move to a floating colleciton
  • Behind the scenes tour of Oodi

We encourage MetLib participants to register and participate in the open international library conference Reshape, that takes place at Oodi on May 6-7.

See you in Helsinki!


The Story of the Lebanese National Library

Wed, 27/03/2019 - 17:32

Lebanon is a country in Western Asia. It is bordered by Syria to the north and east and occupied Palestine to the south, while the Mediterranean Sea is west. Lebanon’s special location at the crossroads of the East and West facilitated its rich history and shaped a cultural identity of religious and ethnic diversity. At just 10,452 km2, and with a population of 4 million, it is the smallest recognized sovereign state in the Asian continent.

The earliest evidence of civilization in Lebanon dates back more than seven thousand years when it was the home of the Phoenicians. Later, the region came under the rules of several civilization namely the Roman Empire, the Arabs, the Crusades, the Ottoman Empire (from 1516 to 1918), and France. Foreign troops withdrew completely from Lebanon in 1946.

Before the Lebanese Civil War (1975–1990), the country experienced a period of serenity and prosperity, driven by tourism, agriculture, commerce, and banking. Lebanon was referred to as the "Switzerland of the East" during the 1960s, and Beirut, the capital, was known as the “Paris of the Middle East".

With a unique culture, Lebanon was also considered as the center for learning and intellectual discourse that would spread the message of the importance of knowledge and education. Despite being one of the most important Arab countries in the field of publishing, establishing education institutions such as schools, universities and libraries, it was centered around foreign missionaries for over a century and a half. Accordingly, the first ever national library (per se) was founded in Beirut in early January 1921. Here is a brief review of its history and current status.

  1. The Foundation (1921-1939):

Viscount Philippe de Tarrazi (1865 – 1956), a bibliophile and a historian of the Arab press, founded the “Book House” in his own residence with his own personal collection, in 1919. His collection included, at the time, around 20,000 printed documents and nearly 3,000 manuscripts in several languages. In 1921, De Tarazi moved the library from his own residence to the building of the Prussion school known as the Diaconese School in central Beirut. He called it the “Grand Book House.” In 1922 the House was recognized by the local and French authorities and De Tarazi was appointed as Secretary General until 1939. During this period, he travelled extensively to Europe and Egypt to acquire new works and collect donations. The House suffered from chaos during his absence due to the neglect of staff. In 1924, the legal deposit began and in 1935 a decree to establish a National Library was issued. In 1937, the library with a collection of 32,000 books moved to the parliament building and remained in this location until the breakout of the civil war in 1975. At the age 75 De Tarazi resigned and the library was managed by several trustees.

Viscount Philippe de Tarrazi (1865 – 1956)

Diaconese School

The library inside the parliament building

           2.    The success and failure (1940-1975):     

With a collection of about 200,000 books or manuscripts, as well as a unique collection of archives such as administrative and historical documents left by the Turks in 1918 and valuable works of art, the library was considered an important reference for university graduates, teachers and administrators and university libraries. However, some of the trustees were not at the level of responsibility and enthusiasm of De Tarazi. This led to the disappearance of several valuable books, and the selling of Lebanese and Arabic newspapers during the paper crisis.

        3.     The civil war and its aftermath (1975-2006):

In 1975, battles raged in the center of Beirut where the National Library is located. It was severely damaged and was robbed twice. According to some officials, 1200 rare manuscripts were lost. In 1979, the government issued a decree to freeze the library activities. The collection was boxed and moved to the UNESCO building to preserve them; but the damage caused by the war was immense, which negatively affected their storage conditions (humidity and insects). Unfortunately, the war exploded everywhere in the country and the collection had to be relocated several times for safeguarding.

Damaged books

In 1999, and according to a report by the French National Library and the European Union, the Ministry of Culture announced that the rehabilitation of the National Library is a priority and the Faculty of Law at the Lebanese University in Sana'a, Beirut, was assigned as the final location of the National Library. However, the latter only took possession of the premises in 2006. 

Faculty of Law at the Lebanese University in Sana'a

In 2003, The National Library Rehabilitation Project was launched in 2003 for three years. The objective of the physical and intellectual treatment of groups, the training of human resources, the establishment of the National Library as an independent public institution, and the preparation of the engineering match. The European Union financed most of this project with a budget of €1,375,000, of which 80% was shared by the EU and 20% by the State.

