About the Library and Research Services for Parliaments Section

'IFLAPARL' is the Library and Research Services for Parliaments Section of IFLA, the International Federation of Library Associations.


The parliamentary libraries of the world, as a distinct type of librarianship, form a Section of their own within IFLA. This Section (Section 03) belongs to the Division of Library Types (Division I).


The Section is concerned with legislative libraries and research services - for the national legislatures in the case of unitary states and both national and second-tier legislatures in the case of federal countries. Parliamentary librarianship is a distinctive form of information work, mainly for Members of the Legislature, who work under great pressure, and who both use and create information. For this reason, they need adequate information support. In the last twenty to thirty years there has been a great growth of this work, not just in terms of quantity, but in many legislatures in terms of quality and depth. Research services have developed, as well as other specialist services such as economic modelling. Whether these come under the Library or not depends on the administrative structure of the legislature. But all forms of information and research service for legislators - and their support staff - are of interest to the IFLA Section on Library and Research Services for Parliaments.


Specific aims set out in the Section's Action Plan include:

  • To increase the effectiveness of parliamentary libraries and research services.
  • To provide a forum for addressing emerging issues related to legislative processes.
  • To promote openness, transparency and the strengthening of democratic participation through the provision of information about legislation and parliaments to citizens.
  • To promote the establishment of libraries and research services as a fundamental component in the development of democratic legislatures throughout the world.
  • To exchange experience, knowledge and problem-solving strategies, and promote networking amongst parliamentary libraries and research services.
  • To develop and promote standards and best practice in providing information and knowledge to parliaments.

Organisation and Activities

The Section's work is overseen by a Standing Committee which, in turn, elects the Section's Officers, i.e. the Chair, Secretary and Information Coordinator.

The Section works to meet its objectives through the following activities.

  • Sharing experiences and new developments through its annual conference as well as its session at the IFLA World Library and Information Congress (WLIC).  Information is shared with the wider membership through the Section’s web pages, newsletter, email list and social media.
  • Publishing guidance on establishing and providing library and research services for Parliaments, drawing on the experience of Section members and working with other relevant bodies, such as the IPU. 
  • Capacity building for staff involved in the development of parliamentary library and research services, often in conjunction with other organisations.
  • Strengthening the cooperation between the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) and parliamentary libraries and research services, and exploring possibilities for joint programmes and activities.
  • Encouraging the establishment of regional groups of parliamentary libraries like the European Centre for Parliamentary Research and Documentation (ECPRD).

Mailing List

IFLAPARL2 list is a discussion list open to all members of IFLA Section on Library and Research Services for Parliaments and those attending the Section's activities. Information about the Section's pre-conferences and conferences will be distributed on this list.

Note: IFLAPARL is a closed list (you must subscribe to it before you will receive emails.  Either members of the Section or those interested in the work of the Section may subcribe).


In addition to the benefits derived from Section membership, IFLA members receive free of charge:

  • IFLA Journal (quarterly)
  • Divisional and Section Newsletters

Publications of the Library and Research Services for Parliaments Section include:

Enquiries on any of the Section's publications should be addressed to the Secretary.

Additional Resources

Library and Research Services for Parliaments

Last update: 19 February 2020