Monthly Archives: January 2022

The 10-Minute International Librarian #82: Ask for a testimonial

It’s important for libraries to be able to tell the story of what they do.

Showing how a collection, a service or a programme can make a difference to someone’s life is a powerful way of explaining why our institutions and our profession matter.

You can find some great examples of this on the Library Map of the World for example.

But as we’ve already discussed in a previous exercise, sometimes the most powerful advocates for libraries are non-librarians.

Because while librarians advocating for libraries is to be expected, external support can provide key support, getting new groups to think about what is so important our work.

While they can be someone more famous, day-to-day users can also be effective, even only by providing a story of a positive experience that you can use in your work.

So for our 82nd 10-Minute International Librarian, ask for a testimonial.

Think if any of your users could record – in writing or on video – a short piece talking about how your work made a difference for them.

Be gentle about asking them, and explain why it will help ensure that they can continue to benefit from effective services into the future.

Give them the option to contribute in a way that works for them – submitting by e-mail, filling in a paper at the library, or recoding in the library itself.

Be clear about what you would use the testimonial for and encourage them to be brief and to the point in their words.

Let us know the best stories from users you have received in the comments box below.

Good luck!


This idea relates to the IFLA Strategy! Key Initiative 3.3: Empower the field at the national and regional levels

As we publish more ideas, you will be able to view these using the #10MinuteInternationalLibrarian tag on this blog, and of course on IFLA’s Ideas Store! Do also share your ideas in the comments box below!

Looking Ahead on Copyright in 2022

Even as it has added new complexity to law-making, the COVID-19 pandemic has shone a new light on the way that copyright regimes work, and how well able they are to flex to match an uncertain and changing world.

That they need to accommodate digital is clear, but there is still resistance to reproducing the sort of exceptions that already exist in the physical world. In some countries, worryingly, there is a growing readiness to attack libraries publicly around copyright issues (even on the basis of weak misunderstanding), something that perhaps betrays new levels of fear about the future. At the same time, there are new ways to enforce rights, stronger than those that existed previously, which in turn have their own potential consequences for libraries. Finally, there is the ongoing concern that zeal to regulate major internet platforms may have major negative consequences for non-commercial operators – both libraries themselves, and the platforms they rely on.

These issues will be felt first and foremost in public debate, but in particular in those countries where reforms are underway. In particular, this is the case in Australia, Nigeria, Namibia, Hong Kong (China), South Africa and Brazil, and we await the results of consultations in Canada. The European Union will also advance work on digital platforms, which is likely to shape approaches elsewhere, not least discussions in the United States with strong implications for how copyright is enforced on platforms.

It looks set to be another busy year.

Onsite vs Online Access: the combination of a pandemic that has forced the physical closure of libraries and laws that do not allow for remote access to library collections has proven frustrating over the last two years. Libraries, despite having legitimately acquired books and other materials, have been prevented from allowing their communities to use them. In many countries, digital access is still limited to computers on library premises – a complete non-solution in COVID times.

However, there are moves in a number of countries to extend the way in which we understand libraries (or other institutions, such as schools) to include remote access. In some cases, this is limited to those people who are affiliated in some way – for example, the European Union’s Directive on Copyright in the Digital Single Market proposes that access can take place through secure networks. Proposals in Australia only talk more broadly about taking reasonable steps to avoid infringements, with restricting use to registered library users mentioned as one means of doing this.

The possibility for libraries are able to give access to their collections digitally is certainly something that we can hope see advanced in 2022, drawing on the lessons of the pandemic. The traditional argument that the need to visit a library represents a sort of ‘friction’ that means that libraries do not compete with the market was already questionable, firstly because this ‘friction’ would be felt more by some than others (not people living far from a library, or with disabilities), but also because the substitution effect of library lending for sales still has not been conclusively demonstrated (and indeed, lending may well support sales).

Tensions grow: the state of relations between libraries and publishers has swung back and forth in recent years, with the low point of the embargo imposed by Macmillan rapidly replaced with much more positive news as the world entered lockdown, and wider and cheaper access was offered. However, and perhaps inevitably, special offers have not necessarily lasted, and the old challenges – refusals to license, restrictive terms, and high prices – have returned to the scene. With libraries likely to continue doing a lot of work digitally, the costs and terms associated with digital content will only become more important.