Restoration work

In 2006, the Emir of Qatar, Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani, donated $25 million to the Lebanese Government for the construction of the future National Library.

Finally, and after being closed to the public for 39 years, the Lebanese National Library was reopened on December 4, 2018, with the mission to “preserve the essence of the Lebanese culture and making it accessible to nationals in the country and abroad through the collection, conservation and development of published literature related to Lebanon.”

    LNL Building


Reading area


طالب، أحمد. (خريف 1998). "المكتبة الوطنية: النشأة، الواقع والمرتجى" في نشرة جمعية المكتبات اللبنانية، مج 7، ع1، ص 27-


Hajj, Lama. (Dec. 4, 2018). Reopening of stunning Lebanese National Library. https://www.beirut.com/l/56879

“Inside the new Lebanese National Library.” (Nov. 11, 2016). http://www.beirutreport.com/2016/11/inside-the-new-lebanese-national-library.html

“Lebanese National Library finally opens its doors.” (Dec. 4, 2018).


“Lebanese National Library.” (Jan. 11, 2019). https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lebanese_National_Library

“The Lebanese National Library.” (2015). http://bnl.gov.lb/english/index.html

“Lebanese National Library just officially reopened.” (2018).  https://www.the961.com/news/lebanese-national-library-reopened

‘Lebanon.” (Feb. 28, 3019). https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lebanon

Stéphan-Hachem, Maud. (2005). “The Lebanese National Library”, BBF, 2005, n° 1, p. 48-53.


The Lebanese National Library: the Path

Wed, 27/03/2019 - 16:40

The Lebanese National Library was established in Beirut in 1921, with a personal collection of about twenty thousand (20,000) volumes donated by Philippe de Tarazi, the Lebanese philanthropist. His instruction was that his donation should form the core of what should be come the Great Library of Beirut. The collections grew over the years after the government issued an act in 1924 that a copy of every book published in Lebanon should be deposited in the library and a formal copyright deposit law issued in 1949 and modified in 1959. The national Library had a collection of over 200,000 volumes and over 2,000 of rare manuscripts. The civil war in Lebanon that broke out in 1975 and its social, economic, and political outcomes negatively impacted the development of libraries in general and the national library in particular. A great number of the collection especially the manuscripts were stolen and the rest was burned or had disappeared. The collections were moved many times before the government decided to store them in a section in Port Beirut where the restoration and the development of volumes began with a fund from the European Commission. The project was estimated at $7 million of which $1.5 million was donated by the European Commission and the rest to be provided by the government, private sectors and donors.

In 2005, the State of Qatar donated $25 million to renovate and develop the new site of the national library at the ancient building of the Faculty of Law of the Lebanese University at Sanayah-Beirut. The construction was completed in November 2017 but it was not until June 2018 before the various collections documents were transferred to the new building.

The official inauguration of the National Library took place on Tuesday December 4, 2018 after more than a decade of renovations and preparations.

Click on bnl.gov.lb for detailed information about the library,

National Library Board (NLB) Act

Wed, 27/03/2019 - 16:29

Good news from Singapore! The amendments to the National Library Board (NLB) Act were passed in the Singapore parliament last year and the National Library Board Singapore is pleased to inform that the amended NLB Act has taken effect from 31 January 2019. This is an important milestone for NLB - as custodians of Singapore's published heritage, the library now has the mandate to collect digital publications and Singapore websites to add to its rich heritage.

National Doctoral Symposium on Library Science (NDSLS-2018) held in Peking University, Beijing, China on 17-18 November 2018

Wed, 27/03/2019 - 15:58

The 12th National Doctoral Symposium on Library Science (NDSLS-2018) hosted by the Department of Information Management, Peking University was held with the theme, "The development of library science in the new era - new horizons, new ideas, new journeys" in Peking University, Beijing, China on 17-18 November 2018.  

The NDSLS-2018 aims at more effective integration on relevant research to open up the research field of library science and to explore the development trend of library science, and also strives to serve the construction and design of economic and social development and the decision-making in management.

The NDSLS-2018 makes it a goal to build an international academic exchange platform for improving the research and innovation ability of doctoral students. In addition to academic exchanges and expert reviews during the meeting, well-known international and Chinese scholars and industry experts in the field of library science, were also invited to make special reports on the NDSLS-2018.

