International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions

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The International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions ( IFLA ) is the international association of library associations and institutions (also the official German name). IFLA was founded in Edinburgh (Scotland) in 1927 . The first presidents were Isak Collijn (1927-1931) and William Warner Bishop (1931-1936). There are currently 1,700 members from 150 countries representing approximately 500,000 libraries .

The purpose is to promote and develop quality library and information services of all kinds, to promote free access to information and to represent the interests of the library and documentation system in general. To achieve this goal, IFLA publishes publications, including the four-yearly trade journal, organizes seminars and workshops, and the annual World Congress (WLIC) in August. The IFLA General Assembly of Members, which, according to the IFLA Bylaws, is the association's highest governing body, is held annually during the World Congress.

The organization works with other international organizations such as UNESCO and the World Intellectual Property Organization ( WIPO ) and has observer status at the United Nations . The interests of the library and information sector are represented not only by IFLA but also by the European Bureau of Library, Information and Documentation Associations (EBLIDA). IFLA is a founding member of the culture protection organization Blue Shield International . In this context, national and international protection of libraries as part of the cultural heritage in wars, armed conflicts or disasters should be ensured (often together with UNESCO or the United Nations ).

The head office is in The Hague , with regional offices in Dakar , Singapore and Rio de Janeiro . The seven official IFLA languages ​​in which members communicate at conferences and meetings are Arabic, Chinese, German, English, French, Russian and Spanish. The current IFLA President since 2019 is the Australian Christine Mackenzie. Barbara Lison , Director of the Bremen City Library , is President-elect and will take over the office of President in 2021.


International order form (IFLA)

IFLA is divided into eight divisions:

Furthermore, these departments are divided into 45 sections. A large part of the technical work is done in the sections. For example, the specialist events during the WLIC are planned and carried out independently by the sections, the sections hold pre-conferences for their subject areas, organize their own working meetings (e.g. the so-called mid-term meetings) or prepare publications. The sections are headed by a steering group, the “Standing Committee”, for which elections are held every two years. In addition to the sections, there are committees on the main areas of activity ( core activities ) of the organization. These include the Free Access to Information and Freedom of Expression Committee , the Copyright and other Legal Matters Committee and the IFLA-CNDL Alliance for Bibliographic Standards .

IFLA World Congress and IFLA Presidency

IFLA organizes a world congress every year, which also includes the general assembly of members as the highest body of the association. The first congress took place in Rome in 1928 . Since then, the congress has taken place annually, with interruptions 1940–1946 because of the Second World War and in 2020 because of the COVID-19 pandemic .

IFLA Presidents have been in office for two years since 2003. They are elected and are president-elect for two years before their actual presidency.

Table of IFLA World Congresses and IFLA Presidencies
year Congress venue Hosting State Congress motto year Presidency

and possibly motto

Presidential country
1928 Rome Italy 1927-1931 Isak GA Collijn Sweden
1929 Rome Italy
1930 Stockholm Sweden
1931 Cheltenham United Kingdom
1932 Bern Switzerland 1931-1936 William Warner Bishop United States
1933 Chicago United States
Avignon France
1934 Madrid Spain
1935 Madrid Spain
1936 Warsaw Poland 1936-1947 Marcel Godet Switzerland
1937 Paris France
1938 Brussels Belgium
1939 The hague Netherlands
1947 Oslo Norway 1947-1951 Wilhelm Munthe Norway
1948 London United Kingdom
1949 Basel Switzerland
1950 London United Kingdom
1951 Rome Italy
1952 Copenhagen Sweden 1951-1958 Pierre Bourgeois Switzerland
1953 Vienna Austria
1954 Zagreb Croatia
1955 Brussels Belgium
1956 Munich Germany
1957 Paris France
1958 Madrid Spain
1959 Warsaw Poland 1959-1963 Gustav Hofmann Germany
1960 Lund Sweden
1961 Edinburgh United Kingdom
1962 Bern Switzerland
1963 Sofia Bulgaria
1964 Rome Italy 1963-1969 Sir Frank Francis United Kingdom
1965 Helsinki Finland
1966 The hague Netherlands Libraries and Documentation
1967 Toronto Canada Library Service for a Nation Covering a Large Geographical Area
1968 Frankfurt am Main Germany Books and Libraries in an Industrial Society
1969 Copenhagen Sweden Library Education and Research in Librarianship 1969-1974 Herman Liebaers Belgium
1970 Moscow Russia Lenin and Libraries
1971 Liverpool United Kingdom The Organization of the Library Profession
1972 Budapest Hungary Reading in a Changing World
1973 Grenoble France Reading in a Changing World
1974 Washington, DC United States National and International Library Planning
1975 Oslo Norway The Future of International Library Cooperation 1974-1979 Preben Kirkegaard Denmark
1976 Lausanne Switzerland IFLA
1977 Brussels Belgium Libraries for All: One World of Information, Culture and Learning
1978 Strbské Pleso Slovakia Universal Availability of Publications
1979 Copenhagen Sweden Library Legislation
1980 Manila Philippines Development of Libraries and Information Systems 1979-1985 Else Granheim Norway
1981 Leipzig Germany The Role of National Centers in National Library Development and in International Library Cooperation
1982 Montreal Canada Networks
1983 Munich Germany Libraries in a Technical World
1984 Nairobi Kenya Basis of Information Services for National Development
1985 Chicago United States Libraries and the Universal Availability of Information
1986 Tokyo Japan New Horizons of Librarianship towards the 21st Century 1985-1991 Hans-Peter Go Germany
1987 Brighton United Kingdom Libraries and Information Services in a Changing World
1988 Sydney Australia Living together: people, libraries, information
1989 Paris France Les Bibliothèques et l'information dans l'économie here, aujourd'hui et demain
1990 Stockholm Sweden Libraries: Information for Knowledge
1991 Moscow Russia Libraries and Culture: Their Relationship
1992 New Delhi India Library and Information Policy Perspectives 1991-1997 Robert Wedgeworth United States
1993 Barcelona Spain The Universal Library: Libraries as Centers for the Global Availability of Information
1994 Havana Cuba Libraries and Social Development
1995 Istanbul Turkey Libraries of the Future
1996 Beijing China The Challenge of Change
1997 Copenhagen Sweden Libraries and Information for Human Development
1998 Amsterdam Netherlands On Crossroads of Information and Culture 1997-2003 Christine Deschamps France
1999 Bangkok Thailand On the Threshold of a New Century: Libraries as Gateways to an Enlightened World
2000 Jerusalem Israel Information for Cooperation: Creating the Global Library of the Future
2001 Boston United States Libraries and Librarians: Making a Difference in the Knowledge Age
2002 Glasgow United Kingdom Libraries for Life: Democracy, Diversity, Delivery
2003 Berlin Germany Library as a portal: media - information - culture /