There has been notable success on both sides of the Atlantic in the past year, with a number of states in the US passing laws enforcing the right of libraries to licence eBooks under reasonable terms, while a similar proposal made significant progress in Germany before elections got in the way. However, these efforts have faced angry and frantic opposition, leading the Governor of New York state to veto a bill there. In Germany, a public campaign was even launched by rightholders, opposing calls for reasonable access to eBooks.

In the meanwhile, we have also seen strong opposition (including an anthology) to a move that would have allowed access to books that the National Library of New Zealand would otherwise have had to divest, effectively placing the principle of copyright over books that were long out of print ahead of their ongoing retention or access.

Sadly, these campaigns seem often to be built on a misleading presentation of what is being called for by libraries, and a disregard for the importance of equitable access to information. It has to be hoped that 2022 will be a year of greater readiness to step back from dramatic arguments, and to focus more on finding an optimal situation for all.

Zero tolerance: copyright offers very extensive powers to those who hold it, both in terms of what they are allowed to control, and the duration for which they can do it. In a physical world, many of these powers were hard to enforce – traditional means of copying did not leave a trail, meaning that enforcement efforts focused on significant commercial infringement. Furthermore, the challenges involved with going through the courts similarly meant that it was not worth trying to pursue smaller players.

However, technological tools have long since brought in new possibilities to monitor use and potential infringements (even if the long discussions about upload filters in the context of the Directive on Copyright in the Digital Single Market made clear that such filters are far from able to determine whether a use is legitimate or not), leading to what was already described in 2018 as the ‘demise of toleration’. Added to this, the creation of ‘small claims’ courts in the US makes it easier, potentially, to pursue smaller operators.

Coupled with the rhetoric that every use of a copyrighted work requires compensation (which conveniently ignores both the emphasis on ‘free uses’ in the Berne Convention, and the establishment of rights of access alongside rights of compensation in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights), this potentially opens the door to increased efforts to penalise any infringement (or perceived infringement) of copyright severely. A key expression of this is likely to be in the types of platform relation increasingly being in different countries around the world, following the model of the EU’s Directive on Copyright in the Digital Single Market. The pressure will be on platforms to take on the sort of policing role usually left to public authorities, with the expectation that they use technological tools to spot infringements, even only very minor ones, or those carried out in good faith.

Crucially, in addition to having a chilling effect on decisions around using copyrighted works, this approach may well also serve to deepen inequalities, with only better funded players able either to take the risks, or to pay for broad licences which offer them adequate protection against liability. It will become all the more important to ensure clear rights for users, as well as protections for libraries and others when acting in good faith.

More blockchain: with new money flowing into ‘web3’ business models, we’re likely to see a resurgence of talk about how blockchain might be used. Clearly, web3 in general has its critics, ranging from those who question how novel it is, to those who ask what difference it is likely to make in reality, or who point out the risks of it concentrating power in the hands of those who already have it.

However, with potential investment funding available, as well as confused attempts to turn copyrighted works into non-fungible tokens (or at least to link the two), there remains the underlying concern that a shift to blockchain and a model focused on using technology, rather than law, to set out the rules of the game risks undermining the role of governments in ensuring fairness.

Of course, with many arguments for web3 based on a sense that institutions are untrustworthy – and indeed that we need to get rid of the need to trust, and instead be able to depend on things happening correctly – it is perhaps normal to want to exclude government. However, copyright in particular depends on achieving a balance that, it feels, blockchain and micro-contracts may struggle to achieve. The risk is that web3 applications rigidly enforce the ‘rights’ side of the picture, without considering the exceptions on which libraries and users depend.

Avoiding collateral: finally, and following a point already made above, the drive to regulate platforms will continue apace in 2022, with the European Union’s Digital Services Act and Digital Markets Acts scheduled to be agreed, ongoing drives to reform Section 230 in the United States, and the subject coming up regularly in reforms elsewhere.

Major internet platforms are tempting, and often well-justified targets, given their significant market power, and degree of control over so many aspects of people’s lives. Breaking them up, or imposing stricter rules that allow users greater freedom to move and choose, may well be positive outcomes for societies as a whole. Indeed, their power is one of the things driving interest in web3 mentioned above.

At the same time, in the excitement of efforts to regulate platforms, it can be all too easy to apply major new restrictions or liabilities on much smaller, non-profit entities which operate platforms, such as repositories or digital libraries, book review sites or similar. These are clearly not in any position to take on the same sort of responsibilities as multi-billion dollar companies – for example to implement filtering technology, or to respond to notifications within hours or even minutes.

