Division four consists of sections that give technical support of a general kind (statistics, management, buildings, research and training) to sections that deal with topics that are specific to libraries (catalogueing, reference, preservation, …)
At our Division meeting on Sunday, ably led by Anna Maria Tammaro, we had a lively discussion about communication within IFLA. The organization is definitely moving towards greater openness, participation and web awareness. I recognize and appreciate that.
At the same time I feel, like many others (I now discover) that we need to speed up the process. IFLA is changing, but the world is changing faster. As an institution we are still five to ten years behind the “best cases” of open, participatory, web oriented organizations.
The IFLA language is quite forward looking. It stresses inspiration, participation, empowerment and the need for change, as expressed in the program for new leaders
Much of the organizational practice / and language / is rather bureaucratic, however. The real decision processes are not very transparent, and there is very little debate about contested issues. The best way to change that is to combine initiatives from the top – Governing Board, Professional Committee, IFLA HQ – with initiatives from below.
At the Division meeting people decided to establish a small working group to help this process along. There is nothing to report yet, since the group will have its first meeting today, but I look forward to participating in this initiative.
We will be sharing and inviting fresh, fun and friendly discussion as soon as we get organized …
Since the group does not have its own blog yet, I am posting the news here. The picture shows Toni Feliu Oller (Barcelona) and Trond Minken (Buskerud, Norway) discussing how to use public library statistics for advocacy. I participated in the discussion (and work as a consultant to Buskerud) – but somebody had to take the photo …