The author of this article was invited as a keynote speaker on the NDSLS-2018 and delivered a talk on the Recent Trend of Town
Revitalization and Public Libraries.

The NDSLS-2018 has collected papers for doctoral students majoring in library science and related majors nationwide in China, and invited scholars in the field of library and information science. The expert review team conducted rigorous review of the collected papers and accepted 22 excellent papers. The authors of excellent accepted papers were invited to the NDSLS-2018.

After voting by the award committee of the NDSLS-2018, 2 first prizes, 3 second prizes and 4 third prizes were selected from the excellent papers, and the NDSLS-2018 issued a certificate of honor to the winners.

Doctoral students, teachers and invited speakers actively participated in various academic exchanges and activities during the NDSLS-2018.


Wed, 27/03/2019 - 15:34

Namaste and a very warm welcome to you all.

              I am happy to share with you the text of my address at the recent seminar on “Advancing Multiculturalism in Libraries: Partnership and Promotions” on 8th March 2019.  We are very pleased to associate with the National Library of the Philippines (NLP), Philippine Librarians Associations, Inc (PLAI), Central Bank of Philippines and Association of Librarians in Public Section, Inc, (ALPS) for this Seminar.

As you may all know, IFLA is the leading international body representing the interests of library and information services and their users. It is the global voice of the library and information profession. Founded in 1927, IFLA now has more than 1,400 Members in over 140 countries around the world.

IFLA - Asia and Oceania Section is one of the largest regional sections in IFLA. Its main objectives are to initiate, promote and facilitate the development of library and information services and the library profession in the Asia and Oceania region. The Asia and Oceania section represents 62 countries from Afghanistan to Yemen. The section has more than 300 registered members within IFLA from 46 member countries.

Now, I would like to take you to the history of relations between IFLA and Philippines. The 46th IFLA Session/General Conference held in Manila, Philippines in August 1980 was the first IFLA Conference held outside of Europe and North America and it was also the first in a developing country. The Conference was attended by 1237 participants representing 52 countries, again the largest number of participants in a session to date. The conference was held at Philippines International Convention Centre in Manila and the late His Excellency, Ferdinand Marcos, the then President of the Republic and First Lady, Emelda Marcos attended and officiated at the opening ceremony.

Thereafter, several other programmes and events were conducted in last few years with IFLA, including the milestone IFLA - Building Strong Library Associations programme event during May - June 2016 in Manila. This was the first ever BSLA Global Meeting, hosted by IFLA in partnership with the Philippine Librarians Association (PLAI).  IFLA President-elect, Christine Mechanize recently participated as a keynote speaker in PLAI Congress during November 2018.

Library Associations and Library Organizations are very important to keep pace with the new developments in the library and information profession. In this digital era, we need to update ourselves and keep pace with these developments. New developments in the production and dissemination of information are required in our profession. Mobile strategy is a must; more use of Social Media is needed; Face Book, Twitter and Videos on YouTube are needs of the hour; Open data is a fuel for innovators; Open Access Movement is gaining strength; Networking is a key to success for today’s professionals.

Traditionally, libraries have always been responsible for preserving information and providing access to information and resources. The library was a physical building, filled with books. The rise of the Internet put access at our fingertips; information became available everywhere. Navigating the endless sea of information required strong critical thinking skills to deliver quality search results. Librarians were already practicing evaluating the weight and accuracy of information from a variety of sources, taking responsibility to provide access to quality information. While the Internet was a compelling event for library transformation, they remain in a state of ongoing evolution. As technology advances and patron demands continue to change, the expectation of what a library should be and offer changes with them.

When we think of today’s innovative libraries, the ways we access, we process, and we use the information have changed in the libraries. Libraries are no longer just places to check out a book or to do homework; they are now meeting places, media centers, digital repositories, multi-cultural platforms and wonders of modern architecture and design.

I would like to thank the National Library of Philippines and my colleague in RSCAO Ms Dolores D Carungui for organizing this Seminar in collaboration with IFLA-Asia and Oceania Section.  

I would also like to thank the organizers for inviting me for the inaugural function.             

Thank you one and all.

Sanjay K Bihani




Global discussions around copyright continue next week in Geneva

Wed, 27/03/2019 - 15:01

The World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO)’s Standing Committee on Copyright and Related Rights (SCCR) will once again be focusing on exceptions and limitations for libraries next week.

