Section of School Libraries and Resource Centers
Newsletter Number 36
66th IFLA Council and General Conference
Jerusalem, 13-18 August, 2000
The theme of the 66th IFLA conference is: Information for Co-operation: Creating the Global Library of the Future"
The key word of the theme is co-operation, towards which we shall all be aiming. It is to these goals - international, multilingual, multicultural co-operation throughout the library and information community- that the 66th IFLA Conference in Jerusalem commits itself and invites all of its colleagues throughout the world to participate, contribute and celebrate in Jerusalem in the year 2000.
(From the conference booklet)
Note from the Chair
Last summer, in Bangkok, the Section had a very successful conference. The Open Session and Workshop were well attended and useful, and the Committee had valuable discussions. It seems like only yesterday, yet we shall all be meeting again soon. The 21st century has begun with a vengeance, 2000 being an unbelievably busy year and looks set to continue in the same way. We have much to do and more plans bubbling away which at the next conference we shall begin to discuss, new publications, new projects.
If you are not able to be at the Conference, but have ideas which you would like us to take forward please contact Glenys, Alexandra or any other committee member so that we can consider them fully.
IFLA General Conference: Jerusalem
Selection from Conference Programme and Meetings
Friday, 11 August
- 14:00 - 18:00
- Libraries Serving the General Public -
Coordinating Board (CBI)
Saturday, 12 August
- 11:30 - 14:20
- School Libraries and Resource Centres -
Standing Committee (SCI)
Sunday, 13 August
- 8:30 - 10:20
- Internet Discussion Group (a forum for exchanging ideas and information about the use of Internet in libraries)
- 9:00 - 10:20
- Introduction to IFLA Newcomers
11:45 - 12:45
- Workshop: Guidelines for children's services
Evening Exhibition Opening and Welcome Reception
Monday, 14 August
- 8:30 - 11:00
- Open Forum: Division of Libraries Serving the General Public Theme: Public Library Guidelines for a new century-presentation of final draft of revised guidelines
- 13:00 - 14:00
- Public lending right in the 21st century
- 11:30 - 13:30
- Digital libraries (meeting to consider Discussion group)
- 14:30 - 15:30
- Information coordinators meeting
- 16:00 - 18:00
- Opening Session followed by Plenary Session
- Evening Reception and Folklore presentation
Tuesday, 15 August
- 8:30 - 11:00
- Mobile libraries and literacy development
- 12:00 -14:00
- Poster sessions
- 12:30 - 15:00
- The Public library facing the 21st century
- 15:30 - 18:00
- Open Session, School Libraries and Resource Centres
Theme: "The School Library and the Global Network"
- Project work as a vehicle for information literacy education in a circuit of South African primary schools
GENEVIEVE HART (Department of Library & Information Science, University of
the Western Cape, South Africa)
- Classroom collections and reading patterns
SNUNITH SHOHAM (Department of Information Science, Bar-Ilan University,
- A way forward for co-operation between school and public libraries: the newly developed national guidelines in South Africa
Wednesday, 16 August
Exhibition closes at the end of the day
- 8:30 - 11:00
- Public library services to disadvantaged users
Literacy and libraries
- 12:00 - 14:00
- Poster session
- 12:30 - 15:00
- Libraries for children and young adults
- 15:30 - 18:00
- Libraries for the blind joint with Public libraries
Evening: cultural evening at the Israel Museum
Thursday, 17 August
- 8:30 - 17:00
- Workshop: Guidelines for School Libraries
Friday, 18 August
- 8:00 - 10:15
- School Libraries and Resource Centers -
Standing Committee (SCII)
- 12:45- 14:45
- Coordinating Board (CBII)
- 15:00 - 17:00
- Closing Session
- 17:05 - 18:00
- Extraordinary meeting of the Council
Saturday, 19 August
- All day Tour day
Agenda for Section's Standing Committee Meetings in Jerusalem
This agenda is provisional and could be subject to revision before the Conference
IFLA Conference 2000 Jerusalem
Section of School Libraries and Resource Centres
Standing Committee Meetings
Saturday 12 August 11:30 - 14:20 and Friday 18 August 8:00 - 10:15
- Approval of agenda
- Apologies for absence
- Attendance of observers
- Approval of the minutes of the meetings held in Bangkok, August 1999
- Matters arising from the minutes
- Scheduling of meetings and programme of the Open Sessions and Workshops
Tuesday 24 August 15:30 - 18:00 Open Session on 'The School Library and the global network
Thursday 26 August 8:30 - 17:00 Workshop on Guidelines for School Libraries
- Chair's Report
- Secretary's report
- Progress report on Projects
Research project on the role of the Principal and School Librarian in an information literate school community: the report
Guidelines for School Libraries
- Future Conferences
10.1 Boston 2001
10.2 Glasgow 2002
25th Anniversary of the Section
10.3 Berlin 2003
- Future projects
- Action plan: review and revision
- Any other business
IFLA/UNESCO School Library Manifesto
In 1993, IFLA organised a pre-conference seminar on School Librarianship, sponsored by UNESCO. There were representatives from 28 countries.
It was recognised that the present state of school libraries was generally poor and that there was a lack of support for school libraries among politicians, government officials, and administrators. This, largely, remains the case; several years on we, in the school library world, still have a hard job to do in convincing others of the importance of such libraries
Professors Anne Galler and Paulette Bernhard, from Universities in Montreal, and Gwynneth Evans, who is the Director General of National and International Programmes with the National Library of Canada, committed themselves to identifying the needs of the school library community and working with national and international associations. This would then form a credible basis on which to develop a statement on school libraries.
