I have found the Library and Information profession is very vast and rather varied globally throughout the course of my studies and during this time, two organisations stand out in being monitored for the past 3 years:
- The International Federation of Library Associations (IFLA)
IFLA is the leading international body representing the interests of library and information services and their users. It is also the global voice of the library and information profession, originally founded in 1927 in Edinburgh, Scotland.
- The OCLC WebJunction
WebJunction is an organisation where public library staff gather to build the knowledge, skills and support need to power relevant, vibrant (public) libraries and was launched in 2003.
Both of these organisations have played a significant role within my university studies, as I have either referred to publications, articles, training programs and/or events made available by them many times as part of assignment research and deliverable(s) and as well, in collaborations with work colleagues at Logan City Council Libraries & Cultural Services (L&CS).
IFLA is an independent, international, non-governmental, not-for-profit organisation that aims to promote high standards of provision and delivery of library and information services. The organisation encourages widespread understanding of the value of good library and information services while representing IFLA members’ interests throughout the world. IFLA’s core values had (and still does) resonate within how I believe, perceive and expect the information and library sector should be globally, for one and all. The organisation embraces the following core values:
- the endorsement of the principles of freedom of access to information, ideas and works of imagination and freedom of expression embodied in Article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights
- the belief that people, communities and organisation need universal and equitable access to information, ideas and works of imagination for their social, educational, cultural, democratic and economic well-being
- the conviction that delivery of high quality library and information services helps guarantee that access
- 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.
WebJunction is another independent, international, non-governmental, not-for-profit organisation, though is different to IFLA in service delivery and is located in America. WebJunction’s main focus is on library technologies, management and services, along with supporting public access in small and rural libraries while ensuring public librarians are equipped to meet local needs in their communities. This organisation is of the belief that library staff must keep their skills current to face the evolving needs of library users and partner with a number of supporting organisations to provide cost-effective training and staff development programs that are all accessible online. Many of the organisation’s training programs are actually free of charge. Additionally, WebJunction is supported by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Paul G Allen Family Foundation and the Institute of Museum and Library Services.
I sincerely admire the ethics, standards, values, goals, aims and actual work facilitated by both of these organisations. If the opportunity arose to be within the employ of either organisations, I would simply revel in being able to apply the knowledge and skills gained from the MIT(LIS) degree while at the same time, learning from both. While it may seem like a pipe dream, I have been directing my career path on an international scale and in continuing to do so, I will become more actively involved with both organisations in the forth coming years.
In the interim (as I await opportunity to emerge, let alone attend (!) the next IFLA METLIB2015 conference in Zurich, Switzerland), I stay informed of both organisations via email newsletter subscriptions, Facebook postings and Twitter tweets. This ensures I am aware of what is happening for each organisation individually.