The challenge is that those calling for reforms too often have little awareness of the risk of collateral damage, or even interest in preventing it. An important role for libraries and others in 2022 will be to make sure that the lawmakers involved in this work do understand the implications of the decisions they make, and ensure that in looking to regulate the power of platforms, they do not end up causing harm to education, research and culture institutions and infrastructures.

The 10-Minute Digital Librarian #11: Discover collaborative tools for developing documents

After series of posts focusing on using digital tools to communicate your work, and how to keep yourself and users safe online, the next series of five 10-Minute Digital Librarian focuses on tools that are available to you, for free, in order to get more done, in particular with other people.

In doing so, it draws heavily – as does the whole series! – on the original ’23 Things’ developed by Hélène Blowers, which focused on useful tools available to library and information workers in order to help them in their work.

This post focuses on what is available in order to support collaborative drafting of documents. This refers to tools that allow documents to be shared with others, and for comments, suggestions and edits to be made ‘live’ by others.

Of course, many of you will already be familiar with these in one way or another, although will also come across situations where documents are still sent forwards and backwards as attachments.

In addition to reducing the burden on inboxes, collaborative drafting also helps to avoid trying to reconcile different sets of comments, allows participants to engage more directly with the views of others, and can automatically allow for a form of version control.

It can be used for developing plans, statements, reports or other materials that benefit from having a variety of views shared, as well as demonstrating a more inclusive approach.

In addition to business tools provided for cooperation within organisations, perhaps the most widely used tool here is GoogleDocs, which allows for free use to anyone with a Google account.

However, Google is far from the only player on the market, and many can feel uncomfortable using it. Furthermore, it is not necessarily the case that its services are offered in all countries, or are offered in a way that offers the levels of privacy that you may want.

Free alternatives (or at least tools with free options) include Etherpad – an open source collaborative drafting tool – as well as potentially less well known ones like Draft or Zoho Docs. There are, of course, also paid options that exist.

Issues to think about when using these include:

How widely you want to share your text – you may want to make sure that only a smaller group of people have access, at least at an initial stage. For example, you may want to ensure that only your close team consults an initial draft, before seeking wider views. Look at settings for controlling access.

How changes are made – different tools have different ways of deciding whether people can make direct edits, or only suggestions on a document. Using a ‘suggestions’ mode allows for more transparency about changes, although can get confusing if there are a lot of them!

Version control – you may want to create new files from time to time, after rounds of comments. This can both increase transparency by allowing everyone to look back at how a document has developed, but also provide a means of avoiding re-opening discussions that have previously been closed.

Let us know about any other tools you would recommend in the comments box below!

Good luck!


If you are interested in issues around digital tools in libraries in general, you should take a look at the work of IFLA’s Information Technology Section.

Discover our full series of 10-Minute Digital Librarian posts, as well as our infographics.

10 Things in Our Common Agenda

 Our Common Agenda is the United Nations’ Secretary-General’s response to the Declaration made by Member States on the UN’s 75th Anniversary in 2020. It marks an important step from defining priorities to defining concrete actions that can strengthen both the UN, and broader efforts to achieve its objectives.

It complements key existing texts, not least the 2030 Agenda and its 17 Sustainable Development Goals, both by highlighting areas where there is a particular need for action, and proposing ways of ensuring that countries, together, can promote development more effectively.

The Agenda both has implications for libraries, and creates opportunities to underline how our institutions and profession contribute to global policy goals. As decisions are taken, and more detailed plans are put in place, there should be chances to contribute experience and perspectives, and seek recognition for our work.

IFLA has produced a briefing on Our Common Agenda that sets out in more detail the ideas and issues it covers. In this blog, we highlight ten key points that are relevant to libraries. You can draw on these points in your own engagement with local UN offices, or even in your advocacy, given how much support the Agenda offers for many library priorities:

 1) Renewing the social contract: Our Common Agenda emphasises the idea of a new social contract – a set of shared rules and values that provide a basis for government, and for relations between members of society. This, the report argues, needs to be founded on respect for rights (and access to justice), and on solidarity between the more and less fortunate. Crucially, such a social contract should offer a basis for quality public services.

Arguably, libraries (public and national libraries in particular) are part of such a social contract, provided by governments in order to provide opportunities for all to realise their rights, and their potential.

