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Social Science Libraries Section

Strategic Plan


The Section of Social Science Libraries provides an international platform for professional communication and exchange of ideas among librarians, scholars, and professionals in the social sciences. To foment the integration of scholarship and the practice of librarianship within the social sciences, the Section explores and encourages the involvement of numerous sub disciplines*.

The Section also seeks to promote the concept of social science librarianship as an area of specialization by which knowledge and scholarship in the many social science disciplines are documented, organized, made accessible, disseminated and preserved for the current and future generations.

*Sub disciplines in the Social Sciences include but are not limited to the following:
"... anthropology, business and economics, communication studies, criminology, demography, development studies, education, environmental planning, geography, global studies; history, labour science, law, library and information science, linguistics, management science, philosophy, political science, public administration, psychology, social policy, sociology, statistics, science of religion, science of science, travel and tourism ..."

Strategic Plan

The Section's strategic plan supports its mission with the following goals:
  1. Provide a platform for professional exchange and communication for special libraries and information centres in the social sciences worldwide, in an interdisciplinary way and without regard to the media support of the information provided by each library for its users.
  2. Foster international cooperation across disciplinary and national boundaries.
  3. Offer professional development opportunities by organizing conferences, workshops, and seminars for all people involved in social science information services.
  4. Maintain library- and information-related professional standards and values worldwide.
  5. Support of the IFLA core programmes, especially the work of the Committee on Access to Information and Freedom of Expression (FAIFE), as social science libraries often deal with socially or politically sensitive information.
  6. Operate with other interest groups to lobby for professional requirements in the social science library and information environment, thus enhancing the quality of information work in the social sciences in general.


GOAL I: To facilitate the sharing of information and ideas among social science information professionals.

Corresponding IFLA Professional Priorities:
  • Supporting the Role of Libraries in Society
  • Promoting Research Sharing
  • Promoting Standards Guidelines and Best Practices

A. The Section will co-sponsor two open fora with the Government Libraries Section relating to the theme "Libraries: Dynamic Engines for the Knowledge and Information Society" at the 72th IFLA General Council and Conference to be held in Seoul, Korea in 2006.

B. The Section will publish an IFLA monograph on the changing role of NGOs in production and dissemination of new knowledge in 2006.

C. The Section will sponsor an open forum on the theme of Best Practices in Social Science Libraries at the 73rd IFLA General Council and Conference to be held in Durban, South Africa in 2007.

D. The Section will co-sponsor a satellite conference in West or South Africa in August of 2007.

E. The Section will update its brochure and translate it into the official IFLA languages.

F. The Section will continue to carry out the following activities already being conducted:
  1. Sponsorship of the Soclib listserv.
  2. Publication of the Section Newsletter, increasing publication from once per year to twice a year.
  3. Exploration of potential cooperative activities with the other IFLA sections sharing common interests.
  4. Collection and maintenance of data for the Directory of National Libraries of Education.

GOAL II: To accomplish the action plans set out in Goal I, the Standing Committee will be expanded to 20 active members.

Corresponding IFLA Professional Priorities:
  • Developing Library Professionals
  • Supporting the Infrastructure of Library Associations

A. Current Standing Committee members will actively work to identify individuals interested in the work of the Section, who are also able to attend the Standing Committee meetings at each IFLA conference during their proposed terms of appointment.

B. Once identified, the Standing Committee will assist these individuals in their being appointed.

C. Standing Committee members will identify a mentor for each new committee member appointed.

GOAL III: In order to reflect IFLA's global mission more fully, the Standing Committee will seek greater geographic/cultural diversity among its new members.

Corresponding IFLA Professional Priorities:
  • Developing Library Professionals
  • Supporting the Infrastructure of Library Associations

A. Supporting the new IFLA initiative to reach out to potential new members, the Standing Committee will evaluate its current membership and encourage new organizations and individuals to join IFLA and the Section.

B. Standing Committee members will attempt to identify sources for at least partial funding for one social science librarian or information professional from a developing country to attend both the Korea and South Africa Conferences.

GOAL IV: The Section will actively seek to expand its membership.

Corresponding IFLA Professional Priorities:
  1. Developing Library Professionals
  2. Supporting the Infrastructure of Library Associations

A. Standing Committee members will analyze IFLA and Section membership data and send invitations to join the Section to appropriate IFLA members who are not yet members of Section V.

B. Each Standing Committee member will identify at least one library that is not currently an IFLA or Section V Member. An invitation to join IFLA and Section V, along with information on each group, will be sent to the directors of these libraries. See Goal III.