IFLA will be there, and together with partner organisations, will call for positive progress on creating the legal framework our institutions need to fulfil their missions.

Where things stand

Member States have been discussing the topic of exceptions and limitations has been discussed for several sessions, with a focus on libraries, archives, museums and educational and research institutions.

A year ago, in order to encourage progress, the WIPO Secretariat proposed an action plan, setting out a programme  of studies, meetings and a conference on limitations and exceptions.

Last November, Professor Kenneth Crews delivered a first key element of this work – a typology for libraries.

Still on the agenda are three regional seminars which will take place in Singapore in April, in Kenya in June and in the Dominican Republic in July. These will look into the activities and needs of libraries in key world regions, and analyse whether the current exceptions and limitations regime is sufficient to meet them.

Our expectations

The success of the regional seminars, which will lead to an international conference in October is key to future progress at WIPO.

That is why at next week’s meeting, IFLA will be advocating for transparency in preparations for the regional seminars, and strong possibilities for the voice of our sector to be heard. We will also underline that the workshops should be focused on results, leading to documents which can inform future decision-making.

IFLA will also be working with member states to explain our position and our end goal of seeing meaningful international progress on limitations and exceptions for libraries, archives and museums. To do so, we will underline the need for up-to-date copyright laws, and the need for a global approach to facilitate cross-border cooperation.

How to get involved

Once again, IFLA has encouraged its members to reach out to their national representatives and support IFLA’s position ahead of the meeting.

You do not need to be in Geneva to engage in the discussions. Here’s what you can do:

  • Identify your national representatives to SCCR. Every UN member state is represented at WIPO, although not all attend. If you can’t find out from your copyright office, ask IFLA who went to the previous meeting. Write to them ahead of the meeting, highlighting what libraries are doing and what’s at stake.
  • Follow IFLA on social media. We’ll be using the hashtag #Copyright4Libraries during SCCR. Use the hashtag to share your own experience and examples of why we need a better copyright
  • Apply to join the IFLA CLM Network, a world-wide group of experts on copyright and libraries. You can share news on copyright reforms in your country, as well as receiving updates on our work with SCCR, and find many allies ready to help you in your own advocacy work.
  • Let IFLA know if there are any issues to raise with your representatives in Geneva. It may be difficult to contact senior officials at home, but within WIPO it can be easy, and we will be happy to do it on your behalf.
  • Let IFLA know what you’ve done! Share your stories and examples with us.
Learn more

Learn more about what IFLA is planning to do around the regional seminars. For general information about WIPO, read our Get into WIPO guide, or watch our webinar on the matter.

Tell us your story: Libraries and the Sustainable Development Goals

Wed, 27/03/2019 - 13:41

Dear Members,

IFLA Asia and Oceania Region

IFLA invited librarians and library advocates from all countries in April 2018, to share their stories about library activities, projects and programmes, showing their impact on communities and people’s lives. It has requested that this be done through the Library Map of the World (LMW) Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) Stories platform. IFLA has designed a practical guide to help librarians and library advocates to do so. Please click on the image below to access IFLA’s web page for more details.

We would like to share with you a story submitted by the Bogolubovo Library in Russian Federation; other examples are available on the LMW website. You may wish to draw reference from them when submitting your stories.                 

We strongly encourage you to participate by submitting your stories to librarymap@ifla.org. Let’s make it possible to have more stories online, and to build a stronger case for libraries that will support our collective library advocacy around the world.

Thank you.

Best regards,

Janice Ow

for Manager, IFLA Regional Office for Asia and Oceania

IFLA President’s Meeting 2019: Website Now Live!

Wed, 27/03/2019 - 08:00

IFLA’s President, Glòria Pérez-Salmerón, will host her second President’s Meeting in Buenos Aires, Argentina, on 23 May 2019. Find out more on the dedicated website.

Take advantage of early bird registration rate until 30 April 2019.

Motors of Change: Libraries and Sustainable Development

The United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are not just a major responsibility for governments, but are also a real opportunity for libraries.

They provide a framework for making development happen, with access to information at their core. As such, they offer libraries a key tool for thinking about library services, and the language to explain this to politicians.

Under the theme Motors of Change: Libraries and Sustainable Development, the 2019 IFLA President’s Meeting will be an opportunity to reflect on the connections between the work of libraries and development.

