Monthly Archives: January 2015

Mid-Term Program Now Available


Members of IFLA’s Public Libraries Section are packing their bags in readiness for the upcoming Mid-Term meeting in Barcelona. As part of the Mid-Term the Barcelona Provincial Council in collaboration with the Consortium of Libraries of Barcelona and IFLA’s Public Libraries and Buidldings and Equipment Sections have developed a one day symposium New uses of the Public Library .

This will provide a space for reflection and debate on the new uses of the public Library , and how these changes affect service users and professionals and spaces without losing sight the importance of the value of libraries to the public.


National Libraries Day

Johnny Rotton


In a specially recorded message singer, songwriter and musician John Lydon, also known as Johnny Rotten, implores the UK to value its libraries and urges everyone to show their support on National Libraries Day, Saturday 7 February.

Crediting libraries and librarians for his recovery from memory loss after contracting meningitis as an eight year old, the audio message was recorded to mark the annual national celebration of libraries and library staff and follows the recent publication of Lydon’s autobiography, Anger is an Energy.  The recording will be available to listen to on Saturday 7 February via the National Libraries Day website.

7 February rounds off a week’s worth of celebrations hosted by libraries of all kinds around the UK for their communities, including a J.R.R. Tolkien trail walk, a school’s Guinness World Record attempt, stargazing and Warhammer and special appearances by local authors, historians and others.

Details of nationwide events are posted to the National Libraries Day online event map and people can show their support in person by joining a local event or by simply visiting their library during National Libraries Day week. Supporters can also share stories, messages and library ‘shelfies’ online and on social media.

First introduced in 2012, National Libraries Day is designed to say a collective thank-you to librarians and library staff everywhere and to raise awareness of the valued services they offer. Last year thousands of people took part in over 600 events and many public figures including well-known authors, illustrators, MPs and musicians sent messages of support.

Image source: “John Lydon Mosaic by Ed Chapman” by dullhunk, used under CC BY 2.0 / Background colour changed, text added and image cropped and resized


Statistical Profile Released


Metlib has announced that the Statistical Survey of the Metropolitan Libraries Section of IFLA for 2012 is now available. It was compiled by Auckland Libraries on behalf of the Section. There was a participation from 49 libraries from all over the world.

Due to lack of funding this year it was not possible to elaborate the usual indicators and rankings. Metlib is forming a working group with the Public Libraries Section and the Statistics and Evaluation Section to discuss and approve a valid set of indicators.

‘Public Libraries in the United States Survey’ Released


In 2012, Americans made 1.5 billion trips to public libraries in the United States—the equivalent of more than 4.1 million visits each day, according to new research by the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS). The research indicates there is still a high demand for the resources and services of the nation’s approximately 9,000 public libraries. IMLS released the report, Public Libraries in the United States Survey: Fiscal Year 2012, an analysis of the most comprehensive annual data collection of US public library statistics.

The Survey  examines when, where, and how library services are changing to meet the needs of the public. These data, supplied annually by more than 97 % of public libraries across the country, provide information that policymakers and practitioners can use to make informed decisions about the support and strategic management of libraries.

Technology facilitating access to information: libraries for development

The Public Libraries Section together with the Information Technology  Section, Asia and Oceania Section and the Library and Research Services for Parliaments Section are seeking proposals for papers to be presented at a session  Technology facilitating access to information: libraries for development during the IFLA World Library and Information Congress in Cape Town, South Africa 15-21, August 2015.

Libraries (and research centres) play a central role in facilitating access to information, particularly in supporting community-based solutions to meet the information needs around development. We are seeking papers that illustrate significant information technology projects that realize the principles of the Lyon Declaration in:

  • Helping citizens exercise their civil, political, economic, social and cultural rights
  • Ensuring accountability and transparency and good governance and empowerment
  • Illustrating practical application of technology supported by libraries in fostering development goals through access to information
  • Measuring progress on public and private commitments on sustainable development
  • Information technology enabling citizens to communicate and exchange information with government

The Lyon Declaration was launched at the IFLA congress in Lyon in August 2014.  This session provides an opportunity to share information technology projects that support the goals of this declaration.

Further information is available on the IFLA World Library and Information Congress  site



Announcing the Public Library Satellite, Cape Town


We’re excited!

After months of discussions the Public Libraries Section is delighted to announce that we will be hosting a Professional Development in Cape Town this August in partnership with the City of Cape Town Library Service and the Western Cape Provincial Library Services.

The two day workshop Public Libraries at the Crossroads will be held at the Goodwood Community Hall on Thursday 13- Friday 14 August. The Program will have a multi-pronged approach and will feature keynote speakers and workshop sessions allowing delegates to workshop solutions for service delivery options with their professional colleagues. Of most benefit to our delegates will be the opportunity to share and learn from others’ experiences. Further details will be released in the next few weeks.

We are delighted by the opportunity to work with our South African colleagues in developing a program that will stimulate, and at the same time provide practical solutions.

We’ll keep you posted!

‘Design thinking toolkit for libraries’ released


Aarhus Public Libraries has announced the release of the Design Thinking Toolkit for Libraries. The toolkit can be used by any front-line library staffer to adapt to library users’ changing needs.

Chicago Public Libraries and Aarhus Public Libraries worked with design company IDEO to find out how design thinking methods might best be adapted and applied to a library context. The final result is Design thinking for libraries, a comprehensive new resource for any library leader or staff member hoping to advance their library by using human-centred design methods.

The toolkit guides you through Design Thinking so you can start coming up with solutions to everyday challenges within the library. Design thinking, or human-centred design, is all about starting with people — the users that visit your library. IDEO have been using similar methods to envision new products, services, spaces, and experiences in other business areas. IDEO created this toolkit specifically for the library setting in close cooperation with the project teams in Chicago and Aarhus.

The toolkit comes in two parts: the toolkit guide, and the accompanying activities workbook. If you don’t have much time then download the ”At-a-Glance-Guide” which introduces how you might get started using design thinking over the course of one day.

The toolkit is created with funding from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation – The Global Libraries initiative.