IFLA and the global strategy work – IFLA Secretary General visiting the Swedish Library Association Annual Conference “Biblioteksdagarna 2019” in Helsingborg

Last week the Swedish library Association held it’s annual conference in Helsingborg, the city where I am working as the library director. The theme for the entire conference was competences and continuing professional development.

We were very happy that IFLA Secretary General Gerald Leitner was visiting our conference and also gave a speech at the General Assembly.

During the speech Secretary General was talking about the following.

IFLA is the global voice of libraries. The leading international body representing the interests of library and information services and their users. The voice can only be strong when supported on several levels. IFLA is an independent, non-profit organization with 1400 members in 146 countries.

IFLA has 60 standing committees involving 1200 experts and divided into five different Divisions.

We are living in a time of rapid change where libraries are of real importance. The internet is disrupting every media industry, the movie, film etc. But what does this mean to libraries?

Complaining is not a strategy. We have to come out of the comfort zone and start with a strategy. Secretary General also cited Abraham Lincoln “The best way to predict your future is to create it together”. And also said no library is an island, we can do the strategy together.

Therefore IFLA started the Global Vision work in 2017. This was a way to work on the global library mind-set and to do it together. A global answer to the challenges facing the library field from ever-increasing globalisation. A work to change IFLA into an open inclusive participatory organization.

Vision – Strategy – Action
A vision without execution is hallucination. We need to go from the vision we created together, to a strategy we create with a lot of contribution, and come to action. A call to everyone to work together with IFLA on this.

The Global Vision was followed by a Global Idea store – a contribution with 8500 ideas from around the world. In Athens there will be a launch of the ILFA Global Vision Ideas Store for Actions. There we all can get ideas from librarians all over the world.

In Athens also the IFLA Strategy 2019-2024 will be launched. From there we all need to come to action.

From my perspective as Library Director and incoming Division Chair IV and IFLA Governing Board member this mean that I need to make the IFLA vision and strategy work become part of both my IFLA work as well as in my daily work. I hope you all move to action in the same way. Together we will be strong!

/Catharina Isberg
Library Director Helsingborg City Libraries Sweden,
Secretary CPDWL, Convener CPDWL Coaching Iniative,
incoming Division Chair IV and IFLA Governing Board and Professional Committee member