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Associations and InstitutionsAnnual 

64th IFLA Conference Logo

   64th IFLA General Conference
   August 16 - August 21, 1998


Code Number: 094-79-E
Division Number: IV.
Professional Group: Division of Bibliographic Control
Joint Meeting with: -
Meeting Number: 79.
Simultaneous Interpretation:   Yes

Section on Bibliography
Annual Report 1997-1998

Françoise Bourdon
Secretary/Treasurer of the Section
Bibliothèque nationale de France


The best way to explain, shortly but precisely, in what context the Section on Bibliography is carrying on its activity, is to recall the outlines of its Medium-Term Programme 1998-2001. Then, those who are responsible for the achievement of this programme will be presented, because the Section on Bibliography, just as all IFLA professional groups, had a new Permanent Committee since Spring 1997, and this Committee appointed a new Board during the Copenhagen Conference in August 1997. A careful study of the Section membership will show our representation throughout the world. Then, when context and actors were identified, we try to define what the Section on Bibliography activities were during the past months and where our strengths are during this Conference and the following weeks.

The context: the Medium-Term Programme 1998-2001.

The Section on Bibliography is primarily concerned with the content, arrangement, production, dissemination and preservation of bibliographic information. It is especially concerned (but not exclusively) with national bibliographic services. It promotes the importance of the discipline of bibliography to library professionals in all types of library (not just national libraries), to book trade representatives (publishers, distributors, booksellers) and to end-users. Just like any information scope, bibliography is very affected by new technology, and the Section has to take this reality into account. However, because these technical possibilities are not yet available in some areas of the world, the Section will ensure that practical solutions proposed in the fields of bibliography are not necessarily dependent on particular technologies. To illustrate these points, we can detailed some goals the Section proposed to aim between now and 2001 :

This selection of goals to be carried on during the next four years shows why the natural partners of the Section on Bibliography within IFLA are the other two sections of the Division on Bibliographic Control (Section on Cataloguing, Section on Classification and Indexing), as well as the Section on Information Technology, the Section on National Libraries, and the UBCIM Programme.

The actors: the Standing Committee and the Section membership

The Section on Bibliography is composed of 13 voting members, 4 corresponding members, 1 observer and 1 special adviser. The voting members are from 12 countries, 10 European Countries (Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Norway, Portugal, Russian Federation, Slovenia, Sweden), USA and Iran. Corresponding members are from China, Cuba, Fiji. Spain has an observer and Marcelle Beaudiquez (France) has been appointed a lifelong honorary member of our committee. This Committee met for the first time during the IFLA Conference in Copenhagen and appointed a new Board within its members : Werner Stephan (University Library of Stuttgart, Germany) is chair and Françoise Bourdon (Bibliothèque nationale de France) is secretary and treasurer of the Section. Among the 13 voting members of the Committee, 6 have a term until 2001, 2 will complete their second four years term in 1999 and then they will leave the Committee, and 5 will then complete their first term and will be re-eligible. So, if you wish to become a Committee member and by this way be a part of the Section activities, watch for the call for committee nominations in the Spring of 1999.

As of 1st of January 1998, the Section had 102 members according to the statistics made through the IFLA HQ membership database. These members represent international associations, national associations and institutions, and affiliate members. However, further study of the IFLA Directory 1998-1999 identifies only 97 members. This may be because 38 IFLA members do not have any information about the professional groups they represent. Among these 97 identified members, 71 institutions, 23 associations and 3 personal affiliates are represented. A break-down of the 71 institutions include one international institution (International Council for Adult Education), 33 national libraries, 18 university libraries (3 of them working as national library in their respective country), 6 public libraries, 3 library schools and 10 "various". The high number of national libraries is not a surprise since the Section focuses its action on the bibliographic aspect of national library services. This high number also justifies that the Section on National Libraries be one of our preference partner within IFLA and should urge us to develop common projects. But the short number of library schools among our membership is not a good point : United Kingdom, Spain and France are the only three countries where a library school is a member of the Section on Bibliography. This situation is a handicap for the Section which had the following goal : "promotion of the importance of the discipline of bibliography to library professionals in all types of libraries. It may be necessary to approach these institutions to have our work better known. Unfortunately, the type of library of IFLA institutional members is not provided in the IFLA Directory, and the name of the institution is not sufficient to identify all library schools which are IFLA members. If this information were available, the Committee would be more aggressive in convincing library schools to join the Section on Bibliography.

On a geographical point of view, the Section has members in 52 countries (when IFLA has members in 146 countries) and we have to stress the under-representation of Africa and of Latin America among our membership. So we have to devote all our energy to promote our work in these regions if we really want to avoid the gap between rich and poor countries in matters of bibliographic information.

The Section activities:

The Standing Committee members had an interest in various fields during the last months:

Information on publications:

Three papers presented last year during the Open Forum of the Section are also published in this same issue of ICBC :

All the Section members received the Newsletter of the Section on bibliography in April 1998 (a second issue should be circulated at the beginning of the summer).
During the Amsterdam Conference, the Standing Committee will finalize the content of a new brochure describing the Section, its goals, its work ; this brochure, which should be available in all the IFLA working languages, will be used by IFLA members and beyond, to promote the work of the Division on Bibliographic Control, the work of its 3 sections, and the work of the UBCIM Programme.

You are invited to share the work of the Section on Bibliography during this conference in Amsterdam. You are kindly urged to attend our Standing Committee meetings as observers. Don't hesitate to ask the paper desk here on the Conference site for your working language version of our conference papers when they appear in another language in this booklet. The different versions should also be available on IFLANET.