It will also discuss how our institutions can receive recognition and support as key partners for governments in achieving the SDGs, in Latin America and the Caribbean and across the world.

We are very grateful to the Library of the National Congress of Argentina for their support in organising this event. We could also not have done this without the support of Secretary of Culture of Argentina, the Mariano Moreno National Library and the Buenos Aires City Government.

For full details, visit the President’s Meeting website.

Glòria Pérez-Salmerón
IFLA President 2017-2019

Gerald Leitner
IFLA Secretary General

Reunión de la Presidenta de la IFLA 2019: ¡El sitio web ya está disponible!

Wed, 27/03/2019 - 08:00

La Presidenta de la IFLA, Glòria Pérez-Salmerón, celebrará su segunda reunión presidencial en Buenos Aires, Argentina, el 23 de mayo de 2019. Obtenga más información en el sitio web del evento.

Aproveche la tarifa de inscripción anticipada hasta el 30 de abril de 2019.

Motores de Cambio: Bibliotecas y Desarrollo Sostenible

Los Objetivos de Desarrollo Sostenible (ODS) de las Naciones Unidas no son solo una gran responsabilidad de los gobiernos, sino que también son una verdadera oportunidad para las bibliotecas.

Los ODS proporcionan un marco para el desarrollo, con el acceso a la información en el centro. Como tales, ofrecen a las bibliotecas una herramienta clave para pensar sobre los servicios bibliotecarios y el lenguaje para explicar esto a los hacedores de políticas.

Bajo el lema Motores de Cambio: Bibliotecas y Desarrollo Sostenible, la Reunión del Presidenta de la IFLA 2019 será una oportunidad para reflexionar sobre las conexiones entre el trabajo de las bibliotecas y el desarrollo.

También analizará cómo nuestras instituciones pueden recibir reconocimiento y apoyo como socios clave para que los gobiernos logren alcanzar los ODS, en América Latina y el Caribe, y en todo el mundo.

Estamos muy agradecidos a la Biblioteca del Congreso de la Nación Argentina por su apoyo en la organización de este evento. Tampoco podríamos llevarlo a cabo sin el apoyo de la Secretaría de Cultura de la Nación, la Biblioteca Nacional Mariano Moreno y el Gobierno de la Ciudad de Buenos Aires.

Para más detalles, visite el sitio web de la Reunión de la Presidenta.

Glòria Pérez-Salmerón
Presidenta de la IFLA 2017-2019

Gerald Leitner
Secretario General de la IFLA

EU Copyright Directive Adopted: The Fight for Libraries and Freedom of Speech Passes to the National Level

Wed, 27/03/2019 - 02:11

Today, the Plenary of the European Parliament adopted the Copyright Directive by a significantly reduced margin compared to previous votes. It will now be for libraries at the national level to make the most of new possibilities, while continuing the fight for freedom of expression.

The digital age has brought a rapid evolution in the way libraries can support their users.

IFLA has argued, around the world, for copyright laws that reflect these changes, both in recognising new uses, and in ensuring that library activities cannot be prevented by contract terms or digital locks.

While the draft Directive on copyright delivers on many of these priorities, it comes with a number of dangerous and poorly considered measures which pose a threat to freedom of expression, in Europe and globally.

There is comfort to be taken both from the much smaller majority in favour of the Directive this time (74, compared to 212). A previous motion in favour of taking separate votes on the most contentious articles was defeated by just 5 votes, and would have been successful but for mistakes by MEPs.

With final agreement of the Directive now likely, the focus will pass to national governments. They will have to take crucial decisions about how to implement the new rules. Libraries will need to make themselves heard in order to maximise the good, and fight the bad.

Gerald Leitner, IFLA Secretary General said:

Today’s vote in the European Parliament is disappointing, but we will not be giving up on freedom of speech. I look forward to working with our members to ensure that libraries across Europe benefit fully from the positives in the Directive, and to limiting the harm caused by Article 13. 

Putting Fear before Free Speech

The most high profile parts of the Directive aimed to deal with the perceived dominance of major internet platforms.

Article 11 (15 after renumbering) underlines that copyright can exist even in short ‘snippets’ of text from newspapers or other news sources. This affects, in particular, those used on news aggregators to offer readers enough information to know whether to click down or not.

While scientific journals are fortunately excluded from this provision, the article threatens many of the sites with which libraries work, and which help in promoting media literacy.