2) Combatting the infodemic: The report makes addressing the infodemic – the spread of misinformation – into a major priority, not just as concerns health, but across the board. It calls for steps both to ensure stronger scientific inputs into policy making, but also a code of conduct on the integrity of public information. There is blunt language about politicians and others who spread false information, with the Secretary General calling for it to be clear that it is wrong to lie.

For libraries, a greater focus on quality information and use of evidence vindicates the role of our profession, and will hopefully create new opportunities to ensure that this is recognised by decision-makers.

3) Universal connectivity: the Secretary General has also made universal internet connectivity a key part of Our Common Agenda, recognising how vital this is both for access to public services, and to wider economic, social and cultural opportunities. Connecting schools represents a particular priority, with more effective digital taxation seen as a way of paying for it.

Libraries have a long-standing, recognised role in supporting public access to the internet, as a stepping stone towards private access, or as a complement to it. It will be important to work to ensure that libraries are included in initiatives taking place under this heading.

4) Protecting rights, online and off: the report reiterates how central respect for human rights should be to all that governments do, echoing the 2030 Agenda. In particular, it calls for a Global Digital Compact, in order to find solutions to the challenges created by the behaviour of private and public actors alike. In particular, it warns about the impact of internet shutdowns, as well as more targeted blocking or filtering of content.

The need for the internet to work in support of human rights is a long-standing priority for libraries, and we bring important insights and perspectives. Libraries can also be key players in more community-based initiatives around information and connectivity, such as community networks or local archives.  

5) Thinking to the future: a large segment of the report is dedicated to making the future more present in policy discussions taking place today. One way of doing this is through intensifying work to draw on evidence and expert viewpoints in order to identify what the years to come could look like. In addition to doing this more at the UN itself, Our Common Agenda also advocates for boosting listening exercises, as well as those focused on envisioning the future.

Libraries are not only crucial players in ensuring that decision-makers have the information needed to think about the future, but can be important venues for involving communities in collective reflection. In many cases, public libraries already fulfil this function, giving an opportunity to share good practices and spread them further.

 6) Literacy matters: a further step in order better to integrate the future into present planning is by focusing on children, and giving everyone a better start in life. A key element of this is universal basic literacy, with it clear that many schools still don’t have the resources needed to provide this, even if children are able to attend. The answer will need to be a new drive to deliver skills, including through better focusing of aid budgets.

Globally, libraries have a key role in promoting literacy, both within schools and wider communities, that is often recognised in national literacy and reading strategies. It will be important now both to ensure that this is reflected at the global level, and to see how we can increase the impact of libraries’ work in this area.

7) A universal entitlement to lifelong learning: Our Common Agenda’s emphasis on education is not limited to children, but also recognises the situation and needs of adults faced with a world and employment market for which their previous education and experience may not have prepared them. Yet lifelong learning is too often under-supported compared with other policy areas – this needs to be corrected if everyone is to be able to play their part in sustainable development.

Libraries are both providers of, and portals to lifelong learning opportunities. We have a strong interest then both in promoting the idea of a universal entitlement as a goal, and contributing to efforts to define how it is delivered.  

 8) A more networked multilateralism: Our Common Agenda underlines that for success in delivering the goals of the United Nations, not least the Sustainable Development Goals, a full range of actors needs to be involved, including business, academics and civil society. Crucially, development cannot just be a top-down thing, but needs to mobilise different strengths and capabilities.

Beyond the work of library associations in engaging with discussions around implementation of the SDGs, this priority may support efforts to promote models of SDG delivery that mobilise libraries more effectively, drawing on their strengths in terms of collections, spaces and staff.

 9) Dedicated focal points for civil society: As part of the drive to ensure stronger participation of different stakeholders in delivering on policy goals, Our Common Agenda includes proposed steps to make it easier for civil society organisations to engage with UN agencies. A key one is the suggestion to name dedicated focal points who can organise opportunities to input, and make it easier to find out how to get involved.

For library associations, as civil society organisations, this development would be a helpful one, especially in more specialised or regional UN agencies. Once these are identified, it will be possible to focus advocacy more effectively, through understanding better what is possible.

10) The role of parliaments and local and regional governments: as part of its emphasis on the need to work with a wider range of stakeholders, the report highlights in particular the need to work more with Parliaments and regional governments, both of which have key roles, respectively, in designing and scrutinising policy, and in taking many of the actions needed to achieve development.

