Sinikka Sipilä

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Sinikka Sipilä
Sinikka Sipilä, présidente de l'IFLA - IFLA WLIC 2014 (14774573990).jpg
Sinikka Sipilä in 2014
President of the International Federation of Library Associations
Assumed office
Preceded byIngrid Parent
Succeeded byDonna Scheeder
Personal details

Sinikka Sipilä is a Finnish librarian, president of the International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions - IFLA[1] from 2013–2015 overseeing the Lyon Declaration global petition connecting library associations and librarians with the priorities of the UN Sustainable Development Goals. Sipila was IFLA president elect 2011–2013 and a member of the governing board from 2007–2011 and held the position of secretary general of the Finnish Library Association [2] 1997–2015.

Early life[edit]

Sipilä studied at Tampere University to gain a Master in Social Sciences, Library Science and Informatics.


Sipilä worked as librarian at Hämeenlinna City Library[3] and the University of Tampere [3]and later as manager of library cooperation with countries like Tanzania, Philippines, South Africa, Namibia, Senegal and Ghana and represented the Finnish library field at the World Summit on the Information Society - WSIS[4].

Finnish Library Association[edit]

Sipilä held the position of secretary general of the Finnish Library Association from 1997–2015[2] and was Co-Chair of the IFLA World Library and Information Congress 2012 in Helsinki.[5][3]

The International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions[edit]

Sipilä held numerous committee roles for the International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions (IFLA) including member of the Standing Committee and Chair of Management of Library Associations Section (MLAS); IFLA delegation to the UN World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS); on the IFLA Governing Board 2007-2013; and as IFLA President 2013-2015.[3]

IFLA Honorary Fellow, Sinikka Sipilä (centre) with IFLA Secretary General Gerald Leitner and IFLA President Glòria Pérez-Salmerón at the World Library and Information Conference, Kuala Lumpur, 2018

As president[6] of the International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions Sipilä chose the theme Strong Libraries, Strong Societies [7] to promote equal opportunities and equitable access to life-long learning and education and to promote informed citizens around the world who actively participate in their community and promote sustainable development, intellectual and economic growth as well as general well-being.[8]

During Sipilä's term as IFLA president, the United Nations 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development Goals started and IFLA joined this initiative[9]. This encouraged all libraries around the world aim to work towards the 17 Goals providing access to the information to their communities. Sipilä represented the library field at events including the International Conference Internet and the socio-cultural transformations in information society[10]. Sipilä was IFLA president when the Lyon Declaration[11] was launched and supported by more than 600 institutions around the world to improve access to information and development[12], based on the idea that the access to the information is a fundamental pillar to sustainable development[13].

Her president's meetings were held at Helsinki (2014)[14] and Istanbul (2015)[15] and the topics covered were "Strong Libraries – Strong Societies: Impact of Libraries on Society" for the first one and "The Art of Transforming Libraries" in the second one[16].

Sipilä completed her term as IFLA president in 2015 at the World Library Information Congress in Cape Town[17] and was succeeded by Donna Sheeder. Sipilä emphasized the role of the libraries in society, especially in Africa, based on active participation, freedom of expression and access to information, mentioned in the Cape Town Declaration[18]. She encouraged library associations and librarians to seek to be heard by politicians and decision-makers, in order not just to show the benefits of the libraries to society, but as key part to help achieve their mandates of fostering community development[19]. Sinikka Sipilä was made an IFLA Honorary Fellow in recognition of her distinguished service to IFLA.[3]


  1. ^ "IFLA Presidents". IFLA. Retrieved October 2, 2019.
  2. ^ a b "Finnish Library Association". In English - Suomen kirjastoseura. Retrieved 14 January 2020.
  3. ^ a b c d e IFLA. "Honorary Fellow Citation for Sinikka Sipilä" (PDF). IFLA.
  4. ^ "Toiminnanjohtaja Sinikka Sipilästä kirjastoneuvos". Suomen kirjastoseura. Retrieved 2020-01-25.
  5. ^ Ruhanen, Tuula (2012). "Behind the scenes of the IFLA 2012 Helsinki Conference". Signum.
  6. ^ Karhula, Päivikki (2012). "Strong libraries = strong societies: democratizing access to knowledge through libraries". Signum.
  7. ^ "Sinikka Sipilä (2013-2015)". IFLA. Retrieved 14 January 2020.
  8. ^ Sipilä, Sinikka (March 2013). "Strong libraries, strong societies". IFLA Journal. 39 (1): 79–79. doi:10.1177/0340035213477061. ISSN 0340-0352.
  9. ^ "IFLA President's Program Reunites Leaders". American Libraries Magazine. Retrieved 2020-01-24.
  10. ^ "International Conference Internet and the socio-cultural transformations in information society" (PDF). UNESCO. Retrieved 2020-01-25.
  11. ^ Burnett, Anne (2015-07-01). "The Lyon Declaration on Access to Information and Development". Presentations.
  12. ^ "Signatories | The Lyon Declaration". Retrieved 2020-01-25.
  13. ^ "L'accès à l'information "est un pilier essentiel du développement durable"". (in French). Retrieved 2020-01-26.
  14. ^ "IFLA President's Meeting 2014". IFLA President's Meeting 2014. 2014-03-10. Retrieved 2020-01-29.
  15. ^ "IFLA President's Meeting 2015 - Istanbul, TURKEY". Retrieved 2020-01-29.
  16. ^ "IFLA -- Sinikka Sipilä (2013-2015)". Retrieved 2020-01-29.
  17. ^ "Rewarding the Past and Looking to the Future". American Libraries Magazine. Retrieved 2020-01-24.
  18. ^ "BUCM :: La biblioteca informa al bibliotecario :: Biblioteca Complutense". Retrieved 2020-01-26.
  19. ^ Sipilä, Sinikka (2015-03-11). "Strong libraries, strong societies". El Profesional de la Información. 24 (2): 95–102. doi:10.3145/epi.2015.mar.02. ISSN 1699-2407.