29 January 2010

The Building Strong Library Associations programme: expression of interest for core trainers

By Stuart Hamilton and Fiona Bradley


IFLA is seeking core trainers to deliver training and other activities as part of the Building Strong Library Associations (BSLA) programme.

Background and context

The comprehensive BSLA programme offers a strategic and coordinated approach to capacity building and sustainability of library associations for the benefit of associations, libraries, and their communities.  It allows for the delivery of a new training package aimed at developing library associations, and the continuing deployment of IFLA's existing workshops such as those on the IFLA Internet Manifesto, access to HIV/AIDS information through libraries, or transparency, good governance and freedom from corruption. The strength of the programme's model is that is allows for customization, and enables library associations to identify which IFLA training packages best suit their needs.
The Building Strong Library Associations programme will consist of:

  • The Building Strong Library Associations training package - a modular, customizable training package
  • IFLA's existing policy training packages (for example, Internet Manifesto training)
  • Mentoring and activities (for example, study tours)
  • Advice and help on working with other associations (for example, to form regional consortia)
  • An online platform to provide remote access to materials and knowledge

 The programme can consist of all of these elements, or it can be customized to include different combinations.


IFLA's vision for this programme is to enrich society and the library and information profession by building strong, sustainable library associations. The programme will help library associations and their members increase their potential to:

  • Improve services for library users
  • Provide equitable access to information
  • Develop the library and information profession


The Building Strong Library Associations Programme is an IFLA programme. It will be delivered under the Action for Development through Libraries Programme (ALP).

The BSLA programme will realise this vision through a series of learning packages and activities that can be customised to accommodate different cultural, political, technological, social and other conditions. The programme will focus on a sustainable and evidence-based approach to library association development, using impact assessment and other methods as appropriate to evaluate the outcomes of training and activities.

The BSLA programme will be delivered flexibly, including face-to-face and computer-mediated approaches. The approach will be designed according to the needs of each library association.

The programme will be launched in August 2010, with implementation in the first countries participating in the programme commencing from September 2010.

The programme is aimed at library association workers - this can be staff, office bearers, volunteers, representatives (such as regional co-ordinators) and members. Depending on the nature of a country's library association, it is designed to initially be delivered to a core group of individuals, with further workshops and cascade training, where appropriate, taking place consequently. Parts of the programme can also be adapted for delivery to people outside of the library sector, or connected to the association in a different way. Examples might include politicians and decision makers, or organizations working with library associations.

Programme timeline

  • Trainers meeting in The Hague, April 26-29 2010
  • Ideally, attend a follow-up trainers meeting during the World Library and Information Congress, 10-15 August 2010
  • Programme implementation, including initial training activities, commences September 2010

Selecting Trainers for the Programme

 IFLA will bring selected applicants to IFLA HQ for four days of training and information sharing. The nature of the Building Strong Library Associations programme, and the expertise required to successfully carry out training workshops, means that IFLA is seeking experienced individuals with a proven track record in library association work. Ideally, IFLA is looking for individuals who are at the point in their career where they have the freedom to engage with training opportunities overseas in exciting, challenging environments.

The role of a core trainer will be to provide training to participants through a series of workshops over a 12-18 month period. The number of workshops will vary according to the needs of the involved association, although it can be assumed that trainers will need to make 2-3 country visits during the period of the project. During this time the core trainer will be supported by the ALP Programme Co-ordinator and facilitators from the organizing team in a chosen country. Full logistical support will be offered to the core trainer for the duration of their involvement of the programme, and IFLA sees each country project as very much a team effort in terms of implementation.

Interested persons should note that while IFLA covers the cost of travel, accommodation and expenses during training activities, it does not pay staff or consultant costs for involvement in the programme. Instead, IFLA is offering the chance to work with library associations keen to develop their capacity and make a difference. This is a chance to be part of a flagship training programme aimed directly at our core constituency - library associations.

Trainers will be delivering training and activities in both a face to face and online learning environment depending on the needs of each library association. The blended options could range from totally online or totally face-to-face to a mixture of face-to-face and computer mediated learning environments.

Trainer responsibilities

Core trainers will:

  1. Liaise with the in-country local facilitator and Programme Coordinator ALP to organize training and other activities in-country
  2. Be  all of IFLA's BSLA training packages, and be able to deliver any one of them according to the needs of the association
  3. Deliver training and other activities for up to a week at a time in-country
  4. Be available to attend a train-the-trainers meeting at IFLA Headquarters 26-29 April 2010
  5. Assist with the moderation of online discussions. The time commitment would be expected to be around 2 hours per week over a month

Selection criteria

Core trainers will have experience in most or all of the following areas:

  1. Experience and expertise in working with and leadership of national library associations, either as an office bearer or staff member
  2. Experience and expertise in the development of library associations
  3. Experience and involvement with IFLA
  4. Knowledge and experience of delivering training, especially to culturally and linguistically diverse groups and using blended learning approaches
  5. Knowledge and experience of using online discussion and learning tools
  6. Interest in this programme.

Expressions of interest will be assessed by the Senior Policy Advisor, ALP Programme Coordinator, and the content developers who have developed the training package, with input from the regional sections. IFLA is seeking 6-8 core trainers at this point in the BSLA programme, and will cover all transport and accommodation costs involved in bringing individuals to IFLA HQ for meeting from 26-29 April 2010.

Expressions of interest

Interested persons should submit a brief expression of interest addressing the selection criteria by February 10 2010:
Please submit your response in English to stuart.hamilton@ifla.org

About IFLA

The International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions (IFLA) is the leading international body representing the interests of library and information services and their users. It is the global voice of the library and information profession.
Founded in Edinburgh, Scotland, in 1927 at an international conference, we celebrated our 75th birthday at our conference in Glasgow, Scotland in 2002. We now have over 1700 Members in 155 countries around the world. IFLA Headquarters is located in The Hague, The Netherlands.
IFLA is an independent, international, non-governmental, not-for-profit organization.

Our aims are to:

  • Promote high standards of provision and delivery of library and information services
  • Encourage widespread understanding of the value of good library & information services
  • Represent the interests of our members throughout the world.

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