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Reading Section


Strategic Plan


The Mission of the Reading Section is to assist IFLA in effectively fulfilling one of its key professional priorities: promoting literacy, reading, and lifelong learning. This priority is comprehensive in its understanding of literacy, from basic literacy to information literacy, and its comprehension of reading and of lifelong learning. (See the description of this priority)

In undertaking support for and coordination of activities related to literacy, reading and lifelong learning that increase the literacy of all people, the Reading Section recognizes the importance of former President Raseroka's theme for 2003-2005: Libraries for Lifelong Literacy and also the UN Decade of Literacy 2003-2012. It will contribute to a plan to ensure the contribution of libraries to this Decade for approval by IFLA. It also incorporates the importance of partnerships, recognized as the theme of President Byrne for 2005-2007.

The nature of this professional priority ensures that strong programming related to research, education and training and best practice will, by extension, support the other priorities: supporting the role of libraries in society; defending the principle of freedom of information; preserving our intellectual heritage; developing library professionals; promoting standards, guidelines and best practices; representing libraries in the technological marketplace; providing unrestricted access to information; balancing the intellectual property rights of authors with the needs of users; and promoting resource sharing.

As literacy is the foundation of the work of all division and sections, the Reading Section welcomes the opportunity to work cooperatively, both within IFLA and beyond. It is pleased to act in an advisory and resource capacity to any group wishing to know more about the role of libraries in literacy and reading promotion programmes.


1. Help libraries worldwide develop projects and programmes that encourage and support literacy, reading, and lifelong learning.

1.1 To distribute, demonstrate and promote the use of the brochure "Library-Based Literacy Programs: Some Practical Suggestions"; to promote its translation into all of IFLA's official languages and as many national languages, as possible; to make the translations accessible on the web; and, where possible, to support the printing of those in IFLA languages.

1.2 To contribute to the development and implementation of a plan to be considered by the Governing Board to assist IFLA and its members to mark the UNESCO Decade of Literacy (2003-2012) and to ensure the contribution and recognition of libraries in research and the development and practice of literacy, information literacy and lifelong learning, taking into account the diversity of cultures, languages and economic and social circumstances, and supporting the theme "Libraries for Lifelong Literacy".

1.3 To assist IFLA in the implementation of the formal Partnership Agreement with the International Reading Association (IRA) and the International board on Books for Young People (IBBY).

1.4 To continue to develop, share the results, and possibly expand to other nations the "Book Centers" reading promotion project launched in 2001 by Russian and U.S. reading promoters with the support of the Open Society Institute.

1.5 To serve, through IFLANET and with links to and with other websites, as a resource and advocate for information about literacy and reading promotion projects/programmes and events worldwide.

2. Through meetings, discussion, research, publications, and widespread dissemination of information on IFLANET, encourage a better understanding of reading, literacy, and book culture in specific cultural milieus.

2. 1 To identify and encourage the sharing of research and best practices in the sponsoring of appropriate literacy and reading events and celebrations, in cooperation with other national and international cultural, literacy, and reading organizations (e.g., marking International Literacy Day (8 September) in cooperation with the International Reading Association and its national associations and the International Literacy Network; marking World Book and Copyright Day (23 April) in cooperation with UNESCO and its national commissions; and to honour specific achievements in the worlds of literacy and reading development in cooperation with the International Book Committee, the International Board on Books for Young People (IBBY) and other groups, such as the International Reading Association and its national/regional associations).

2.2 To continue to support and maintain Celebrate Reading Worldwide: "An Interactive Calendar of Reading Promotions" begun in 2003 as a Reading Section project and coordinated at the University of Houston, Clear Water.

2.3 To plan an Open Session at the 2006 IFLA conference in Seoul, Korea, in cooperation with the Libraries for Children and Young Adults Section on the theme Family Reading and based on the General theme, Libraries: Dynamic Engines for the Knowledge and Information Society and to support other programmes related to this topic.

2.4 To support and take part in Division VII's Programme, when the topic is relevant.

2.5 To complete and disseminate the report and take appropriate actions related to Pre-conference Seminar in Norway, held on August 12, 2005, in conjunction with the School Libraries and Resource Centres Section.

2.6 To promote, in cooperation with the Center for the Book in the Library of Congress, the Russian libraries and the British Council, a reading promotion "handbook" that illustrates and describes good ideas for promoting reading from around the world.

3. Monitor, promote, and disseminate research and research results about reading, readers, reading promotion, literacy, and library services to readers.

3.1 Building on the Section's 2001-2002 survey of reader-centered services in public libraries, support extending the research and research methodology to Latin American libraries, in cooperation with the Latin American Section.

3.2 To continue and strengthen the "Reports on Current Research in Reading and Literacy" column in the Section on Reading Newsletter.

3.3 To ensure that the papers presented at the Reading Section's Open Session at the 2005 conference in Oslo are on IFLANET, with a link to the papers presented at the pre-conference on the IASL website, and to encourage the publication of the papers as widely as possible in relevant journals and newsletters.

3.4 To continue the development and implementation of a joint research project with the International Reading Association (IRA) on the hallmarks of a literate environment to support the learning and practice of literacy and the love of reading and writing.

4. Increase membership on the Standing Committee and in the Section on Reading.

4.1 To update and publish the Section's membership brochure on IFLANET in as many IFLA languages as possible, and, where feasible, to make print copies available.

4.2 To increase the Section's visibility by cooperating actively with organizations outside IFLA, such as the International Reading Association and the International Board of Books for Children (IBBY) and with IFLA units that have similar interests.

4.3 To publicize the Section's activities systematically and encourage more IFLA institutional members to join the Section on Reading.