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Page history last edited by PBworks 17 years, 7 months ago

International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions


IFLA was founded in Edinburgh, Scotland, on September 30, 1927, at the 50th anniversary celebration of the British Library Association. Inspired by post-World War I international unity and collaboration, delegates from fifteen different countries signed a resolution to establish the first international, professional library organization. In its infancy, IFLA was dominated by European interests. Early accomplishments included regulating the German book trade's periodical prices and creating an international interlibrary loan system.


After World War II, IFLA's membership grew to 50 countries. In 1946, IFLA partnered with the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) with the mission of furthering "by all possible means the greatest freedom in the distribution and exchange across national frontiers of publications, other materials of libraries, information about publications, etc." A growing membership base, along with influential librarians such as S. R. Ranganathan, helped to develop a more global perspective for the organization.


IFLA currently champions three main goals: to "promote high standards of provision and delivery of library and information services"; to "encourage widespread understanding of the value of good library & information services"; to "represent the interests of our members throughout the world." Ongoing IFLA activities include library development, copyright issues, freedom of information, preservation, conservation, and developing UNIMARC.


IFLA is currently headquartered in The Hague at the Royal Library, the national library of the Netherlands, and is comprised of 1700 association and institutional members from 150 countries. An IFLA conference is held each year in a different city, in addition to regional meetings and conferences.


Deborah Copperud


Works consulted:


International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions (2002). "A brief history of IFLA." Retrieved March 16, 2006, from http://www.ifla.org/III/75ifla/75index.htm.


International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions (2006). "About IFLA."

Retrieved March 16, 2006, from http://www.ifla.org/III/index.htm.


Campbell, H. (2002). "IFLA's first fifty years: a reprise." IFLA Journal 28(3),



Rayward, W. B. (1994). "Library associations, international." In W. A. Wiegand and D. G. Davis, Jr. (Eds) Encyclopedia of Library History (342-347). New York: Garland

Publishing, Inc.

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