Iran Participates in IFLA WLIC 2019

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IFLA’s 85TH World Library and Information Congress was held in Athens, Greece, on August 24th-30th 2019. This event was attended by delegates and volunteers from various countries around the world.
Participating in the IFLA’s World Library and Information Congress has been grown in the last years. As six experts from National Library and Archive of Iran (NLAI), two researchers from Islamic Consultative Assembly’s library, an expert from Iran Public Libraries Foundation (IPLF), and an expert from Shahid Beheshti University Library participated in the IFLA’s annual congress.
Currently, some Iranian Experts have been appointed as members of different IFLA committees. Fatemeh Pazooki Has appointed been as a member of the Committee on Standards and Public Libraries Committee. Masoomeh Niknia has been appointed as a member of the Workgroup on Bibliographic Conceptual Models (BCM Review Group). Hamideh Memari and Parisa Pasyar have joint Serials and other Continuing Resources Section of IFLA. Saeedeh Akbari-Daryan was appointed as a member of UNIMARC Committee. Also, Farnaz Daneshjoo, MA student of Allameh Tabataba’i University, succeeded to gain the IFLA Conference Participation Grant and presented her article in this worldwide congress.
At the opening meeting of the Public Libraries Panel, which was held on August 24, Fatemeh Pazooki, Head of the International Relations Committee of ILISA, and member of IFLA’s Standards and Public Libraries Committee, presented an article entitled Public Libraries and Crisis Management in Iran.
In her presentation, Pazooki outlined the activities of Iran’s public libraries through recent calamities occurred in Iran including Kerman and Kermanshah earthquakes and the flood occurred during new solar year of 1398. Also, she presented a summary of the activities of Iranian public libraries through the “Bahare Mehrabani (Spring of Kindness)” campaign.
Eventually, the head of the International Relations Committee of the Library and Information Society of Iran said: “We believe that information centers (consisting of librarians, libraries and even library members) have to be active when crises occur. They are expected to be among the most active sectors of society, and to play an effective role, both before and after the crises.
On the sidelines of the 85th IFLA World Congress in Athens, the Iranian delegation met Ms. Gloria Pérez-Salmerón, the IFLA’s President. The participants discussed about the areas of cooperation with IFLA. The Iranian delegation appreciated the efforts of Ms. Gloria Pérez-Salmerón during her tenure as IFLA’ President. At the end of the meeting, Dr. Fariborz Khosravi, President of ILISA, donated a gift to Ms. Pérez-Salmerón. Likewise, in a meeting with Ms. Jan Richards, the Chair of Public libraries Committee of IFLA, the Iranian delegation donated a gift memorial to Ms. Richard.
This year Iranian Experts presented five articles in IFLA WLIC 2019; these articles are as follows:
• A problem-solving approach to clinical practice: Evidence-based Nursing in Iranian Scientific Publications and assessing using American Association of Critical Care Nursing-Levels/ Maryam Kazerani, Fatemeh Babaei and Azam Shahbodaghi;
• National Library of Iran as a platform for social dialogue: an analysis of an Experience/ Fariborz Khosravi and Saeedeh Akbari-Daryan;
• A conceptual framework for organizing Persian TV series based on the PRESSoo model/ Negin Shokrzadeh and Mohsen Haji Zeinolabedini;
• Perceptions of Love in telling the love story of Leily and Majnoon using images of the products derived from it among adolescents in the library of the 5th district of Ekbatan, Tehran/ Esmat Momeni and Farnaz Daneshjoo;
• Free access to information in Iran, in line with the UN Sustainable Development Goals/ Mahboubeh Ghorbani and Saeedeh Akbari-Daryan.
