61st IFLA General Conference - Conference Proceedings - August 20-25, 1995
Introduction to Division 3.: Libraries Serving the General Public
Sissel Nilsen and Torny Kjekstad, Norwegian Library Association, Oslo, Norway
The Division groups together libraries serving the general public as well as special library services directed to specific groups of the general public, such as children, linguistic minorites, pe
ople with disabilities, people in hospital or prison.
The Division promotes the improvement of library services and information to all people, initiates projects, supervises their accomplishment and coordinates the activities of its Sections, Round Tab
les and Working Groups. In the recent years the Sections and Round Tables have more than before worked cross-divisional and are cooperating rather than competing.
During the last two-year period the Division has discussed and proposed a new Core programme for literacy and reading promotion through libraries. This basic idea of libraries playing a more import
ant role in combatting illiteracy throughout the world, is supported both by the Professional and the Executive Board, and to get this going a 2-3 three year project will be initiated, provided a hos
t could be found.
The Division has also, together with the Section of Public Libraries, contributed to the revision of the UNESCO Public Library Manifesto.
The Division which consists of ten Sections and Round Tables, is the largest of the IFLA divisions. Underneath we have compiled a brief report of the objectives and projects of the different bodi
es. Most of the Sections and Round Tables also publish newletters presenting trends and activities.
SECTION OF PUBLIC LIBRARIES
The section serves as a forum for all types of libraries serving the general public.
- to promote all matters concerning the provision of public library service in every environment, its objectives and policy, its theory and practice, its standards and techniques in cooperation
with the appropriate IFLA professional groups
- to arrange seminars on public library services and policy, particulary in developing countries, with a view to considering options which will lead to an improvement of public library provision<
- to raise the awareness of Public Libraries as places for people to meet, communicate and exchange ideas and as leisure centres
- To promote the new version of the UNESCO Public Libray Manifesto (1994)
* To test and develop Performance Measurement in Public Libraries
- To promote the effective use of information technology in Public Library services and explore the involvement of Public Libraries in the development of National Information Policies
- To make recommendations on the role of the public library in relation to formal and informal education
- Guidelines for Public Libraries. 1986. Will be revised.
- Measuring the Perforµance of Public Libraries UNESCO
- Guidelines for Public Libraries Promoting Literacy. By Barbro Thomas.UNESCO 1993.
- IFLA seminar:. Revision of the UNESCO Public Library
Manifesto '72. Report.Guimaraes, Portugal 1993. (Some
of the papers are also presented in Libri, volume 22,
no 2, 1994)
- UNESCO Public Library Manifesto. Brochure 1995.
- Report from the IFLA Pre-session seminar in Matanzas, Cuba will be published 1995
SECTION OF SCHOOL LIBRARIES
The use of school-libraries is the foundation for the use of all other libraries. In most countries this is the only place to reach all children.
Literacy is natured in the schools and is prerequisite for all subsequent library and information use. In a technological world where daily access to information becomes an essential tool, effective
school libraries have a significant contribution to make.
In schools the role of the school-librarians is to encourage reading for pleasure and information. Library programmes and library services are essential in meeting curriculum needs and the interests
of students and teachers . Vital to such provision is the existence of adequately-trained school librarians, appropriate government policy and effective links with the library and information infras
- to promote school library services to ensure that they meet the needs of all user groups
- to delineate the role of the school librarian
- to promote the role of school libraries
- to promote research in the field of school librarianship
- to assist school librarians in their professional development
- "School Libraries in the World" - where the main goal is to identify, collect and describe existing actual guidelines, standards and policies about school libraries.
Guidelines for the Education and Training of School Librarians. Will be revised in 1995.
Managing School Libraries. By Frances L.Carroll. 1990.
Cultural Heritage through Literature. Annotated bibliography of books from twenty-nine countries . Edited by Lucille C. Thomas. 1990.
SECTION OF CHILDREN'S LIBRARIES
The Section`s major purpose is to support the provision of library service to children throughout the world.
The main objectives are to promote international cooperation in the field of library services to children and to encourage the exchange of experience and research in all aspects of this subject
- to provide library services to all children and to adults concerned with children and books
- to provide resources to those involved in the production and study of children’s literature and materials
- International Research Abstracts: Youth Library Service (IRA-YLS ) is a prototype version now available on Internet. The database can be reached on the Internet through GOPHER. It is also ava
ilable in printed form and on computer disk. The project will be ongoing for a five year period.
- Guidelines for Children’s Library Services . Available in English, Spanish, Italian.
- Guidelines for Young Adults . A first draft has been sent out for comments and will be discussed at a Satellite-meeting in Athens and at the IFLA-conference in
Istanbul 1995. Will be printed in 1996.
- "Books for all", a joint project with IFLA and UNESCO which since 1973 has provided children and young people in developing countries with reading materials.
- Children's Literature Abstracts. Quarterly International Guide to Books and Periodical Articles about Children's Literature
- Guidelines for Children's Library Sevices
- International Research Abstracts: Youth Library Services. Computer database of research abstracts available in print or electronic format - soon to be available.
SECTION FOR LIBRARIES SERVING DISADVANTAGED PERSONS
The Section focuses on promoting library services to meet the needs of those groups in the community that for one reason or another are unable to to make use of the conventional library services, who
need support in using these services or who need library services which are adapted to their special needs. These groups include people in hospitals and prisons, the elderly in homes or day centre
s, the housebounds, the physically disabled, the deaf, the mentally retarded etc.
