63rd IFLA General Conference - Conference Programme and Proceedings - August 31- September 5, 1997
The Division of Libraries Serving the General Public - A Survey.
chair of Division 3
secretary of Division 3.
The Division is a forum for the IFLA Sections and Round Tables comprising libraries serving the general public as well as special library services directed to specific groups of the general public, such as children, linguistic minorites, people 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 Tables and Working Groups. In recent years the Sections and Round Tables have worked cross-divisional and are cooperating in arranging joint meetings during the annual conferences.
The Division continues to be concerned that IFLA promotes literacy and reading promotion through libraries. This basic idea of libraries playing a more important role in combatting illiteracy throughout the world is supported both by IFLA Professional and Executive Board. An IFLA working group on literacy is appointed with the mandate to prepare an interim report for the Copenhagen meeting and a full report for the Amsterdam conference i 1998 with suggestions how IFLA could work to raise literacy levels through libraries.
The Division has also, together with the Section of Public Libraries, contributed to the revision and promotion of the UNESCO Public Library Manifesto, has cooperated with the Children Section on Guidelines for Library Service to Young Adults and with the Section on Libraries Serving the Disadvantaged Persons on the Guidelines for Easy-to-Read materials.
The Division consists of nine Sections and Round Tables. This paper gives a survey of the scopes, goals and projects of the different bodies. Most of the Sections and Round Tables also regularly publish newsletters presenting trends and activities.
SECTION OF PUBLIC LIBRARIES
The section provides an active international forum for the development and promotion of public libraries which serve the whole community in the context of the information society and ensure free and equal access to information at the local level.
Goals ( proposed for the next Medium term period (1998-2001):
- To promote equal access for all to information at a local level and ensure public libraries are part of the national library network
- Promote and make recommendations on the role of the public library in supporting lifelong learning and encourage information and computer literacy among public library users.
- Promote the effective provision of information technology and multi-media in public libraries, based on different levels of development, including the enhancement of the skills of staff and users in their effective implementation and use.
- Promote the development of public library standards, the use of quality management and performance measurement in public libraries and encourage research into their funding models and the collection and dissemination of comparative public library statistics.
- Support action to combat illiteracy through the use of public libraries in conjunction with other appropriate bodies within and outside IFLA.
- Protmote the importance of the public library as a place for people to meet, communicate and exchange ideas and as a centre for cultural and leisure activities at the local level.
- Disseminate information about the effects on public libraries worldwide of copyright regulations.
- Arrange seminars on public library services and policy, particularly in developing countries, which will lead to an improvement in public library provision.
- To promote the new version of the UNESCO Public Library Manifesto.
- To test and develop Performance Measurement and Quality Management in Public Libraries. A seminar in Berlin August 1997 will finalize the project and a report will be published.
- To conduct a survey into National Information Policies to explore the involvement of Public Libraries.
- Orgainse a seminar on public library policy and the promotion of the UNESCO Public Library Manifesto in Asia (Malaysia) in 1997 in cooperation with ALP, the Regional Section and the National Library of Malaysia.
- Measuring the Performance of Public Libraries. UNESCO 1989.
- Guidelines for Public Libraries Promoting Literacy. By Barbro Thomas. UNESCO 1993.
- Libraries for Literacy in geographically and socially isolated communities. Final report of the IFLA Pre-session seminar, Matanzas,Cuba 1994. Uppsala 1995 (ALP-report).
- UNESCO Public Library Manifesto. Brochure. Oslo 1995 / Poster. Oslo 1996.
- National reports on Performance Measurement and Quality Management. To be published summer 1997 for the Berlin seminar.
SECTION OF SCHOOL LIBRARIES AND RESOURCE CENTRES
The Section conserns itself with the improvement and development of school libraries and information centers worldwide, as well as adequate staffing and supporting policies. It provides an international forum for exchanging ideas, experiences and advocacy.
Education and libraries are fundamental to the ability of the individual to develop and adapt to change in this increasingly information-oriented society. They are also integral to a democratic world. As we move towards the 21st century, school libraries and information centres are even more vital to the searching and learning process.
The use of school libraries and information centres is the foundation for the use of all other libraries and information services. Literacy and information literacy are nutured in schools and are the prerequisite for all subsequent library and information use. In a technological world where daily access to information becomes more and more essential, effective school libraries and information centres have a significant contribution to make.
The role of school librarians and information specialists is to encourage reading for pleasure, information and research. Library programmes and services, being wide ranging, are essential in meeting curricular needs and interests of students and teachers. Vital to such provision is the existence of adequately trained school librarians and information specialists, school goals, government educational policy and effective links with the library information infrastructure and the wider community.
Goals: ( new goals for the next Medium term period will be discussed during the Copenhagen conference)
- 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 the school libraries
- To promote research in the field of school librarianship
- To assist school librarians in their professional development
- "Principals and School Librarians working within an information literate school community" - a 3 year research project about support to teacher librarians by school principals.
- "Resourcebook for school libraries and resource centres". This publication is aimed to be a resource for people working in school libraries and resource centres and will have a concentrate of earlier projects like School library periodicals; School libraries in the world - existing guidelines, standards and policies, an overview of the history of the section and references of papers in Open Sessions of the Section.
- School librarians; Guidelines for Competency Requirements. Revised edition by Sigrun Klara Hannesdottir. 1995. IFLA Professional Report no 41.
SECTION OF CHILDREN'S LIBRARIES
The Section's major purpose is to support the provision of the library service and reading promotion to children and young adults throughout the world.
