Monthly Archives: December 2014

IFLA Sustainable Development Goals Efforts

LA has been working with the international library community—as well as civil society and member states—to develop its position on the creation of the new UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and help ensure that crucial elements such as access to information are included in the UN post-2015 Development Agenda. Throughout this process, it is important that libraries are seen as being part of the conversation.

Last week, an advance “Synthesis Report of the UN Secretary-General On the Post-2015 Agenda” was released. The Report outlines the priorities and main goals of the post-2015 UN Development Agenda and has a serious goal: to transform our economies, our environment, and our societies. IFLA welcomes the Report and the inclusion of access to information, and encourages the United Nations to recognise the role of access and skills as an essential pillar in the transformational agenda for sustainable development. Unfortunately, we are disappointed that the report lacks substance on the potential of ICTs for development.

We encourage the UN and its Member States to use the Lyon Declaration during the next stage of intergovernmental negotiations on the post-2015 development agenda to inform the inclusion of access to information, and the skills to use it effectively by:

·         Acknowledging the public’s right to access information and data, while respecting the right to individual privacy;

·         Recognising the important role of local authorities, information intermediaries and infrastructure such as ICTs and an open Internet as a means of implementation;

·         Adopting policy, standards and legislation to ensure the continued funding, integrity, preservation and provision of information by governments, and access by people;

·         Developing targets and indicators that enable measurement of the impact of access to information and data.

IFLA has already released a Toolkit to support library institutions and associations and other civil society organisations to advocate for access to information in the context of post-2015 UN Development Agenda—thereby empowering signatories of the Lyon Declaration to make the voice of the library community heard on a national level.

What next?

Following the publication of the final synthesis report at the end of December 2014, IFLA will produce a revised version of the Toolkit with specific talking points and examples to support meetings with member state representatives that library associations and institutions will organise in early 2015.

The final synthesis report will become the baseline for the negations and meetings that will take place throughout 2015, in the lead up to the Special Summit on Sustainable Development. IFLA will be participating in some of the meetings, including:

·         High-level thematic debate on the means of implementation for the post-2015 development agenda (February 2015)

·         Millennium Development Goals Report 2015 (July 2015)

·         Millennium Development Goals Gap Task Force Report (September 2015)

·         Special Summit on Sustainable Development (September 2015)

Read the full response online.


Canadian School Libraries Standards win award

The Canadian Library Association’s Leading Learning Project has been selected to receive the Ontario Library Association President’s Award for Exceptional Achievement at our Super Conference in January 2015. The President’s Award for Exceptional Achievement acknowledges an outstanding action or contribution that has in a major or unique way enhanced or furthered librarianship in Ontario. The selection is at the full discretion of the President of the OLA. Awards are only given if there is something of true historic significance to recognize.

The publication of Leading Learning: Standards of Practice for School Libraries in Canada is an event of true historic significance. As the document says, “Learners have a right to expect good school libraries in every school in Canada.” Standards can indeed help measure practice, but Leading Learning does much more. By focusing on the needs of the learner, Leading Learning provides a framework for growth. Every school, no matter the status of its library program, can find itself in this framework and decide on tangible steps for improvement. The development of Leading Learning brought together input from every province and territory in the country, and successfully developed standards for growth that are meaningful within this very disparate context. This is a remarkable achievement.

The Royal Society of Canada’s recently released expert panel report on the status and future of Canada’s libraries and archives made recommendations for improving standards for school library programs across the country. It cited Leading Learning and our own guideline document, Together for Learning: School Libraries and the Emergence of the Learning Commons as models for moving forward. In the Ontario context, Leading Learning provides a sympathetic framework for achieving the vision of Together for Learning , and as such, is particularly deserving of an award for enhancing or furthering librarianship in this province. It is also my hope that this award will help to advance the implementation of Leading Learning across the country and advocate for school library programs, particularly in light of the RSC’s recommendations.


Anita Brooks Kirkland
Consultant, Libraries & Learning

President, Ontario Library Association