Article 13 (17 after renumbering) forces all by the youngest platforms to implement proactive filtering of content uploaded by users in order to prevent infringing material from appearing online.

While proclaiming to protect freedom of speech, the well-documented flaws of automatic filters inevitably means that legitimate free expression is at risk. While scientific and educational repositories are excluded, the same does not go for other platforms used by libraries.

IFLA, alongside a broad coalition of NGOs and academics, had called for its deletion.

Both articles, in fact, will likely benefit the major platforms, who are the only ones in a position to comply with the new rules. As such, they may even make competition issues worse.

Useful Steps for Libraries

Fortunately, libraries will see gains from other parts of the Directive.

A new exception will allow libraries, alongside research and other cultural heritage institutions to carry out text and data mining on works to which they have access. Others with legal access will be allowed to do the same, unless the rightholder has explicitly opted out.

Another new exception will clarify that libraries can preserve works in any format, offering welcome certainty for digitisation projects, including those involving cross-border collaboration.

An innovative measure ensures that where there are no collective management organisations in a given country and sector, libraries can use an exception to digitise and make available out-of-commerce works.

There is also new support for educational activities in libraries run under the authority of an educational institution, with the use of digital tools also allowed under an exception where adequate licences do not exist.

Finally, and in an important precedent, the above exceptions are, for the most part, protected from being blocked by contract terms or technological protection measures.

We will follow up with a more detailed analysis of the provisions and the changes they bring to cultural heritage institutions.

What Next?

The Directive needs to be implemented into national law within two years. This means that each Member State will need to open up a legislative process to make the necessary changes to their national law.

This will be importance, given the lack of detail in the Directive, and the need to take crucial decisions about how things will apply in reality.

Advocacy efforts to ensure the best results possible will be key at the national level. IFLA will engage with its members to assist and ensure this is the case.

IFLA ARL Webinar - The Future is a Moving Goal Post: Change Management in Academic Libraries

Sun, 24/03/2019 - 04:54

IFLA ARL Webinar Series

This session is the first in a series of presentations on topics relevant to Academic & Research Libraries. 

Title:  The Future is a Moving Goal Post: Change Management in Academic Libraries
Presenter:     Gulcin Cribb, University Librarian, Singapore Management University
Date & Time:    Apr 12, 2019 4:00 PM Singapore
Zoom link: https://zoom.us/j/554121093


Future is a moving goal post: academic libraries and change

Libraries and librarians have been going through major changes in recent times. Advocacy, marketing, promotion, communication, outreach, engagement, innovation, creation and demonstration of value for the stakeholders have never been more critical and urgent.

What are the reasons and drivers for change? How do libraries approach, plan, implement, and evaluate change and align themselves to their parent institutions? What types of communication with stakeholders (both external and internal) do we plan and use regarding change? What kind of leadership is needed for ‘change’ initiatives? How do we make sure that our talent pool possesses the skills, competencies and the culture to take ownership of these initiatives and implement the changes in a sustainable way? How do we inspire engagement, nurture thought leadership and advocacy, so that continuous change is owned and embedded, alongside agility and relevance to the current priorities of our parent institutions?

The presentation will address the above by focusing on what value the Library adds to its parent institution’s strategic vision using Singapore Management University as a case study. Areas of focus will be on learning spaces, the continuum of physical and virtual services/experiences, change management, communication strategies, staff development and strategic alliances.

Presenter Bio:

Gulcin Cribb is the University Librarian at Singapore Management University and has held that position since 2012. Prior to that, she was the Founding Director of Libraries at Ozyegin University in Istanbul, Turkey, from 2008 to 2011. Her previous roles include Director of Information Services (responsible for both Library and IT) at Bond University (2001-2008), and Executive Manager of Physical Sciences & Engineering Library (1996-2001) and Manager of Library Multimedia Services (1986-1996) at the University of Queensland in Australia

Gulcin’s roles has extensive experience in the areas of research support, publishing, digitisation, technology management, strategic management, innovation, learning spaces, information literacy, library-faculty-industry partnerships, marketing and virtual libraries. Gulcin has been involved in a number of ‘change management’ and space renovation initiatives in libraries in Australia, Turkey and Singapore.

Gulcin was previously a member of the IFLA Standing Committee for Academic and Research Libraries. She was listed in ‘Who’s Who of Australian Women - Leadership and Beyond, 2007 -2017.


