MEMORANDUM OF UNDERSTANDING
International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions (IFLA)
International Reading Association (IRA)
International Board on Books for Young People (IBBY)
The participating organizations, IFLA, IRA, and IBBY, acknowledge the intrinsic value and importance of reading and literacy, which are prerequisites for seeking and accessing information of any kind, and understanding and making use of it. Reading is a condition for participative citizenship, social inclusion, the creation of new knowledge, empowerment in the widest sense (personal, vocational, corporate, and organizational), and learning for life.
The participating organizations understand that there are different ways of learning, and of developing and sustaining literacy. Unrestricted access to books of quality, that are pertinent to the reader’s experience, in the reader’s language, and culturally relevant, together with unimpeded access to books from around the world, lies at the heart of a literate society. Education (formal, non-formal, and informal), support for local publishing and publishing in minority languages and library programming are complementary sources and enablers of knowledge. They are central pillars to our aims, goals, and values.
Literacy, in the broadest sense, is the ability to make use of various sources of information and improve human quality of life. It includes the ability to locate, evaluate, and effectively use information in many ways
Literacy is a lifelong process, which is most effectively ensured by granting each and every child the right and the means to read. Literacy must be continually maintained throughout a person’s life. Education and access to books and sources of information as a basic human right has to include the right to read as a precondition. Our commonality is the role of literacy in society.
In order to live up to these affirmations, we agree to work together on:
- formalization of partnerships among IFLA, IRA, and IBBY through:
-establishing associated status with each other, based on our common interests,
-and on maximalization of each others’ strengths to enhance our effectiveness and outreach.
We therefore agree to work on practical modalities which include:
• One free registration for one representative in each others’ conferences:
- IFLA: World Library and Information Congress (WLIC) (annual)
- IRA: Annual Conference (annual); World Congress (biennial)
- IBBY: World Congress (biennial)
• Exchange of expertise
• Joint statements, declarations, manifestos, etc.
• Joint advocacy and support for each others’ advocacy activities
• Joint research activities
• Joint workshops and/or training sessions
• Joint projects
• Joint publications
• Links to each other on the websites of our organizations
Agreed to by
Kay Raseroka, President of IFLA
Richard Allington, President of IRA
Peter Schneck, President of IBBY
Zagreb, Croatia, 2 August 2005
Proposal for concrete action:
Based on discussions of the presidents of IFLA, IRA, and IBBY, and James Wile, Director of International Development, IRA
On the occasion of the 14th European Conference on Reading Zagreb, 2 August, 2005
As follow-up to the Memorandum of Understanding
IFLA, IRA, and IBBY
the following concrete action is proposed:
1. Establish a committee of representatives from the three organizations
a) based on our common interests, work on priority activity and consider how public and school libraries in Africa can be enhanced to support literacy.
b) facilitate the development and the availability of materials of high quality and at appropriate levels, in languages that children understand and support local publishing.
2. Participating organizations provide seed financing, e.g. US$5000 to facilitate the projects proposed by the Committee.
3. The seed funding will be the basis on which matching grants would be sought from organizations with interest in literacy, e.g. Rotary International.
The Executive Directors will be responsible for the financial and administrative issues of the agreed projects.
Time frame for discussion by appropriate Committees:
IBBY Committee: September 2005 [Approved by IBBY EC, September 2005]
IFLA Executive Board/Governing Board: August 2005 [Approved by IFLA professional Committee, December 2005]
IRA Committee: September 2005 [Approved by IRA Board of Directors at September 2005 Board meeting.]