Libraries and research services have a particularly essential role in helping parliaments to do their jobs, while local and regional governments often have libraries under their direct responsibility, making them more aware of what our institutions can achieve. The focus on parliaments and local and regional governments offers new possibilities to demonstrate, and advocate for, the importance of libraries.

No, loss of access to information should not just be collateral damage: 10 years on from the SOPA-PIPA Internet blackout

Today marks 10 years since many major websites replaced their landing pages with black blocks or messages, in protest against efforts to pass laws in the United States that would have created dramatic new possibilities to block or otherwise damage websites accused of hosting copyright-infringing works.

The Stop Online Piracy Act and Protect Intellectual Property Acts were developed in response to fears that there were few ways to address piracy on websites outside of the United States. While domestic legislation (the Digital Millennium Copyright Act) did offer a means of calling for the removal of pirated content, the worry was that this was not doing the job.

To overcome this, the proposals focused on those aspects that could be more effectively controlled in the United States – the Domain Name System (DNS – which makes the links between the URLs we put in browser bars, and the series of numbers that takes you to content), search engines, advertisers and payment providers.

These tools were necessarily blunt – they could not focus on individual items of infringing content, but rather sites as a whole, regardless of how much legal content was there. Such sites would risk disappearing from search engine results, or simply not appearing when a user typed in the URL. Added to this was concern that meddling with the DNS could also create significant security questions.

In addition to this, the bills opened up the possibility not just for the US Attorney General to create a list of sites which would be subject to restrictions, with only vague definitions of which sites could be included. These rules would have applied to all sites, not even only the foreign-based sites which were the theoretical original target.

More worrying still, there would have been the possibility to seek court orders that would have prevented advertisers or payment providers from working with sites accused of infringement, without solid proof having been offered.

In short, while the bills may have led to the blocking of pirate sites or pirated content, it would likely have caused huge collateral damage, including to sites which in fact contain no pirated content at all. To turn this around, it would have had a huge impact on the possibilities open for people to create and share online, including, for example, repositories and digital libraries.

A post from the Electronic Frontier Foundation sets out what could have happened if the Bills had been passed, with sites hosting user-generated content slowly eliminated, and indeed only the best-funded sites ready to operate under the new rules.

Various events and activities are taking place around the world, for example organised by Creative Commons – take a look to find out more. But below are just a few lessons emerging from the events around PIPA and SOPA, as well as developments over the last ten years, which are relevant to libraries.

Access to information needs to be valued: a key problem with the PIPA and SOPA legislation was the failure to consider the negative impacts on access to information as a sufficiently serious problem to stop any earlier.

There are many claims shared about the value of the copyright industries, and assessments of the costs of piracy, but many fewer about the value of access to information itself. This is partly because it is far harder to calculate (without over-stating the accuracy of the value claims mentioned earlier), but also because it tends to be far more widely dispersed.

While there are calculations of the value of economic activities depending on fair use or other exceptions to copyright, these of course do not necessarily account for the broader benefits of access to learners, researchers, and indeed readers in general. More needs to be done to ensure that this access is given its due weight in decision-making.

Enforcement cannot ignore equilibrium or equitable process: PIPA and SOPA arguably represented a landmark in efforts to promote copyright enforcement, without regard to the costs of depriving people of access to information (as mentioned in the previous point), or indeed of whether there is any justification.

However, efforts to find new ways to enforce copyright law have continued, and alongside valid and proportionate approaches, there continue to be less discriminate ones. The creation of ‘watch lists’, based only on (untested) accusations made by individuals and companies, pressuring platforms into implementing imperfect upload filters, promoting the use of technological protection measures without consideration of whether they prevent legitimate uses – all represent efforts at enforcement without bothering to value access.

Such a disproportionate emphasis on enforcement, without respect for user rights, needs to be resisted, both in domestic policy, as well as in trade deals and international cooperation programmes.

Zero tolerance approaches have a chilling effect: by creating the possibility for sites to be ‘disappeared’ or otherwise penalised for hosting even only individual pieces of pirated content, SOPA and PIPA effectively promoted a zero-tolerance approach to copyright infringement.

While action in such situations may be justified in order to remove individual content, the risk of having entire websites taken down makes the cost of hosting infringing content, even inadvertently, so high as to dissuade many from even starting. Setting high fines or criminal penalties may have a similar impact.

This could be the case both for platforms used by libraries, as well as repositories run by libraries, where it is near to impossible to ensure that there is no infringing content at all there. Faced with this, the emergence of community-owned and run infrastructures risks being reversed and ended.

