International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions

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International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions (IFLA)
International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions logo.png
Established 30 September 1927
Type International nongovernmental organization

The International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions (IFLA) is a leading international association of library organisations. It is a global voice of the library and information profession, and its annual conference provides a venue for librarians to learn from one another. The IFLA forum promotes international cooperation, research and development in all fields related to library activities. The current president of IFLA is Ingrid Parent. A very important and close partner of the IFLA is UNESCO. Several of the manifestos prepared by committees of the IFLA have been recognized as UNESCO manifestos.[1]

IFLA is part of the International Committee of the Blue Shield (ICBS), which works to protect the world's cultural heritage threatened by wars and natural disaster.


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 1,600 members in approximately 150 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[edit]

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[edit]

Committee on Copyright and other Legal Matters (CLM)[edit]

Copyright and intellectual property issues and laws have long been recognized important to the library profession.[3] 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 Intellectural Property Organization (WIPO).[4]

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

One of the core activities of IFLA is the Committee on Free Access to Information and Freedom of Expression,[5] 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.[6] 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.[7]

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.[8]

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.[9] 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)[edit]

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.[10]

Jay Jordan IFLA/OCLC Early Career Development Fellowship Program[edit]

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."[11] 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.

2015 IFLA/OCLC Fellows[edit]

Announced in August 2014, the five selected 2015 IFLA/OCLC Fellows are:[12]

  • Stanislava Gardaševic, Librarian, National Library of Serbia, Belgrade, Serbia
  • Ntombikayise Nomsa Mathabela, Assistant Librarian, University of Swaziland, Kwaluseni, Swaziland
  • Masimba Muziringa, Assistant Librarian, University of Zimbabwe Libraries, Harare, Zimbabwe
  • Martin Julius V. Perez, Archivist, Department of Foreign Affairs, Pasay City, Philippines
  • Sadaf Rafiq, Librarian, CMH Lahore Medical College & Institute of Dentistry, Lahore, Pakistan


See also[edit]


  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. ^ Rubin, Richard (2010). Foundations of Library and Information Science (3 ed.). New York: Neal-Schuman. p. 343. ISBN 978-1-55570-690-6. 
  4. ^ "Committee on Copyright and other Legal Matters (CLM)". International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions. 
  5. ^ FAIFE website
  6. ^ "About FAIFE". International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions. 
  7. ^ "Publications from FAIFE". International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions. 
  8. ^ "FAIFE Mission". International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions. 
  9. ^ IFEX website
  10. ^ "About the Preservation and Conservation Strategic Programme". International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions. 
  11. ^ "Jordan IFLA/OCLC Fellowship Program". Retrieved 2 September 2014. 
  12. ^ "Five librarians selected as 2015 IFLA/OCLC Fellows". Retrieved 2 September 2014. 

External links[edit]