At the seminar resolutions were put forward for a fairer IFLA policy for school libraries that stated that IFLA:
"…should urge its member associations to work with other educational and professional bodies to encourage national educational authorities to develop a policy on the role of school libraries in national development, as part of their national education policy; to introduce necessary legislation, and to improve financial support for school libraries and centralised support services for school libraries. "
This gave the impetus for a manifesto that would have clear recommendations.
A survey was carried out. Approximately half of the responding countries had national school library policies; some had local regional policies. Some had no policies at all. In the majority of cases, responsibility for official policy falls to the Ministry of Education, or Educational and Culture - in others it was another named agency (e.g. Library Association) which regulated library policy.
The National Library of Canada began working with representatives from the Canadian school library community, IFLA and IASL (International Association of School Librarians) to test the feasibility of drafting a school library manifesto for UNESCO consideration.
UNESCO stands for United Nations Education Scientific and Cultural Organisation and The School Library Manifesto touches all of these areas of interest of UNESCO.
The Manifesto went through several drafts between 1996 and the summer of 1998, when a workshop was held with all discussion based on the latest draft.
The workshop built on the information gathering, analysis and consultation of five years. UNESCO sponsored experts on school libraries so they could attend in person. They came from Senegal, Turkey, South Africa, Sri-Lanka and Chile. They were eloquent in describing the poor state of school libraries in some countries. Even where the situation is adequate there remains room for improvement. Sixty people, representing many countries, took part in the workshop and made valuable contributions towards the rewriting of the text. There was strong agreement that there was a considerable need for a school library manifesto drafted and supported by IFLA and published under the auspices of UNESCO. Having achieved consensus on the main points, a small committee prepared a version that was approved by the Professional Board of IFLA. It was clear that both the educational and cultural sectors of UNESCO should be implicated in the approval and application of the manifesto.
The National Library of Canada has never lost interest, nor relaxed its support, and, in November 1999, steered the manifesto through conference protocol and the rigours of ratification at the UNESCO General Conference with great success.
After the difficulties of writing the manifesto and getting it approved by IFLA and UNESCO the next challenge is dissemination and implementation.
Colleagues, at a very successful workshop organised by the Section of School Libraries and Resource Centres at the IFLA Conference in Bangkok discussed the Manifesto. Working groups produced useful ideas for the dissemination of the concept and the implementation of the strategies contained in the document including:
Governments, through their ministries responsible for education are urged to develop strategies, policies and plans that implement the principles of this Manifesto. Plans should include the dissemination of the Manifesto to initial and continuing training programmes for librarians and teachers.
There are several levels of involvement in promotion and implementation:
The manifesto can be put to use in:
- International: the Manifesto will be promoted by IFLA, IASL (International Association of School Librarianship), UNESCO
- National: the Manifesto should be promoted to government and non-governmental agencies: Ministries and Ministers of Education and Libraries, National Library Associations, Associations of Teachers and Head teachers, Parents Associations, Library Schools and Teacher Education Institutions.
- Private Sector: Publishers, Booksellers and Library suppliers
- Local: regional government and local bodies such as the public library service, local education authorities, school advisers and inspectors, head teacher and governor associations and parents groups.
Advocacy of the Manifesto will take place through:
- Strategic and operational plans - especially in regional education authorities and schools
- Policies - national and local
- Guidelines - national and local, e.g. UK
- Training - initial training of teachers and librarians and in-service and continuing education
Ross Shimmon, Secretary General of IFLA, opened the workshop and said:
- Media awareness and promotion through the professional press and more widely
- Co-operative ventures and partnership projects
Promotion of the Manifesto will need to be carried out bearing in mind the local context, the current situation and potential for the future.
Children desperately need to have better access to books and all those other media, which are sources of information, ideas, and, I stress works of imagination and inspiration. Many governments around the world spend a lot of money and other resources on the vital task of teaching children to read. But they do not spend nearly enough on ensuring that children have easy access to interesting materials for them to exercise their newly acquired skill.
A key task of the school librarian is to help them to assess what they are reading (and what they are receiving from other sources, especially the mass media), so that, as they grow up they can make their own decisions; an essential characteristic of civilised and democratic societies.
We should not forget that it is also in the interests of our own profession that we give more attention to school libraries. After all, many of today's children will be the next generation of politicians, civil servants and business leaders. They will be making decisions about the future of our national libraries,. Public libraries and libraries in universities, colleges and schools and those in the corporate sector. If they valued the resources and help available from their school library and school librarian, they are surely more likely to see the value of adequate funding for libraries when they have to make such decisions later in life.
The Chair of the Section has spoken at conferences in Norway and Chile. The Manifesto is being well received wherever it is talked about. The Chilean conference was the first International Conference held in South America for School Librarians and there were representatives from all over the region. There are many developments in Ministries of Education and school libraries are being included in the discussions.
Now colleagues at the National Library of Canada are designing a leaflet containing the text of the Manifesto, which we shall be able to use to produce the Manifesto in as many languages as we can.
Glenys Willars has the text in Catalan, Croatian, English, Ethiopian, French, German, Greek, Hebrew, Russian, Turkish, and Spanish. It is currently being translated into Arabic. If you have a copy in any other language, please send it to Glenys who will distribute it as required and put it onto Iflanet. If you are willing to translate it into other languages please let her know.
It is hoped to organise regional seminars to advertise and implement the Manifesto worldwide. It is not only the library community that needs to be aware and to understand and develop school libraries. Without the willingness and ability of the educational establishments at national, regional and local level, school libraries will never improve to be that essential factor in a child's education we know that it can be.
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