5 November 2013

BSLA: Applications to participate in 2014 regional convening in Africa now open

IFLA's successful Building Strong Library Associations (BSLA) programme will be expanded through a series of convenings and projects at the regional level in Africa, Asia and Oceania, and Latin America and the Caribbean from 2014.

Africa Convening: Kumasi, Ghana, February 2014

The Africa Library and Information Association, Ghana Library Association and KNUST will host the Africa convening from 11-14 February 2014 in Kumasi, Ghana. IFLA invites library associations in the Africa region to apply to participate in the convening. The convening follows the IFLA Africa Section standing committee’s midterm meeting.

The convening will include workshops, practical activities and project planning. Materials will be delivered from the BSLA programme, as well as IFLA’s advocacy initiatives. The convening will be a very interactive meeting involving presentations, group work, discussions, and practical activities to take back to national associations to implement at the national or regional level. The meeting language will be English.

During the convening, associations will identify their own needs for further activities and development, identify needs in the region, and form action plans for implementation. Participants will assess their association’s and the region’s priorities and understand opportunities for follow-up activities and project funding.

Participating associations will play different roles during the convening - sharing experiences and strategies with others, and benefiting from an opportunity to learn from other associations in their region. Up to 10 associations will be selected to participate in the convening. At least two people will be selected from each association.

Follow-up activities and project funding

After the convenings, participating associations will be invited to apply for project funding. These projects could include support to:

  • Implement BSLA workshops and activities at existing events eg national and regional library association conferences;
  • Deliver projects in-country, such as a series of BSLA workshops and activities;
  • Implement IFLA advocacy projects or policies;
  • Undertake projects bringing together a smaller number of associations in the region to form alliances or partnerships in pursuit of advocacy goals.

Associations will have several opportunities to apply for project funds between 2014-2016, as needs and priorities evolve.

Expected outcomes

To build a strong library sector that benefits society, associations need a strong foundation in representation, governance, organisational development and strategy. The long-term goal of the programme is to build the foundation for library associations to assist their work in representing the interests of library users, telling the story of libraries and gaining policymaker support and partnership.

The convening and follow-up activities will:

  • Reinforce inter-country networks and expertise to support development in the regions;
  • Increase understanding and adoption of IFLA policies and manifestos to support high quality library and information services;
  • Promote strong, credible associations that effectively represent the sector through improved leadership, governance, partnerships and membership;
  • Provide a foundation for sustained development and advocacy.

Selection process for the convening 

The selection committee will comprise members of the IFLA ALP committee, and representatives from the regions where the convenings will take place. Applications will be shortlisted by the selection committee against the selection criteria. A member of the selection committee may contact applicants where they need to clarify any part of an application.

Selection criteria

  1. Readiness to carry out development: the library and broader social/political/economic environment is receptive to library development;
  2. Ability to build capacity: The Association has the capacity to implement action plans and projects. Applicants are selected for success and likely impact.

Additionally, each participant representing their association should have:

  • Demonstrated, current active leadership within their national or regional association; together with standing and influence within the profession at a national and/or regional level;
  • A depth of understanding of issues that have a current or expected impact on the library and information services sector on a national and regional level;
  • The ability to use their knowledge and experience to develop the capacity of their Association after the convening;
  • Proven ability to build networks and professional relationships;
  • Proven ability for creative thinking and innovative ideas; results motivation;
  • Strong written and oral communication skills, including English language skills.

Guidance for completing your application

Download and complete the application form [Word Document]

  1. All applications should be submitted by a national or regional library association;
  2. Persons nominated to attend the convening must be in a position to represent the Association and effectively participate in the meeting and lead follow-up activities;
  3. Applications may be submitted in one of IFLA’s official languages, but you must also send a copy in English. Submitting your application All project applications and attachments should be submitted by 20 November 2013 to alp@ifla.org


For further information about the BSLA Programme or the Convening, contact IFLA Manager Member Services and Development, Fiona Bradley

LDP (Library Development Programme), Associations, Ghana, BSLA, Library associations

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