Decisions need to be global: there are two key reflections from the events around PIPA and SOPA. One is that it highlighted the general need for global internet governance, given that the tools available to individual countries are ill-suited to solving challenges associated with a global internet. The risk, in acting at the national level, is to splinter the internet between different jurisdictions (with standards often dictated by the biggest and richest players – arguably initially the United States, but now, Europe).

This, indeed, is why organisations like IFLA engage at the Internet Governance Forum and World Intellectual Property Organisation, as well as supporting regional engagement.

A connected concern is that the control of the US at the time over the Domain Name System meant that it had a unique possibility to interfere with a key part of the internet architecture. This, in turn, provides an argument for ensuring that this infrastructure is in global hands, not just that of any one player.


Of course, over the last ten years, more issues have emerged since then, including in particular the role of platforms, with business models which raise new questions, some of which may touch on copyright, but many of which belong more to the competition or anti-trust fields.

The size of platforms has meant that imposing rules on them risks becoming a proxy for addressing underlying problems, such as copyright infringement or hate-speech. Dislike and distrust of such platforms, in the light of their profits and practices, doubtless also helps in these efforts.  However, while certainly there can be no justification for business models based on promoting illegal content, this should not be a substitute for efforts to bring criminals to justice. There is also plenty else going on, around privacy, disinformation, and much more.

Nonetheless, the points set out all represent issues that were raised in the debates about SOPA and PIPA, ten years ago, which are arguably still with us.

The 10-Minute International Librarian #81: Discover your local Wikimedia chapter

A couple of days ago, the first #1Lib1Ref campaign of 2022 launched, encouraging librarians from around the world to add references to Wikipedia.

In this way, librarians help build and extend Wikipedia as a free and open source of reliable information for all able to access it.

Yet as already set out in our blog, people who are interested in going further than adding a reference have lots of options also!

You can create new articles – for example to provide information about underrepresented people or themes, contribute to projects such as WikiData – or even plan events.

But of course, the work of Wikimedia in promoting access to information takes place around the year, and you can get involved!

So for our 81st 10-Minute International Librarian exercise, discover your local Wikimedia chapter.

There are 38 chapters for different countries around the world, operating as independent organisations but aligned around the goals of the movement as a whole.

There are also many more user groups, many of which bring together Wikimedians in countries which do not yet have a chapter.

These groups get involved in projects and networks, such as the network for Galleries, Libraries, Archives and Museums (GLAMs), or WikiData as mentioned above.

In some cases, they are also in advocating for policy changes that favour access to knowledge, taking positions which are often strongly aligned with the interests and focus of libraries. As such, they can be powerful advocacy partners too!

Use the links above to find out what is going on in your country, and even get in touch!

Good luck!


This idea relates to the IFLA Strategy! Key Initiative 1.2: Build a strong presence in international organizations and meetings as a valued partner

As we publish more ideas, you will be able to view these using the #10MinuteInternationalLibrarian tag on this blog, and of course on IFLA’s Ideas Store! Do also share your ideas in the com

The 10-Minute International Librarian #80: Make a contact count

Librarianship is all about helping people to achieve their goals through meaningful access to information and knowledge.

It of course includes a wide range of roles, from the front desk or out among the stacks, to the conservation lab or the cataloguing room.

Nonetheless, in each case, it is through meeting people – in person on online, through direct conversation or through a user’s interaction with a service provided – that access is provided and supported.

Clearly, different members of the field will therefore be in contact with a greater or smaller number of users, in person or online, and they will interact in different ways.

The common thread, though, is the importance of ensuring that interactions are effective, and provide the support the user needs.

So for our 80th 10-Minute International Librarian exercise, make a contact count.

Think about how you approach a contact with someone (or design a service with which someone will interact). Is it having the effect you want on the user?

Is there anything that might be holding you – or them – back?

Are there alternative approaches that you could use, both in terms of what you are saying (or doing) and how?

Don’t forget that a satisfied user is also potentially an advocate for your services!

Let us know about how you have managed to make a contact count in the comments below.

Good luck!


This idea relates to the IFLA Strategy! Key Initiative 2.3: Develop standards, guidelines, and other materials that foster best professional practice

As we publish more ideas, you will be able to view these using the #10MinuteInternationalLibrarian tag on this blog, and of course on IFLA’s Ideas Store! Do also share your ideas in the com