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68th IFLA Conference Logo  

68th IFLA General Conference and Council

Libraries for Life: Democracy, Diversity, Delivery

August 18th - 24th 2002, Glasgow, Scotland


President-Elect's Brainstorming Session

Wednesday 21st August 2002


Kay Raseroka, IFLA President-elect, will lead a brainstorming session on Wednesday 21st August 2002, in Room "Argyll 1 & 2" in the Moat House Hotel, Glasgow from 15:30-17:30. Twelve tables, each seating 10 persons will be provided. Each table will have a moderator and a recorder. Seats will be available on a first-come, first-served basis, except that some places will be reserved for those attending the IFLA conference for the first time.

Please come and help Kay determine her Presidential programme for 2003-2005.

Kay's introduction to the session follows.

1. Preamble

The free flow of information and ideas is in the interest of all for thriving cultures, economies and democracies. People, communities and organizations need equitable access to information for their social, educational, cultural, democratic and economic well-being. The delivery of high quality library and information services helps guarantee that access. IFLA is committed to working at all levels of government to guarantee equitable access to information for all. Members of the Federation are committed to working with their respective governments to guarantee that access.

An individual's ability to access information requires appropriate assistance where:
  • Handicap prevents equitable access to information.
  • Literacy and information literacy skills are under developed.
  • The availability of information resources reflecting plurality and diversity of content appropriate for the support of various communities, is not guaranteed.

Ongoing technological progress potentially widens the gap between the information rich and the information poor world-wide. Technological solutions will eventually resolve technological issues. Technology of itself, however, will not resolve social and cultural policy issues of access to information.

Without literacy, information literacy and cultural content, information and communications technologies cannot be taken up and adapted for appropriate exploitation by and as instruments that facilitate equitable access of information to communities. It is therefore essential that the process of "reducing information inequality" (Schiller, 1996) be a public policy priority, and that this is underpinned by IFLA's Aims, Core Values and Professional Priorities.

2. Purpose of Brainstorming Session

The purpose of the Glasgow IFLA Conference consultative/planning process is to encourage commitments to the implementation of IFLA core values, from August 2003. The process is expected to result in the establishment of realistic actions which yield time bound outcomes.

In pursuing its defined aims IFLA embraces the following core values:
  1. the endorsement of the principles of freedom of access to information, ideas and works imagination and freedom of expression embodied in Article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
  2. the belief that people, communities and organizations need universal and equitable access to information, ideas and works of imagination for their social, educational, cultural, democratic and economic well-being.
  3. the conviction that delivery of high quality library and information services helps guarantee that access.
  4. the commitment to enable all Members of the Federation to engage in, and benefit from, its activities without regard to citizenship, disability, ethnic origin, gender, geographical location, language, political philosophy, race or religion.

(IFLA Statutes: Article 6)

  • the IFLA statement on core values as indicated in (a) - (d) above.
  • the fact that the core values are not yet implemented to the fullest extent in IFLAs activities and services
  • that there are limited resources available within the Federation

What should be IFLAs focus in 2003 - 2005 for the integration and contextualisation of the core values in activities and services of sections or area of major library interest, as a strategy for "bridging the digital divide"?

How can sections facilitate equity of access to information and enhance abilities of individuals and communities in varied information environments to access information equitably?

Members of IFLA have the power and the platform to influence the widening of access to and use of information for the social health of communities in various environments in the "North" and "South".

This consultative process provides a unique opportunity for the Federation to conceptualise and work collaboratively to facilitate an enabling information environment in which peoples of the world have opportunities to exercise good citizenship. (www.ucalgary.ca/idcs-disc/eng/home.html).

3. Statement of Strategy

Participants of the Glasgow IFLA Conference are invited to participate in the twelve self-selected brainstorming groups.

Each of the four core value statements will be discussed by three groups.


Participants are requested to:

  1. Apply the following questions to a core value statement selected for discussion by a group.
  2. For example: How should/can the "principles of freedom of access to information" be meaningfully applied to IFLA member activities and services as they seek to "bridge the digital divide", i.e. reduce information inequality?

  3. What are three actions emanating from the above, that may be realistically implemented in the period 2003 - 2005. In what order of priority?
  4. What are the expected outcomes and impact of the identified actions/activities on communities served?
  5. What will be the indicators for achievement/attainment of the expected outcomes?


The outcomes from the Glasgow consultation will be:
  1. A document that will be disseminated through IFLANET
  2. Comments from the broad membership of IFLA and inputs from sections will be invited for submission (electronically) by the end of February 2003.
  3. The President-Elect Planning Group (PEPG) will review comments and integrate them with the document arising from the Glasgow consultation to produce a consolidated document.
  4. The Professional Committee and Governing Board will review this consolidated document to produce the final platform for presentation at the Berlin 2003 Council.

H. K. Raseroka
June 2003

  • Report on the Brainstorming Session, finalized in November 2002

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