IFLA GLOBAL VISION FOR LIBRARIES –
LIBRARIANS THROUGHOUT THE WORLD DISCUSS THE FUTURE OF LIBRARIES
Library professionals in every country, grouped in the International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions (IFLA), are brainstorming about the future of libraries with a view to developing a global library vision and eventually putting it in practice. IFLA believes that there is need to transform the profession of librarianship around the world. In an era characterized by globalization, digitization, migration and rapid social changes, librarians need to join forces. The challenges of an ever-increasing globalization can only be met and overcome by an inclusive, global response from a unified library field. Unless all librarians get united and connected, the library field will not be able to fulfill one of its true potentials to build literate, informed and participative societies.
IFLA is spearheading a worldwide movement in this connection to develop a global vision for libraries. This Global Vision discussion is bringing thousands of representatives of the library field worldwide to explore how a connected library field can meet the challenges of the future. The kick-off event took pace at Athens in Greece on 4 April 2017. IFLA is now facilitating this global discussion at a series of high-level meetings and workshops in different parts of the world. Numerous meetings and online threads [#iflaGlobalVision] led by librarians will build on the momentum started in Athens.
Six regional workshops have been scheduled and are ongoing. The exciting Global Vision journey around the world started with the first regional workshop in North America, at the Library of Congress, Washington DC on 3 May 2017. The second IFLA Global Vision Regional Workshop Africa took place on 14 and 15 May 2017. On 21 and 22 May the third IFLA Global Vision Regional Workshop Middle East was organized in Alexandria, Egypt. Three more such Regional Workshops have been scheduled as follows: on 8-9 June 2017 at Buenos Aires, Argentina for Latin America and the Caribbean countries; for Asia Oceania on 27-28 June at the National Library of Singapore; and for Europe on 5-6 July in Spain.
For the Global Vision Regional Workshop of Africa which took place on 14 and 15 May 2017 at the Djeuga Palace Hotel in Yaounde, Cameroon, Mauritius was represented by the President of the Library and Information Association of Mauritius. Over the course of these two days, African library community leaders from 37 countries brainstormed on how a United library field can tackle the challenges of the future. The African continental made a strong contribution to the global discussion.
A dedicated “Global Vision” website has been launched by IFLA to provide key information and support materials about the project that will allow active participation in identifying future challenges facing the library field and then, with the use of interactive online voting platform, prioritizing actions that a united and connected library field can take. Online voting will take place on the IFLA Global Vision website [https://globalvision.ifla.org] and will be launched in August 2017 during the IFLA World Library and Information Congress in Wroclaw, Poland.
Conclusions from all of these conversations will then be gathered and synthesized by IFLA in a transparent manner. This material will provide a basis for the IFLA Global Vision report which will be published in early 2018. Based on the report results, there will be a second round of meetings which will lead to the development of a work plan for how to achieve the collective vision identified in an aligned, collaborative way.