What I Talk About When I Talk About iBulletin!

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Fatemeh Pazooki | In Iran, many activities have been carried out in various areas related to the work of The International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions (IFLA), even if not adequately known at the international level. Well,
This is what I figured out at the 81st IFLA World Library and Information Conference 2015 in Cape Town, South Africa. Prior to my presentation of our national report, Mr. Patrice Landry, the head of the Standards Committee, presented a colorful infographic report on the state of the then current activities in the field of library standards in various countries. Color ‘gray’ in the report denoted countries without available information in the area under review – which to my deep surprise, also included Iran.
At the end of my report to the Standard Committee – which we consider as one of the most important and useful subsidiary bodies under IFLA – under the title of “Assessment of the Current Status of Iranian Public Libraries with IFLA Standards” – I presented a number of books, brochures, and manuals which had been published in the field of standardization in Iran. I also added that those publications represented only a small part of the quite wide-ranging activities carried out in Iran in the field; and just too bad that there was no trace of such activities in the infographic report.
Can you guess why? Why was the Standard Committee totally unaware of our extensive activities at the national level? The answer is quite simple: because all our outreach activities, inclusive of governmental reports and bulletins as well as reports published in the mass media, are mostly – I could even say, practically exclusively – published in Persian, which is not an international language, not even an official UN language!
In response to this sad fact – and I presume perhaps partly due to my report from the IFLA Conference and other similar critical reports by other colleagues – the National Library has recently decided to establish the International Relations Committee of the Iranian Library and Information Association. And interestingly enough, I happen to be in charge of the newly-established Committee!
Given this background and with the Committee in place – though not yet up and running – we hope to pull our existing capabilities together and to improve the state of international liaison and cooperation between Iran’s Library and Information Society (LIS) and its counterparts in other countries, and of course, with IFLA and its bodies. We have been trying in the meantime to gather information on various librarianship activities at the national level, to be translated into English subsequently and finally to be made publicly accessible on the Association Website. This, we believe and hope, will help provide our intended interlocutors at the international level with a relatively good picture of our work and activities – and achievements – in this field. And not to mention the hope that the ‘gray’ area in future IFLA Standard Committee reports will not include Iran anymore.
And this is exactly what I mean by the ‘iBulletin” we are trying to produce.

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