Monthly Archives: August 2022

#NWILL Conference & Copyright Resources

NWILL conference

This upcoming September I will be attending the Northwest Interlibrary Loan & Resource Sharing Conference also known as #NWILL. This online conference focuses on interlibrary loan (ILL), document delivery, and resource sharing. In my role as a library worker, I provide support in these areas so I look forward to learning how to develop better practices and streamline processes in serving patrons through ILL. I am thankful to the conference committee for providing a free scholarship for me to attend.

I’ve been attending the Virtual Copyright First Responders Series led by Kyle K. Courtney, a lawyer and librarian, and a Copyright Advisor for Harvard University. Here are the topics of discussion:

  • Practical Copyright for Libraries, Archives and Cultural Institutions
  • US Copyright 108
  • Fair Use, part 1
  • Fair Use, part 2 & the Right of First Sale/Licensing

Kyle has been very engaging in the sessions – covering these complex topics and making them very relevant. It’s very fascinating to learn more about copyright and how it affects our work in libraries and archives.

If you are interested in learning more about copyright, consider viewing these resources:

Copyright laws vary from country to country so if you have a particular resource from your own country that you refer to, please share in the comment box!

IFLA Guidelines for CPD: the imperative for high-quality online learning!

At the WLIC 2022 held in Dublin, CPDWL launched a new poster about the IFLA Guidelines for Continuing Professional Development: Principles and Best PracticesWhen the Guidelines for CPD were released in 2016, the authors, Jana Varlejs, Vivian Lewis, Susan Schnuer and Juanita Jara de Sumar, highlighted the importance of considering additional quality concerns relating to professional learning and development activities delivered in the online environment. These concerns became a stark reality when the COVID pandemic arrived in 2020. Across the globe, face-to-face CPD events could not longer be held, so they were either cancelled or they moved online.

The CPDWL Standing Committee was already planning to review and adapt the Guidelines for CPD for digital learning contexts. A small working group was given the challenge of undertaking the requisite research to identify and collate relevant resources that discussed the principles and best practices of virtual learning in the context of CPD, focusing on quality assurance standards and the cultural and linguistic differences in different regions of the world. To date, over 100 resources have been reviewed.

As part of the online WLIC in August 2021, CPDWL hosted a panel discussion entitled NOW – NEW – NEXT: Seizing the opportunities to redefine and reimagine professional development through online learning. There were five speakers who represented the different stakeholder groups outlined in the Guidelines document: Dr Matilde Fontanin for the Learners, Dr Alan Brine for the Employers, Associate Professor Naoki Matsumoto for Professional Associations, Professor Sandy Hirsh for LIS Educators, and Tony Zanders for LIS Training Providers. The panel members were invited to share their views about the value of the Guidelines for CPD in today’s world, and their perspectives about good practice for CPD in an online world. The main outcome from the panel discussion was that the Standing Committee’s ideas about updating the Guidelines was affirmed – but it was indeed “a really big job”.

Although the working group is still drafting the supplementary materials for the revisions to the Guidelines, the WLIC in Dublin provided the opportunity to develop a poster to present the key ideas. The notion of a poster was already very popular: the original Guidelines poster has already been translated into 36 languages.  Ivana Todorovic, one of the Standing Committee members who lives and works in Serbia, offered to be the creative mind to develop the poster, supported by Alan Brine and Gill Hallam It was an iterative process, but the final poster that was presented in Dublin by Alan Brine and other members of the Standing Committee, is eye catching, with an interesting, contemporary design and a clearly structured message.


The poster seeks to inspire library and information professionals globally to improve practice, adopt new technologies and adapt to a changing world. It is argued that CPD is a key element for the five stakeholder groups involved in learning and development. While the principles and best practices examined in the Guidelines remain valid, it is critical that LIS professionals promote high-quality digital learning environments by focusing on the introduction of more innovative content which is underpinned by open educational resources, and stimulating interactive and engaging learning experiences for all participants.

The principles for high quality online learning indicate that:

Learners should:

  • Ensure that they have good, reliable Internet connectivity
  • Plan their time and stay organised to ensure that they are committed to their online learning journey
  • Participate actively by engaging and collaborating with other learners.

Employers should:

  • Understand the value of high-quality learning activities for organisational outcomes
  • Encourage staff to value online professional learning as an intrinsic part of their career
  • Ensure that staff are given the time to schedule, attend and reflect on online CPD activities.

Library and information associations should:

  • Demonstrate leadership in establishing best practices for online CPD events
  • Provide a digital platform for members to record and present evidence of their online learning outcomes
  • Develop policies to recognise or accredit providers of high-quality online CPD activities.

Library and information educators should:

  • Develop digitally literate graduates who recognise the potential affordances of online professional learning
  • Model best practice in the design, delivery and management of their online courses
  • Invest themselves as online learners to keep up with developments in theory and practice.

Training providers should:

  • Make innovative, flexible and independent learning a priority
  • Ensure online learning strategies are accessible and inclusive for all learners
  • Create a social online environment to foster a vibrant learning community.

