Advancing IFLA’s Goals in World Regions (Crimea)

Advancing the Goals of IFLA and Libraries in our Regions

From 10-15 June, I had the opportunity to represent IFLA at the 20th annual Crimea International Library Conference, held in Sudak in Ukraine.

Founded and led by Dr. Yakov Shrayberg, facilitated by his indefatigable associate Ksenia Volkova, and coordinated by a large international planning committee, this event has become very well attended (some 1,000 participants), chiefly from Russia and Ukraine, but with a good helping of attendees from elsewhere in the world.  (Our regular dinner tablemates were Dr. Dennis Ocholla and his wife Ludmilla, a Kenyan-Russian librarian couple who do very interesting work at the University of Zululand in South Africa.)  The daytime program was heavily scheduled:  12-15 sessions overlapping for most of a week in hot (and humid) sunny weather on grounds that had once been a Soviet Communist Party resort.  I learned a great deal from attending, and when IFLA officers go to such things, we seek to advance awareness of issues on the IFLA agenda.

In IFLA’s case, we had a professional forum organized for the conference by Canada’s Francis Kirkwood.   After a introduction to and overview of the work and structure of IFLA, with particular emphasis on the work of the PC, I also presented the keynote in the Copyright Program, speaking about the proposed Treaty for Libraries (TLIB) that Winston Tabb, along with Stuart Hamilton, other CLM members, and partner library associations are piloting into broad and increasingly hopeful discussions in the WIPO Standing Committee on Copyright.  TLIB is one of IFLA’s most significant initiatives, critically important for the support it will give to readers’ and users’ rights to access and use information, particularly in many countries where copyright legislation is now not so advanced as it needs to be.  We were pleased by the large attendance at these sessions and the supportive response; it was also fascinating to hear Russian and Ukrainian colleagues’ wonderful presentations about copyright initiatives in their regions.

It’s in such settings that the work we talk about in the abstract at IFLA board and committee meetings reaches regional and local gatherings where action can be pursued.  IFLA is regularly invited by its association and library members to present at such venues, and IFLA colleagues are always carrying the banner for libraries in many parts of the world.

The Professional Committee (and this blog) are interested in how and when PC members are able to represent IFLA in their own parts of the world.  Let us know!

Ann Okerson

Chair of IFLA’s Professional Committee

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