This session is the first in a series of presentations on topics relevant to Academic & Research Libraries.  Look out for our next session in late April, when Ursula Arning will present an Introduction to Open Access.

Access under Threat: IFLA Underlines the Risks Posed by Article 13

Sun, 24/03/2019 - 03:17

Next week’s vote on the European Union’s Directive on Copyright in the Digital Single Market is an opportunity to advance the situation of libraries. But unless an Article which would effectively force the filtering of speech on the internet is removed, it could also do a lot of harm.

A decisive vote on the European Union’s new copyright Directive is due next week, after years of intense discussion.

The Directive includes valuable progress on key dossiers for libraries, making it easier to carry out text and data mining, preserve documents, and give access to works which are not available on the market.

Much of this is down to the work of IFLA and its partners, who have engaged with Member States, Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) and others to show the need for change.

Yet the Directive contains other measures which risk undermining fundamental freedoms online.

With internet platforms a key means of sharing ideas and creativity, it is important to take a proportionate approach to regulation of content.

Steps taken must not lead to the blocking of free speech, as would be inevitable under the current of Article 13 (renumbered to 17 in the voting document), a point already underlined by the UN Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Expression.

Organisations such as national Wikipedias and other platforms without the resources of the biggest market players (Google, Facebook etc) have underlined their concerns by replacing their sites with warnings of the impact of this provision.

A Directive without Article 13 would be the best way of protecting fundamental freedoms, while supporting libraries in their mission to drive education, preservation and innovation.

IFLA Secretary-General Gerald Leitner said:

If we don’t protect freedom of expression today, the libraries of tomorrow will not be able to fulfil their missions. To protect freedom of access to information, now and into the future, MEPs should pass the Copyright Directive without Article 13.

It is vital for Europe to get this right. The decisions made by MEPs net week will not only have a direct impact on what libraries and their users can do inside Europe, but also set an example for legislation elsewhere in the world.

Read more about IFLA’s work on the copyright reform. You can also read our most recent blog about the weakness of the arguments for Article 13.

Call for submissions: IFLA Metropolitan Libraries Short Film Award 2019

Fri, 22/03/2019 - 15:01
Sponsored by the Free Library of Philadelphia and Pikes Peak Library District





The award is part of “A Corto di libri”, a contest for short films about libraries and librarians, organized by Associazione Italiana Biblioteche (AIB).

The contest has three Sections (Fiction, Documentary and Advertising). 

The IFLA Metropolitan Libraries Short Film Award is given to the best short film about public libraries in large cities and metropolitan areas, among all the submitted films.

Everyone, as an individual or an institution, is eligible to apply.

Technical requirements

The film must be :

  • a maximum of 20 minutes in length for the Fiction and Documentary Sections and a maximum of 2 minutes for the Advertisement Section
  • licensed under a Creative Commons CC-BY4.0 license. Each participant must use music, images and films in the public domain or created for the film or include a signed permission from the rights holder; the entrant must obtain permission from each child or under-18 years old person who appears in the film.

In order to be selected for the IFLA Metropolitan Libraries Short Film Award entries in languages other than English must have English subtitles.

The Jury

The short films competing for the 2019 IFLA Metropolitan Libraries Short Film Award will be projected and voted by the participants of the IFLA MetLib Conference in Helsinki, Finland (May 8 – 10). 

In addition, the Chairs (or a delegate) of the following Sections' Standing Committees have the right to vote on-line:

  • Section on Audiovisual and Multimedia
  • Section on Metropolitan Libraries 
  • Section on Public Libraries
Criteria for selection of winner

Creativity and originality of the content; potential for library advocacy and marketing; technical level.


The winner of the IFLA Metropolitan Libraries Short Film Award will receive:

  • If a library, € 1,000 as a contribution to travel expenses to the IFLA World Library and Information Congress in Athens, Greece (August 24-30, 2019);
  • If an individual film-maker, € 1,000 in film-making equipment.

The winner will be announced and awarded at the IFLA World Library and Information Congress in Athens, Greece. An event is planned to be organized at a local public library during the Congress.

Read the complete Submission RulesEnglish | Italian

Download the application form here.

Applications must be submitted before 28 April 2019 to the following e-mail: acortodilibri@gmail.com

Films must be submitted in digital format (.mp4 or .avi) via online file transfer (FTP) or similar technology.


