Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Thank you to the room of participants attending IFLA President-Elect, Ingrid Parent's Planning Session. Speakers provided examples of how libraries illustrate Ingrid's theme, "Libraries: A Force for Change." Sebastian Wilke, Convener of the New Professionals Special Interest Group, suggested that IFLA recruit and involve new professionals and connect them on a basic sense. His suggestions for doing so included: developing Web-based components to help new professionals get more involved in the IFLA network; improving on-site accessibility of conferences and events;  exploring future support, including mentoring programs such as “Adopt a Student.”

Richard Atuti, Director, Kenya National Library Service, provided an overview of plans, including the development of a national library, and other services within his country.
            Loida Garcia-Febo, Coordinator, New Americans Program, Queen’s Library, Jamaica, NY
gave examples of how her library saves lives. 47% of her library patrons are foreign born from 190 nations, speaking 160 languages. Examples of their services include an English for Your Health: a Health Literacy Curriculum for Beginning ESOL Learners. 

Anahera Morehu, Library Manager, Maori and Pasifika Services, U of Auckland, provided a summary of library services for Maori in Aotearoa/New Zealand. She asked:

How could you support the Education and Training section on providing a core element for professional development based on an indigenous knowledge paradigm?

How could IFLA support the IFLA Sig on Indigenous Matters to have the capability to become a Section?

Which recommendations from the IFLA SIG TF groups are you going to implement within your organization? When?

How could you integrate the understanding of indigenous knowledge paradigms within the information society? When?

Attendees then gathered in small groups to reflect on the theme, “Libraries: A Force for Change.” All attendees found the stories shared by the speakers inspiring and the theme resonated with their work—or their prospective work. There was a desire to document how libraries are forces for change through gathering stories or identifying metrics that libraries could use to document and assess their impact on communities. There was a desire to include newer members in the theme activities and to make sure that libraries are serving all of their communities, including those who are print disabled.  There was a desire to extend IFLA’s message within the organization and outside. In summary, the theme  can be expressed internally and externally, through soft messages and hard messages. As Anahera Morehu affirmed:  in bringing forth the IFLA President-Elect’s theme, “Libraries: A Force for Change,” “you need to be the force and that is where it starts.”