From A to IAP: Standard Developing in Iran


“Standard-setting” for libraries and information services in Iran has long history. However, officially it dates back to 1960, when the Institute of Standards and Industrial Research of Iran was established, later to be renamed as the Iranian National Standards Organization (ISIRI)]. Iran has also been an active member of the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) – including serving as vice-president of the ISO Council in 1967. Preparation and publication of specialized texts on standards in Iran also dates back to the 1960s. The first technical text on standard-setting in library and Information services, essentially a Persian translation from ISO and IFLA Standards, appeared in 1975. Books and pamphlets authored by Iranian experts and academics gradually emerged in subsequent years, including the formulation of the first set of LIS standards in Iran by Shirin Taavoni in 1980s.
Currently many organizations, institutions and associations in Iran are engaged in formulating and developing LIS standards, even if the Iranian National Standards Organization of Iran (ISIRI) is the official authority in the field. Technical Committee No. 46 (TC/46), a subsidiary body of ISIRI and a subcommittee of the “Committee on Documentation and Administrative and Educational Equipments”, is in charge of setting and updating LIS-related standards. The full texts of the approved standards are accessible at the ISIRI database.
The National Library and Archives of Iran is also active in the field and provides updated versions of Metadata and bibliographic standards such as ISBD, AACR2 (currently RDA), ISSN, ISBN, ISIL, and MARC, as well as the needed standards for documentation and archives. It is to be noted, however, that Iran Public Libraries Foundation (IPLF) is the official body in charge of setting standards for libraries. IPLF’s Department of Standards, a subdivision of the General Directorate for Planning, is responsible for the formulation and supervision of standards in the public libraries in Iran.
“Iran Public Libraries Standards Project’, a national project, was signed in 2017 between IPLF and ILISA (Iranian Library & Information Science Association). The first phase of the Project aims at formulating, by November 2018, seven set of standards for public library programs, information services, marketing and public relations, customer service, staff, operating hours, and collections. This Project will be implemented with the support and under the supervision of IFLA’s International Advocacy Program (IAP). IAP has been designed to promote and support the role libraries can play in the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) of the United Nations 2030 Agenda.


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