IFLA Section on Metropolitan Libraries
Corrado Di Tillio
E-mail: c.ditillio@bibliotechediroma.it

A Corto di Libri
E-mail: acortodilibri@gmail.com

IFLA Governing Board Elections 2019-2021

Fri, 22/03/2019 - 06:09

IFLA Governing Board Elections 2019-2021

IFLA Headquarters dispatched ballot papers and supporting documents for its Governing Board Elections 2019-2021 to Voting Members on 22 February 2019.

IFLA is on a journey to extend its reach and impact, and for this it needs energetic, committed and highly-competent individuals to serve on its Governing Board. Their skills and experience should represent all library types, professional specialisations and global regions.

With a new IFLA Strategic Framework on the way, these elections are extremely important for the future governance of IFLA. Take advantage of your IFLA Membership and exercise your right to vote!

Candidates for the position of Governing Board Member 2019-2021

Nafisah Binti Ahmad (Malaysia)

Antonia Arahova (Greece) 2nd Term

Huanwen Cheng (China) 2nd Term

Michael Dowling (United States) 2nd Term

Vadim Duda (Russian Federation)

Marwa El Sahn (Egypt) 2nd Term

Janet Fletcher (New Zealand)

Tomasz Gruszkowski (Poland)

Renaldas Gudauskas (Lithuania)

Jonathan Hernández-Pérez (Mexico)

Lisa Hinchliffe (United States)

Franck Hurinville (France)

Ayub Khan (United Kingdom)

Diane Koen (Canada)

Torbjörn Nilsson (Sweden) 2nd Term

Rocky Ralebipi-Simela (South Africa)

Knud Schulz (Denmark) 2nd Term

Sueli Mara Soares Pinto Ferreira (Brazil) 2nd Term

Silvia Stasselová (Slovakia)

Ai Cheng Tay (Singapore)

Minna von Zansen (Finland)

Maja Žumer (Slovenia) 2nd Term


To caste your ballots, please complete the original ballot paper. For the ballot to be valid, it must be signed by the authorised representative of the IFLA Member organisation or association. Only those Members who have paid their membership fees in full and who are not in arrears, are eligible to vote in these elections.

The deadline for the Governing Board elections is on 19 April 2019.

Ballot papers may be sent by Email in PDF format, FAX, or post:




[PDF format only]

+31 70 3834827

P.O. Box 95312
2509 CH The Hague
The Netherlands 

Thank you.

Best regards,

Janice Ow 
for Manager, IFLA Regional Office for Asia and Oceania




Newsletter on Digital Opportunities and Challenges: Call for papers

Wed, 20/03/2019 - 12:47

IFLA’s Standing Committee on Libraries for Children and Young Adults is seeking articles for our next newsletter about youth services librarianship and best practices from around the world linked to our theme, which is:

Digital Opportunities and Challenges for Library Services to Children and Youth.

If you’d like to contribute, please send a short description (about 100 words) of your proposed article to our information coordinator, Benjamin Scheffler bensche22ifla@gmail.com , by May 2nd. If selected, you will be asked to contribute a short article of up to 2,000 words, by June 2nd. 2019. Our goal is to have the newsletter ready for IFLA’s Annual Conference in Greece.


We look forward to your submissions!


IFLA 2019 Call For Papers - Last Reminder

Tue, 19/03/2019 - 20:30

A final reminder if you want to submit a proposal for a presentation or either the IFLAPARL or joint Government Libraries sessions at the 2019 IFLA Congress - the Call for Papers deadline for both sessions is now Friday 29th March.

The theme of the IFLAPARL session will be "Informing dialogue, enabling change" and we are looking for short presentations that share practical experience of how you have developed new products and services, or adapted existing ones, in response to new demands or changing expectations.  Further details can be found here

While the theme of our joint session with our Government Libraries colleagues will be "Libraries: dialogue for change - From gatekeeping to advocacy", which aims to share experience in helping to provide information and evidence to support the achievement of the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).  Further details of this session can be found on the WLIC website.

Register for the 2019 IFLAPARL Pre-Conference in Athens

Fri, 15/03/2019 - 21:53

To attend the pre-conference please complete the attached registration form:

Please return this form to Steve Wise (iflaparl.chair@gmail.com) no later than Friday, 31st May 2019. 

Further details of the pre-conference and programme are available on the Section's events page.