The new poster is being added to CPDWL’s publications in the IFLA repository and a template will be available so that it can be translated into many other languages. Can we beat the 36 languages achieved with the first poster?

If you would like to translate the poster to ensure that CPD in the digital learning environment is acknowledged as a critical enabler for a strong, agile and resilient LIS profession, please contact Gill Hallam (gillian [dot] hallam1 [at] bigpond [dot] com).

We are looking forward to hearing from you!


35 day of City Expo – Management Skills and Learning Opportunities

How do you manage during a 35 day long city fair which is the result of a 3 year long innovation journey? And what skills do you need to have in order to manage this?

In a previous blog post, Tina Haglund has described the H22 City Expo of Helsingborg Sweden.

In this blog post I follow up on this and reflect on the management skills needed and the learning opportunities the City Expo gave.

During the past years, all departments and employees of in the city of Helsingborg have had the opportunity to explore and apply for funding to test new ideas and innovations. The public library of Helsingborg has for example been working with co-creating together with citizens to find out the needs and ideas in a new (and rebuilt) library in 2026 Also the library has a project collaborating with the University of Lund, on “The sustainable/resilient workplace” Digidel 2.0, exploring how to develop the digital competence center of the library is another example of the work And many other innovations and development initiatives have been put in place.

The results of the innovation work so far was presented during various talks and presentations during the 35 days. This meant that at the same time as keeping business running as usual, the library staff also were involved in many different activities. At the same time employees could work as volunteers during the H22.

Of course this affected both the employeeship as well as leadership and management skills. All managers of the city of Helsingborg have, during the last three years, gone through a management skill program called “Samspel Helsingborg” (= interplay/interaction Helsingborg). This program has given us the skills needed in moving from New Public Management (NPM) into a Trust Based Management model and has been key to the success of the innovative movement.

The Trust Based Management model is something which have been worked on at the national level through a research based work “The Swedish Delegation of Trust”. The guiding principles in Trust Based Management is according to The Swedish Delegation of Trust:

  • Focus on the Citizen – their experience and knowledge, understand what is needed
  • Comprehensive/holistic view – everyone take responsibility for the whole
  • Space for action – delegate powers and mandates, welcome co-decisions
  • Support – closely as part of the core business (rather than central)
  • Knowledge – reward continuous learning
  • Openness – share information, welcome dissent and respect criticism

My reflections on some management skills that were of importance before, during and after this period of innovation and City Expo are:

  • Involvement in strategy and business plan – involve all staff in the strategical planning as well as the operational planning of the library business. Make real use of all the knowledge within the organization and ensure that everyone knows where we are heading. Follow up together with the staff, so that everyone see how the work proceeds.
  • A culture of participation – ensure to build a culture where both staff and users gets involved and participate in the development work.
  • Trust – really manage by trust and let go of control. Let the employees use their skills and solve different situations using their full potential and experience. Keep the written routines and rules to an absolute minimum as it is impossible to foresee what will happen and there is a risk that every situation makes you write a new routine instead of focusing on doing the job and solving the situation.
  • Brave – be brave and have the courage to let go of things. Delegate a lot and let others solve the issues in their way, using their skills and expertise. Be sure to enjoy when things turn up in another way than you expected.
  • Make mistakes and learn from them – ensure a culture where it’s really ok to make mistakes. A culture where you don’t try to avoid making mistakes or try to find who did the mistake and blame them. Instead celebrate the mistake and learn from it. Most important as a manager here is to really walk the talk and do the same thing as you say.
  • Communicative skills – keep the communication open and transparent in all directions so that everyone knows where to find the information needed and communicate when things needs to be acted on. Listen (don’t just hear) what people are communicating and act. Also use communication as a learning tool so that every day gives a learning experience.
  • Together – we do this together. This is really of utmost importance as no one can have all the skills, expertise, know the solutions and work on complex issues alone. No one has the answer by themselves. Especially the manager does not know everything in the complex world we are living in. Those working close to the library users usually are the ones with the best solution and they need to get the mandate and tools to act. Other businesses and organizations have skills within their areas. Find those, collaborate and network and make them flourish. We need to do it together.

For us at Helsingborg City Libraires it was also important to use the City Expo so that everyone within the staff could get the opportunity to learn new things from everything going on during the expo. We therefor decided that all staff could use up till 8 hours each, to take part and participate in different events to improve their skills and to get inspired by what others do. Often you can get new ideas for your library business by talking and listening to other kinds of services and see how they meet different challenges. We used this as a learning opportunity. And importantly, we did not ask for details on what the staff did, we trusted that they used this time to learn for their and the libraries’ future.

