As of 22 April 2009 this website is 'frozen' in time — see the current IFLA websites

This old website and all of its content will stay on as archive – http://archive.ifla.org

IFLANET home - International Federation of Library Associations and InstitutionsActivities and ServicesSearchContacts

Library and Research Services for Parliaments Section


IFLA Section on Library and Research Services for Parliaments

IFLA (The International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions) is the leading international body representing the interests of library and information services and their users. Founded in 1927, it is the global voice of the library and information profession.

IFLA is an independent, international, non-governmental, not-for-profit organization.

Sections are the primary focus for the Federation's work in a particular type of library and information service, in an aspect of library and information science or in a region.

The Library and Research Services for Parliaments Section

Parliamentary librarianship is a distinctive form of information work, mainly for Members of the Legislature, who work under great pressure, and who both use and create information. For this reason they need adequate information support. In the last twenty to thirty years there has been significant development in this work, not just in terms of quantity, but in many legislatures in terms of quality and depth. Research services have developed and other specialist services. Whether these come under the Library or not depends on the administrative structure of the legislature. But all forms of information for legislators and also any personal staff they may have is of interest to the Library and Research Services for Parliaments Section.

The Section’s current membership brings together the leading professionals in over 80 parliamentary libraries at supranational, national and subnational levels in more than 50 countries. The institutions represented range from one-person libraries to services with hundreds of staff members, some operating on very limited resources and others more generously funded. Some are led from the most senior levels in their Parliaments, others have to struggle to make their voice heard. This Section provides an invaluable source of support and expertise to all its members, and has a particularly strong sense of mutual respect and friendship.

The Section's Mission

  • To increase the effectiveness of parliamentary libraries and research services;
  • To develop and promote standards and best practices in providing information and knowledge to parliaments;
  • To exchange experiences, knowledge and problem solving, and promote networking, amongst parliamentary libraries and research services as well as with others serving in a political environment;
  • To provide a forum for the identification of emerging issues relating to legislative processes;
  • To promote the establishment of libraries and research services as a fundamental component in the development of democratic legislatures throughout the world;
  • To promote openness, transparency and the strengthening of democratic participation through the provision of information about parliaments to citizens.

Organisation and Activities

The Section's work is steered by a Standing Committee of 20 elected representatives, each of whom has tenure for 4 years. Every second year half of these positions terminate and new representatives are elected. The Standing Committee members vote in a Chairperson and a Secretary in election years, for a 2 years term, who act as the Executive Committee. Membership of the Standing Committee is on a personal, not an institutional basis, and individuals must undertake to attend annual meetings of the Section.

Each year the Library and Research Services for Parliaments Section presents a programme of papers for an open session at the IFLA Annual Conference. Short papers may be presented at other meetings such as the Management Workshop Session. In addition, the Section holds a pre-conference in the legislature of the host country or of a nearby country. The conferences for the next two years will be in Italy in 2009 and Australia 2010.


The Section publishes an electronic Newsletter two to three times a year, and an annual report.

Further Information

For more information about the Section please go to the Section’s homepage on the IFLA website.

Useful lists and publications can also be found there.

You are also welcome to sign on the Section mailing list.
That IFLAPARL2 list is a discussion list open to all members of IFLA Section on Library and Research Services for Parliaments and those attending the Section's activities.

Information about the Section's pre-conferences and conferences will be distributed on that list.


IFLA's aims, objectives, and professional programme can only be fulfilled with the cooperation and active involvement of its members and affiliates.

To become a member of IFLA and the Section contact IFLA headquarters, e-mail: membership@ifla.org, or visit www.ifla.org/III/members/index.htm.

Useful Contacts (August 2008 – August 2009)

Ms Gro Sandgrind
Library of the Norwegian Parliament, Stortinget
N-0026 OSLO
Tel. +(47)(23)313685
Fax +(47)(23)313859
E-mail: gro.sandgrind@stortinget.no

Secretary/Editor of Newsletter:
Mr Ian Watt
Unit for Library Operations European Parliament
B-1047 Brussels
Tel. +(32)(2)2843113
Fax +(32)(2)2306581
E-mail: ian.watt@europarl.europa.eu

Information Coordinator:
Ms Moira Fraser
Library of the New Zealand Parliament
New Zealand
Tel. +(64)(447)19621
E-mail: moira.fraser@parliament.gov.nz