Its main objectives are to promote international cooperation in the fields of library services to children and young adults, to encourage the exchange of experience, education and training and research in all aspects of this subject. The section's concerns include the provision of library services to all children and young adults in different culture and traditions in cooperation with appropriate organisations and to adults interacting with children and young adults.
- To promote literacy for a reading society
- To encourage a relevant integration of changing technologies in libraries for children and young adults
- To advocate for the children's right to information, according to the United Nations' Convent on Children's Rights
- To encourage international networking among professionals and researchers of children's literature, multimedia and children's library services in general
- To articulate the role of the librarians in the future
- To encourage the production and study of children's literature and multimedia
- IRAYLS. Ongoing project. Leader: Adele Fasick
A database containing abstracts of international publications on children's libraries' concerns was developed and set up. The datas are available on a floppy disc and on the Internet - World Wide Web
- Children's Literature Abstracts. Ongoing project. Leader: Gillian Adams. Magazine on children's literature
- Books for All. Ongoing project in cooperation with UNESCO. Project leader: Lioba Betten. The project supports setting up libraries and library stock in developing countries by collecting money. The Standing Committee has set up an advisory committee (chair: Molly Walsh) in order to develop criteria on how to distribute the money.
- Children's Literature Abstracts
- Guidelines for Library Services for Young Adults (languages: English, German, French, Danish)
SECTION FOR LIBRARIES SERVING DISADVANTAGED PERSONS
The Section is concerned with library and information services to all those groups within the community who for whatever reason, are unable to make use of conventional library services. These groups include people in hospitals and prisons, the elderly in nursing homes and care facilities, the house-bound, the deaf and the physically and developmentally disabled.
This section provides an international forum for the discussion of ideas, sharing of experiences and development of projects designed to promote and improve the effectiveness of library and information services to such groups.
- To promote the availability of and access to suitable resources for people who require alternative materials and/or services.
- To develop guidelines for access to library collections and services for people who are unable to make use of conventional library resources, including the provision of appropriate aids.
- To encourage research into the status of library and information services to the disadvantaged.
- To raise professional awareness and promote the development of appropriate staff training
- To develop guidelines to specific types of services
- To disseminate and share information amongst relevant organisations, both internal and external to IFLA.
- To study the impact of technological developments and the electronic environment upon library and information services to disadvantaged users
- To promote membership of the section and maintain as broad an international representation as possible.
- Revision of the Guidelines for Hospital Libraries will be finished in 1997.
- International survey of Library School Curricula for Library Services to Disadvantaged
Persons has been treminated and an article will be published in IFLA Journal.
- Guidelines for Easy-to-Read publications will be published in 1997.
- Guidelines for Library Services to Prisoners. 2nd ed. 1995. Avaliable in English, German, Spanish and French.
- Library Services to the Deaf. 1994. Available in English, Japanese, Russian, Spanish, French and German.
SECTION OF LIBRARIES FOR THE BLIND
The Section concerns itself with library services for the blind and other print-handicapped readers. The main purposes of the section are to promote national and international cooperation in this field and to encourage research and development in all aspects of this area, thus improving the access of information for the blind and other print-handicapped persons.
The Section is thus concerned with the implementation of service goals, standardization of material, problems of copyright, bibliographic control, technical standards, free transmission of postal and telecommunications or any means of distribution of material, and the identification of the locations of special format collections and activities for the blind and other print-handicapped readers.
- Encourage the establishment of library service to print handicapped persons in countries where it does not exist or is inadequate, thus bridging the information gap.
- Establishment of guidelines for library services for print handicapped persons.
- Provide proactive leadership in the evolution of the digital library for the visually handicapped.
- Reduce the major obstacles for free international flow of special format, such as copyright regulations, technical standards, postal regulations etc.
- Promote the use of catalogeuing standards to make alterate material accessible.
- Encourage the training and continuing education of professionals in the field service to printhandicapped readers.
- Promote international interlibrary loan materials for print handicapped readers.
- Provide information about the the work of the Section and the standing Committee to those interested in library services to the blind and other print handicapped.
- Cooperate with appropriate international organisations, by recognising the need of users, and by promoting cooperation between libraries serving print handicapped readers and user organisations.
- Guidelines for Digital Talking Books.
- 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. Spanish edition
- Textbook on Library Services for Visually Handicapped Persons.
SECTION ON LIBRARY SERVICES TO MULTICULTURAL POPULATIONS
The Section brings together libraries and institutions interested in the development and availability of library services designed to meet the needs of cultural and linguistic minorities.
The Section is striving to share its experience in library services to multicultural populations in view of the necessity to ensure that every member in our global society has access to a ful range of library and information services. In order to achieve this, it promotes international cooperation in this field.
New goals for the period 1998-2001 will be discussed during the Copenhagen
- Library service in a multicultural society. Satelite meeting in Aalborg, Denmark, August 1997.
ROUND TABLE ON MOBILE LIBRARIES
This Round Table is concerned with all aspects of mobile library operations, services, education and research in all geographical areas.
- 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
- To conduct research in areas related to mobile libraries.
- 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 metropolitan 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 cities 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 faciliate the exchange of books and other public publications and the exchange of staff temporaily 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 functions as a platform for the managers of the national centres as well as a meeting point for bilateral cooperation. Its major purposes are the promotion of centralized library services, the promotion of cooperation among the members and the exchange of information about the market, the products, the application of information technology and the management of the centres.
- Promotion of central services
- Exchange of information among ROTNAC members
- Cooperation between ROTNAC memebrs
- Assisting in setting up central services
- To establish different working groups to discuss current topics for cooperation among its members, e.g. AVM/new media, automation, information technology, publishing .