- to improve the availability of all forms of material for disadvantaged persons.
- to provide a forum for discussion on the reading problems of the disadvantaged
- to raise the awareness of the professionals and the development of educational and staff training materials in this field
- to develop guidelines to specific services
- to promote libraries in hospitals, prisons and other institutions and professionalism in this field
- Revising the guidelines for hospital libraries
- Revising and translating the guidelines for prison libraries
- Survey of library school curriculum on libray service to disadvantaged
- Establishing criteria, an international logo and international database for easy reader books and audiovisuals, as well as promoting easy reader publication in cooperation with the publishers.
SECTION OF LIBRARIES FOR THE BLIND
The Section reflects the interest in library services for the blind and other print-handicapped readers. It is a main purpose to promote national and international cooperation in this field and to
encourage research and development. The Section is also aiming at improving the availability and quality of materials for these groups.
- to implement standardization of materials
- to raise awareness of copyright issues
- to raise awareness of relaxation of postal regulations and customs laws
- to identfy the locations of special format collections for the blind and other print- handicapped readers
- Revision of the International Directory of Libraries for the Blind (new edition 1995)
- Monitor copyright legislation affecting the materials for the blind
- Determine a method of carrying forward recommendations of training of librarians in library schools
- Proceedings of the DehraDun Training Seminar, English and tape edition.
- Proceedings of the Barcelona Expert Meeting, English and Spanish edition
- Proceedings of the Latin American and Caribbean Training Seminar, English and Spanish edition
- Textbook on Library Services for Visually Handicapped Persons. (planned publication 1995)
SECTION ON LIBRARY SERVICES TO MULTICULTURAL POPULATIONS
The Section on Library Services to Multicultural Populations brings together librarians and libraries involved in the development and availability of library services and materials designed to meet t
he needs of cultural and linguistic minorities, both immigrant and indigenous, in the belief that all segments of the population in a country should have access to appropriate library and information
To achieve this vision the section seeks to promote education, planning and implementation in multicultural library services by making available information on how to organize, implement and provide
services and materials suitable for linguistic and cultural communities.
The Section provides a forum for exchange of information concerning the development of multilingual and multicultural library and information services
- Guidelines for the provision of multicultural library services
- Multicultural Communities: Guidelines for Library Services.
- Library Materials in the Threatened Languages of Africa.
ROUND TABLE ON MOBILE LIBRARIES
Mobile libraries operate in rural and urban environments to provide library services where it would not be feasible to operate branch libraries. The Round Table focuses on all aspects of mobile libra
ry operations and services. It is promoting and developing activities worldwide, particularily in those countries which have few or no mobile libraries.
- to promote equity and access to library services through mobile libraries
- to encourage the development of mobile library services
- to provide an international forum for the exchange of information on mobile libraries
- to foster awareness of the importance, value and special nature of mobile library services.
Develop an International Resource Kit on Mobile Libraries featuring information from countries around the world.
Investigation of twinning mobile library systems in different countries.
The Mobile Library Guidelines 1991. Translations into French, Arabic, Spanish, Malay.
Publication of guidelines on the design, construction and operations of mobile libraries. 1994
Mobile library in the World Community 1980-1992. An annotated bibliography. 1992
ROUND TABLE INTERNATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF METROPOLITAN CITY LIBRARIES (INTAMEL)
INTAMEL is a platform for professional communication and information for libraries of cities with 400.000 or more inhabitants. The RT reflects inter-divisional interests as they apply to large metrop
olitan city libraries.
The principle objectives are to provide assistance and support for members sharing similar problems and challenges, given the wide variations in the state of development of library services between c
ities and countries.
- to liaise with other groups as appropriate, both within and outside IFLA, to encourage the provision of the highest standards of service in metropolitan city libraries
- to facilitate the exchange of books and other public publications and the exchange of staff temporarily for training purposes, between member libraries.
- Collecting and publishing comparative statistics on an international basis for large public libraries. Collected and distributed annually.
- Organizing an annual conference with the purpose of studying the library services in and around one of the member cities.
ROUND TABLE ON NATIONAL CENTRES FOR LIBRARY SERVICES (ROTNAC)
This Round Table groups managers of national centres for library services. It encourages cooperation between the members and promotes cenral services as well as exchange of information on working
methods, price setting and new developments.
To establish different working groups to discuss current topics for cooperation among its members, e.g. AVM/new media, automation/information technology, publishing.
ROUND TABLE OF CHILDREN'S LITERATURE DOCUMENTATION CENTRES
This Round Table, that has been established under the Section of Children's Libraries, supports children's literature documentation centres that record and investigate historic and contemporary chil
dren's literature as well as documentation centres that provide research materiales on children's literature and reading habits.
- to promote the preservation of children's literature through national deposit collections as an essential part of UAP Programme
- to encourage the exchange of information about the tracing and recording of new books and articles and the collections and conservation of previously published children's books
Updating the directory of Children's Literature Documentation Centres
The IFLA Professional Board has decided that the Round Table on Children's Literature Documentation Centres from 1996 would be discontinued and its activities and programmes merged with the new S
ection on Reading, at present in Division VII.