Further information on the H22 City Expo is available at:

Information on different innovations we have worked on in the city can be found at:

by Catharina Isberg, Library Director, Helsingborg Sweden

My reflections on receiving IFLA’s Scroll of Appreciation

contributed by Gill Hallam






The IFLA Scroll of Appreciation is awarded in recognition of the contribution of “an individual who has given distinguished service to IFLA as a volunteer engaged in a committee or group, in addition to efforts in fostering IFLA values” [1].  At the closing ceremony of the WLIC in Dublin last month, three IFLA Scrolls of Appreciation were conferred: to Sanjay Kumar Bihani, to Sueli Mara Soares Pinto Ferreira, and to me. To be nominated for such a prestigious award was, firstly, an incredible surprise, and secondly, an incredible honour.

Very sadly, 2022 was the one year that I could not attend the WLIC, but I thank Christine Mackenzie, past-President of IFLA, for receiving the award on my behalf.

The citation states that this IFLA Scroll of Appreciation recognises “Gillian’s distinguished contribution, leadership and mentoring within IFLA, particularly capacity building and professional development. Her achievements have maximised the potential of individual librarians, as well as those involved in IFLA’s committees and in library associations across Asia and Oceania”.

These words are very humbling, because – just like all my friends and colleagues across the IFLA community – I have simply been doing what I love doing! Nevertheless, I am over the moon to know that through this award, IFLA  acknowledged the imperative for learning and development for  everyone working in the library and information profession!

I would argue that, for many years now, IFLA has been ‘my tribe’: my involvement in the organisation has provided  me with so many wonderful opportunities to connect and work with talented and passionate library and information professionals across the world. My own career has in fact been a very international one (I have been fortuntate to live and work in the United Kingdom, Europe, Africa, Asia, the Pacific Islands and Australia), so when I was introduced to IFLA’s activities by my colleagues with the Australian Library and Information Association (ALIA), Jennefer Nicholson and Christine Mackenzie, new energy was injected into my professional life.

My first job after migrating to Australia in the early 1980s was as a special librarian in the corporate sector in Brisbane. It was an exciting role, but as the solo librarian in the firm, I felt that the need to actively seek out like-minded LIS colleagues with whom I could explore and discuss professional issues. After becoming a member of ALIA as a new graduate, I discovered plenty of rewarding avenues to network and to contribute productively to the profession, and as my career evolved through the different roles as LIS practitioner, educator and researcher, there were opportunities to lead and to mentor others.

Certainly, my involvement with IFLA represented the chance to explore new and interesting activities. After initially serving as a member of the Standing Committee for the Section for Education and Training (SET), I joined the Section for Continuing Professional Development and Workplace Learning (CPDWL). Since 2015, I have served as ALIA’s nominee on the CPDWL Standing Committee.

It is really very hard NOT to get engaged with the work of CPDWL! Along with other members of the Standing Committee, I have been directly involved in so many great activities:

  • developing and updating of the IFLA Guidelines for Continuing Professional Development: Principles and Best Practices
  • translating the Guidelines for CPD poster into over 30 languages
  • planning and running the CPDWL open sessions at the WLIC, in partnership with other IFLA sections and SIGs
  • participating in the IFLA Coaching Initiative with the Management and Marketing Section
  • hosting a table at the Knowledge Café at the WLIC with the Knowledge Management Section
  • contributing to the New Librarians Global Connection webinars with the New Professionals SIG, supported by the American Library Association.
  • and much, much more…

Importantly, CPDWL’s satellite meetings have always provided smaller groups of people within and beyond IFLA to work closely together to plan and coordinate the specialised conference program, the most recent event held in Zagreb, Croatia (2019), in partnership with the Croatian Library Association.

The CPDWL team communicates to the world about all these activities through the CPDWL Newsletter and through its social media channels. In 2018, CPDWL was the inaugural winner of the IFLA Dynamic Unit and Impact Award, which recognises a section’s achievements in engaging members, developing strong identity and leadership, and communicating its activities within and beyond IFLA. Building on this success, in 2020 CPDWL received a special mention for the section’s excellent planning and clear and effective communication.

Beyond CPDWL, I also had the remarkable opportunity to contribute to IFLA’s  Building Strong Library Associations (BSLA) program, generously underwritten by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. My involvement included preparing 20 case studies to support and expand the workshop materials, and to develop the BSLA Train the Trainer program. As one of the core trainers in the BSLA program, I was exceptionally fortunate to work with enthusiastic and committed LIS professionals with:

  • the Ukrainian Library Association (ULA)
  • the Arab Federation of Library Institutions (AFLI)
  • the Sri Lankan Library Association (SLA)
  • the Nepal Library Association (NLA)
  • the Pacific Islands Association of Libraries, Museums and Archives (PIALA).

In addition I was able to collaborate with colleagues from across the world at IFLA’s own BSLA convenings held in Berlin, Manila and The Hague.

Over the years, I have learnt so much from other IFLA members and officers, from other BSLA trainers and from IFLA staff members: you have all helped me grow and develop personally and professionally. Without doubt, the amazing journey I have travelled has been a shared experience with you, all the friends I have in ‘my tribe’.  You all know who you are: you have brought so much richness to my career and to my life, and therefore I dedicate the IFLA Scroll of Appreciation I have been awarded to each and every one of you. See you all in Rotterdam next year to celebrate!