Also, four Iranian posters were presented in IFLA WLIC 2019; Iranian posters are as follows:
• A Study about Organizational Climate with Customer-Satisfactory of Library of Art & Cultural Organization of Tehran Municipality/ Mohammad Dekamei, Mohsen Haji Zeinolabedini and Amir Reza Asnafi;
• An Investigation on Factors Affecting Performance Improvement of Public Libraries based on Customer Relationship Management (CRM)/ Hamid Ghazizadeh;
• Promotion of Environmentalism through Green Information Literacy in Iranian Public Libraries/ Somayeh Farzadi, Mitra Samiee and Elham Hooshmand;
• Natural Library: An Opportunity for Children to Familiarize with Practical Life Skills/ Mitra Samiee.
Also, two Iranian papers were presented in a satellite meeting, which was held on August 23. Papers are as follows:
• Gray literature as valuable resources in the Natural Library of Iran: from Organizing to Digitization/ Reza Shahrabi Farahani and Somayeh Sadat Hashemi;
• Survey of Grey Literature of National Library and Archives of Iran/ Afsaneh Teymouri Khani.
In his stories for Iran’s Books News Agency (IBNA) , Dr. Mohsen Haji Zeinolabedini, the faculty member of Knowledge and Information Science department of Shahid Beheshti University, stated that IFLA is the world’s most important annual event of librarianship and information science. IFLA is like a theoretical and practical knowledge checklist with nearly 60 specialized areas in which standing and ad-hoc committees are established. IFLA is led by its librarians and affiliated institutions.
Historically, various experts, such as Ms. Poori Soltani, Ms. Zahra Shadman and others, were members of IFLA committees and played a key role in its decisions. Fortunately, in the last few years we have had young and dynamic Iranian librarians who joined the IFLA’s specialized committees and participated in decisions taken by these committees. However, it is not enough to fulfill capacity of our libraries. Iranian librarians and the related institutions need to have a serious plan to support Iran’s active presence in IFLA’s management and board of directors.
He also claimed that holding IFLA’s sessions in Iran is one of the issues that has been considered for many years, but has never been concluded. It is for several reasons: first, an event, which attracts between three to four thousand librarians and information science professionals from around the world, is a matter of national endeavor and effort. This is especially the case in countries, where even the most senior political and governmental officials are involved with the affairs of the IFLA Congress. But in our country, such cohesion and harmony will not reach easily. There is also the issue of tourism, so hospitality and infrastructure, such as hotels, transport, guides, security, etc. are not easily accessible in our country.
Moreover, IFLA seeks a global dialogue, peace, and relations far from political turmoil among the member states. It is while we should invite the countries which we are not allowed to politically. Finally, the capacity, membership, presence and activity of our country’s librarians should be strong enough to be able to gain the privilege of hosting IFLA. Such capacity has not yet been formed in our country.
In his article he also says that another important issue that is certainly important to deeply utilize the IFLA’s capacity, is the cohesion and purposefulness of our communications with IFLA. Currently we have no strategy for cooperating with IFLA. The two most important librarian organizations in our country, i.e. the National Library and the Parliament Library, have been members of IFLA for many years and have tried to attend IFLA’s annual meetings. The rest experts participated in IFLA relying on their own personal interest and activity; they submitted their articles in IFLA or have appointed as a member of its committees. There is no single coordination between the programs of the two Iranian affiliated organizations in IFLA, the National Library and the parliament library; however, if we consider this as a unified package in our country’s library activities, we need to consider both current and future long-term programs. By focusing on the country’s capabilities and striving to address shortcomings, we could prepare people for action, achievement and participation in IFLA, and to create good work and energy sharing.
To conclude his remarks, he stated that membership in IFLA has its requirements, but any affiliated institution can become an IFLA’s member through paying membership fees. All major institutions, such as the Iran Public Libraries Foundation (IPLF), the Iranian Library and Information Science Association (ILISA), the Central Library of the University of Tehran, and the country’s major universities should all become members of IFLA.
Being passive consumers of IFLA services is not acceptable at all, so, we have to play an active and effective role in IFLA’s committees. Many of our libraries’ and organizations’ day-to-day work are based on evidence-based case studies that are welcomed by the world. All of our librarians have to strengthen their confidence and understand the importance of international publication. It is important to study the proceedings of IFLA’s articles and present their works through an international level.

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