17 August 2021
From the Annual Conference
New Opportunities: Working with the IFLA Strategy for a Strong and United Library Field
IFLA WLIC provides a great opportunity to reaffirm the goals of the IFLA Strategy, and to accelerate our efforts to implement it.
In times of change and uncertainty, it is essential to draw on the full resources of the global library field in order to ensure a strong and sustainable future for our profession and institutions.
The 2021 World Library and Information Congress marks the second anniversary of the launch of IFLA’s Strategy 2019-24, a document designed to do just this.
A reference point for the field
The Strategy sets out a Vision – a strong and united library field powering literate, informed and participatory societies – and a Mission – to inspire, engage, enable and connect the field. Through four Strategic Directions, it establishes major areas of action, applicable not just at the global level, but through every part of the profession.
Each of these Directions – to strengthen the global voice of libraries, to inspire and enhance professional practice, to connect and enable the field, and to optimise our organisation – have four key initiatives, which in turn cover all of the individual actions that contribute to delivering the Strategy in concrete terms.
The Strategy provides both a reference point and a framework for identifying alignments, reinforcing collaboration and exploiting synergies. Crucially, it is not just a document for those who work within IFLA’s committees or Headquarters, but also for the library field as a whole, providing a roadmap for the journey to a successful future.
WLIC – advancing towards our goals
IFLA’s World Library and Information Congress this year, like every year, provides an important opportunity to advance towards the goals set out in the Strategy.
In part, it is the opportunity that WLIC provides to inspire and be inspired by the work of colleagues around the world.
It is also a chance to establish contacts and collaborations which can bear fruit well into the future, for the benefit for libraries and their users alike. Finding colleagues addressing the same priorities set out in the Strategy is a key first step towards creating partnerships.
Significantly, it is a time to reaffirm the connectedness and the unity of the global library field, as a unique and powerful resource supporting the work of professionals wherever they are in the world.
Accelerating our efforts
As we head towards the halfway point in the delivery of IFLA’s Strategy, the Congress will see many examples of successful implementation of, and engagement with, the Strategy and its goals.
Through the opportunity that WLIC provides to reach professionals around the world, building energy and connections, there is an opportunity to move up a gear. By making more of the potential of our global field, we can in turn build greater resilience and enhance performance for all.
We encourage everyone to look at examples of implementation of the IFLA Strategy to date, through our #IFLAFromHome series, and to reflect on them so you can join the many others on the journey.