Access Point Library: Media - Information - Culture

2004 Buenos Aires Argentina Libraries: Tools for Education and Development 2003-2005 Kay Raseroka Botswana
2005 Oslo Norway Libraries - A voyage of discovery
2006 Seoul South Korea Libraries: Dynamic Engines for the Knowledge and Information Society 2005-2007 Alex Byrne Australia
2007 Durban South Africa Libraries for the future: Progress, Development and Partnerships
2008 Quebec Canada Libraries without borders: Navigating towards global understanding 2007-2009 Claudia Lux

"Libraries on the Agenda -
Libraries on the Agenda!"

2009 Milan Italy Libraries create futures: Building on cultural heritage
2010 Gothenburg Sweden Open access to knowledge - promoting sustainable 2009-2011 Ellen Tise "Libraries Driving Access to Knowledge" South Africa
2011 San Juan (Puerto Rico) United States Libraries beyond libraries: Integration, Innovation and Information for all
2012 Helsinki Finland Libraries Now! - Inspiring, surprising, empowering 2011-2013 Ingrid Parent "Libraries: Forces of Change -
Libraries: a force for change"
2013 Singapore Singapore Future Libraries: Infinite Possibilities
2014 Lyon France Libraries, Citizens, Societies: Confluence for Knowledge 2013-2015 Sinikka Sipilä "Strong Libraries,
Strong Societies -
Strong Libraries, Strong Societies"
2015 Cape Town South Africa Dynamic Libraries: Access, Development and Transformation
2016 Columbus United States Connections. Collaboration. Community. 2015-2017 Donna Scheeder

"Libraries: A Call to Action -
Libraries: A Call to Action"

United States
2017 Wroclaw Poland Libraries. Solidarity. Society.
2018 Kuala Lumpur Malaysia Transform Libraries, Transform Societies 2017-2019 Gloria Pérez-Salmerón

"Libraries: motors for change"

2019 Athens Greece Libraries: dialogue for change
2020 Dublin Ireland Inspire, Engage, Enable, Connect | The congress was canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic . 2019-2021 Christine Mackenzie

"Let's work together"

2021 Rotterdam Netherlands Let's work together!
2022 2021-2023 Barbara Lison Germany

IFLA National Committee in Germany (IFLA-NK)

The National Committee of IFLA in Germany (IFLA-NK) is the link between international and national specialist communities. Members of the IFLA-NK are the library umbrella organization BID , the dbv , the professional associations BIB and VDB , the libraries DNB , BSB , SBB-PK and SLUB , the Goethe-Institut , the Arbeitsgemeinschaft der Spezialbibliotheken (ASpB), the chairwoman of the IFLA National Committee and her deputy, as well as the secretariat of the IFLA National Committee, which however has no voting rights. The IFLA-NK tries to ensure that German libraries are adequately represented on IFLA bodies and that young librarians are interested in IFLA's work. To achieve these goals, the IFLA-NK organizes regular information events at library congresses and conferences, translates IFLA materials into German, and offers support and networking services for those active in committees.

Related organizations

Comparable international institutions from related fields include:

The International Federation for Information and Documentation (FID), founded by Paul Otlet in 1895 as the International Institute of Bibliography , ceased to exist in 2002.


  • Jeffrey M. Wilhite: 85 years IFLA. A history and chronology of sessions 1927 - 2012 . De Gruyter Saur, Berlin 2012. ISBN 978-3-11-025329-0

Web links

Commons : International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions  - collection of images, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  2. IFLA Journal ( ISSN  0340-0352 )
  3. ^ "World Library and Information Conference"
  4. ^ Language Policy. In: IFLA. IFLA Governing Board, September 26, 2019, accessed July 5, 2020 .
  5. World Congress Berlin 2003. In: IFLA in Germany. IFLA National Committee in Germany, accessed on July 5, 2020 (German).
  6. Ellen Tise
  7. Ingrid Parent
  8. Sinikka Sipilä ( Memento of the original from January 18, 2016 in the Internet Archive ) Info: The archive link was inserted automatically and has not yet been checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice.  @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot /
  9. IFLA World Library and Information Congress: 81st IFLA General Conference and Assembly | World Library and Information Congress. In: Retrieved May 16, 2016 .
  10. In: Retrieved May 16, 2016 .
  11. In: Retrieved November 25, 2019 .
  12. Christine Mackenzie, Gerald Leitner: IFLA World Library and Information Congress 2020 Canceled. In: IFLA. April 9, 2020, accessed on July 5, 2020 .
  13. ^ Members. In: IFLA in Germany. Retrieved on July 5, 2020 (German).