#IFLA2015 Daily: Greetings from Cape Town, South Africa

By: Marisol FlorIFLA2en and Sally Holterhoff

As is the tradition in IFLA the day before the opening of the official program on Sunday, the different officers and members of Sections and Special Interest Groups convene to discuss issues related to their programs and activities. The Law Libraries Standing Committee held on Saturday the first of the two business meetings that will take place during the conference. We are looking forward to two programs organized by the Standing Committee on the topics of: (a) Access to Legal Information and Legislative Data in Africa: The Role of Libraries and Librarians; and (b) the Future of Law Libraries: Tales of Existence and Transformation. The first session will take place on Tuesday, August 18, and the second session on Thursday August 20.

2015 marks the 10th anniversary of the Law Libraries Standing Committee.  Sinikka Sipila, IFLA President, and Donna Scheeder, President Elect, attended the meeting. They discussed the work that is being developed by the Law Libraries Section on access and authentication of legal information and outlined the meeting that will discuss IFLA’s strategic plan that will model the UN SDGs.

One of the highlights of this year IFLA conference is the impact of the Lyon Declaration on Access to Information and Development and the recently approved United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The SDGs articulate that: “…access to information, knowledge and technologies are critical for the eradication of the major development challenges…the strengthening of democracy; and the promotion of social justice and cohesion …” This great accomplishment demonstrates IFLA’s advocacy  to influence the United Nations (UN) for the inclusion of libraries within their post 2015 development agenda.

Because Claire Germain, Chair of the Standing Committee, was not able to attend the Conference, the meeting was chaired by Pascal Sanz (National Library of France) and Sonia Poulin (Alberta Law Libraries, Canada). During the business meeting the Standing Committee elected new incoming officers and recognized the worked done by the outgoing members of the Standing Committee. New officers of the Standing Committee: Chair (Sonia Poulin), Secretary (Elizabeth Naumczyk, International Criminal Court) and Information Coordinator  (Marisol Floren, United States). Some possible topics for next year program were discussed as well; this discussion will continue during the following days and the second business meeting to be held on Tuesday.

Another important event of the day was the meeting of the USA Caucus. Members of the US delegation are working in different IFLA’s Committees especially on Freedom of Access to Information and Freedom of Expression (FAIFE), and Copyright and Other Legal Matters (CLM).  They are developing a joint program on Tuesday on The Ethics of Access: Exploring Copyright, Licensing and Privacy in the Digital Environment. The organizing committee for IFLA 2016 to be held in Ohio reported on the events that will take place next year. One of the new features for next year is the Scholarship Program which will sponsor librarians from the United States and worldwide to attend IFLA in Ohio in 2016. ALA will be coordinating this program, targeted to the new generation of librarians. The application form will be online and the call out is programed for the end of September.

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