Building Strong Library Associations Programme

This comprehensive 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:

  • A modular, customizable training package – Building Strong Library Associations
  • 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.

The programme will be available to members from September 2010.


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

It will do this 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 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.

Contents of the Building Strong Library Associations training package

Each module contains a series of topics, learning objectives, case studies, and opportunities for self-assessment.

  • Module 1: Library Associations in Society: An overview
  • Module 2: Building Your Library Association
  • Module 3: Sustaining your Library Association
  • Module 4: Developing Strategic Relationships: Partnerships and Fundraising
  • Module 5: Libraries on the Agenda

Because of IFLA’s International nature, our members – and those who would likely want to use our package – will come from cultures with different learning styles and expectations, different training needs for their members, different requirements for building capabilities of their members and for strengthening their association, and different needs for sustainability. To accommodate this, the package will be as open as possible, rather than prescriptive. The package will therefore provide the outline and content of the modules, and blended learning components that include exercises, examples, goals and objectives relevant to the module content. Customisation due to differing needs is expected.

Online platform

The online platform will make available all of IFLA’s training packages through a login-access site to all IFLA members. The platform will allow members to download training packages, relevant multimedia, participate in online learning activities and discussion with other members, and contribute their stories about how they have used the materials. Training packages will also be available to members who have limited Internet access via removable media (for example, CD-ROM).

Development of materials for the online platform will commence in January 2010 and the platform is expected to be available to all IFLA members from September 2010.

LDP (Library Development Programme)

Last update: 5 October 2012