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European Association for Health Information and Libraries
Association Européenne pour I'Information et les Bibliothèques de Santé


News from the World: IFLA

New Secretary General of IFLA:

Ross Shimmon is appointed Secretary General of IFLA, commencing in April 1999. He will leave the position of Chief Executive of The Library Association (UK). Throughout his career Mr Shimmon worked at a variety of levels in professional associations in the UK and in other countries. Christine Deschamps, President of IFLA, said: "I am confident that as IFLA enters the new millennium, the qualifications possessed by Ross Shimmon are exactly those needed by the Federation: skilled negotiator and manager; resourcefulness; commitment to high professional standards; broad experience in a membership organization; and ability to work in the international environment."

Section of Biological and Medical Sciences Libraries:

Résumé: La Fédération Internationale des Associations de Bibliothèques (IFLA) fondée en 1927, est aujourd'hui une organisation mondiale représentant 1600 membres de 150 pays. La section des Bibliothèques Biologiques et Médicales a été fondée en 1978 afin de promouvoir la coopération internationale dans le domaine particulier de ces bibliothèques.

Le 65ème Conseil et Conférence annuelle de l'IFLA aura lieu cette année à Bangkok, en Thailand, du 20 au 28 août 1999. Le thème de la conférence est "Les Bibliothèques comme accès à un monde mieux informé". La section des Bibliothèques Biologiques et Médicales présentera une séance sur la santé des consommateurs.

Le statut de membre individuel ou institutionnel est possible et en temps que membre on peut s'inscrire à plusieurs sections ou tables rondes. La section des Bibliothèques Biologiques et Médicales recrute de nouveaux membres. Les membres de l'AEIBS sont inviter à se présenter pour faire partie du comité de la section.


The International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions (IFLA) was established in 1927 as a small association of mainly national library associations and academic libraries. The federation was one of the first international non-profit, non-governmental organizations aiming to further the cause of librarianship. Today IFLA is an organization of world-wide scope representing more than 1600 members in almost 150 countries all over the world. Its purpose is to promote international understanding, cooperation, discussion, research and development in all fields of library activity, including bibliography, information services and the education of personnel, and provide a body through which librarianship can be represented in matters of international interest.

IFLA Section of Biological and Medical Sciences Libraries was founded in 1978 to represent and act as a forum for special libraries concerned with all aspects of information dissemination and services in relation to the health sciences and biological sciences.

The Section’s general aims include the promotion of cooperation between biological and health sciences libraries; the facilitation of the development and the application of new technology relevant to those libraries; the consideration of means for better provision of health care information to consumers; the promotion of cooperative activity between national and international library associations of biological and medical sciences libraries and the promotion of cooperation with the World Health Organization and other relevant international bodies.

IFLA's annual conference and exhibition is the largest international event for professionals within the library and information sector. This year IFLA's 65th council and general conference will take place in Bankok, Thailand, 20-28 August 1999. It offers an excellent opportunity for thousands of delegates, experts and library and information officers from all over the world to exchange ideas and experience as well as to introduce new innovations and products. The theme of the meeting this year, "Libraries as gateways to an enlightened world" offers a broad scope for an exchange of experiences.

The Section coordinates an open session at each annual IFLA conference. For 1999 in Bangkok, the Section is planning a session on Consumer Health Information featuring Arne Jakobsson from Sweden speaking on the development of a patient education database, Carolyn Willard from the National Childrens Medical Center in Washington, DC describing the development of a consumer health reference service and Thomas Hill, an AHEC Librarian from South Carolina, reviewing the use of PubMed and Loansome Doc by consumers. It is hoped that an Australian Librarian will speak of the reference interview and the general public.

You or your institution may become a member of IFLA. There are both personal and institutional memberships. IFLA also has two categories of voting members: Association members and institutional members. Association membership is open to associations of libraries, librarians and library schools, but also associations of bibliographical and research institutes which are primarily concerned with the implementation of the purposes of the federation. Libraries, library schools, bibliographical and research institutes and other institutions and bodies primarily concerned with the implementation of the purposes of the federation are welcome to join the federation as institutional members. Additionally, there are two important categories of non-voting members, those of personal affiliates and sponsors.

All IFLA members and affiliates are entitled to register for Sections and Round Tables of their choice. When registered, voting members have the right to nominate experts for the Standing Committees of the Sections of which they are members. The Section of Biological and Medical Libraries is recruiting new members. Anyone who is a member of an affliated association, such as EAHIL, may become a Standing Committee member if nominated by one association member, or nominated by two institutional or personal affiliates. Please contact either Ragnhild Lande (Ragnhild.Lande@ub.ntnu.no) or Ysabel Bertolucci (ysabel.bertolucci@kp.org) for further information.

If you wish to know more about IFLA, wish to join the Section of Biological and Medical Libraries of IFLA please visit their web site at: <www.ifla.org>

Ysabel Bartolucci

back to ToC EAHIL Newsletter Nr. 47 (May 1999)


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