IFLA's Three Pillars

At its meeting this week, the Governing Board decided to endorse a new model for IFLA's operations, the three pillars, which recognises that IFLA's core functions relate to the societal contexts in which libraries and information services operate, IFLA's membership and professional matters. These three pillars are supported by the infrastructure offered by the Federation's governance structures, its website and its Headquarters (HQ) in The Hague.

  • The Society Pillar focuses on the role and impact of libraries and information services in society and the contextual issues that condition and constrain the environment in which they operate across the world. Those issues are addressed currently through FAIFE, CLM, Blue Shield, and our advocacy in the World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS) and other arenas.
  • The Profession Pillar focuses on the issues covered by the long established Core Activities - ALP, ICADS (webmaster: formerly known as ICABS), PAC, UNIMARC - and the Sections and Divisions. They lie at the core of our professional practice and help libraries and information services to fulfil their purposes and to shape responses to the needs of clients in a rapidly changing global environment.
  • The Members Pillar is of course central to IFLA. It includes the services we offer to members, management of their membership of IFLA, conferences and publications. We must work together to make IFLA more vibrant and attractive and beneficial for members throughout the world.

Of course, all three pillars and the underlying infrastructure are interdependent and not mutually exclusive. They offer a way of understanding and presenting IFLA holistically to the library and information sector and to governments and the wider community. The pillars should also provide the framework for IFLA's management and their focus should be reflected in program based budgeting.

Kay Raseroka, President
Alex Byrne, President elect

The Hague, 10 December 2004


IFLA's three pillars and WSIS / by Alex Byrne (IFLA President-elect 2003-2005, President 2005-2007)

Last update: 5 October 2012