ALA Council

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  • 1.  Fwd: [IFLA-L] Internationality and participation in IFLA

    Posted Jun 26, 2023 08:30 AM
    No, we are NOT with you! 

    Jim Neal
    University Librarian Emeritus 
    Columbia University
    ALA President 2017-18
    ALA Honorary Member

    Begin forwarded message:

    From: Muhumuza Medard Emmy <>
    Date: June 26, 2023 at 8:20:34 AM CDT
    Cc:, Margaret Merga <>,
    Subject: Re: [IFLA-L] Internationality and participation in IFLA
    Reply-To: Muhumuza Medard Emmy <>

    In support of Dr.Shawky Salem. For sure IFLA is a global association and for that matter it embraces all and sundry and does not segregate its members. Some cultures are not entertained in some countries and therefore LGBTQ  culture, also referred to as Queer Culture, should not raise dust to disqualify some countries from hosting IFLA conferences. If one man's meat is another man's poison, then don't eat it. Are we together????
            Emmy Medard 

    On Mon, Jun 26, 2023 at 12:04 PM <> wrote:

    Hello IFLA Colleagues


    Barbara Lison, IFLA President announced the decision of IFLA GB to have 2024 WLIC in Dubai - UAE. This news was accepted from all IFLA community & bodies except LGBT SIG, who claim that LGBT members will not feel safe in Dubai (Where there are 165 nationalities in Dubai live safe from long time).


    The same problem was raised by LGBT SIG when we have IFLA WLIC in Malaysia, where we must acknowledge that IFLA is the voice of "All Librarians" (Not all Members of LGBT) in the globe , and IFLA WLIC must move from North to South and from West to East... all countries of the world, as it is not European Club organization.


    Why this LGBT SIG complains every time the IFLA WLIC held outside Europe or North America... this is the current situation ,,, In the same time we can not keep the WLIC in European countries only because IFLA is not European Organization.


    The solution for this situation is as following:

    1-Who don't feel safe in a country -simply – don't visit this country, I remember when we were in Durbin- South Africa , where we can not walk in streets without guards with us, we did not raise any compalin, and enjoy the conference there.

    2-When LGBT SIG members think they will not be safe in such place, they can meet online for their business and discussion.

    3-I don't believe in these actions from LGBT , as every time we have a WLIC -outside the European Umbrella- they raise their concerns about the safety of their members... which is un logical action... and will be repeated every time we have WLIC outside Europe & North America... I think IFLA GB or General Assembly must study this case and take action towards it to stop these repeated claims.


    I , Personally Salute IFLA GB for his excellent decision to have 2024 WLIC in Dubai, and welcome all our IFLA friends & colleagues to visit one of the best places in our region: DUBAI – UAE.... Simply who is afraid ... don't come to Dubai ... please.


    Dr. Shawky Salem


    IFLA Member since 1987

    IFLA GB 2003 - 2007

    IFLA Medal 2009


    From: <> On Behalf Of Margaret Merga
    Sent: 23 June, 2023 4:45 PM
    Subject: [IFLA-L] Internationality and participation in IFLA


    Concerns about potential risks to LGBTQ+ participants are absolutely valid, and will no doubt determine who can attend the conference in 2024.


    It's important that we also fully understand just how marginalised voices from beyond Europe and the US really are, and where implicated demographics sit in terms of influence in our professional and scholarly spaces. As in the IFLA HQ statement, "we say we are the 'Global Voice of Libraries' yet in recent years, we have rarely taken the Congress outside of Europe and North America".


    Anyone regularly reading the academic research journals from the library and information sciences spaces knows that there are huge knowledge gaps from beyond Europe and the US. For example, Everhart (2018) addressed this issue and sought to make the case for diversity in school library research, noting that the bulk of the research in the school library space is concentrated on the US. This is not just the status quo in our current community (you might be interested in our earlier research on the situation in higher education journals).


    As I covered in my 2022 book on school libraries which sought to include insights from a wide body of international participants, this means that "school library professionals from outside this context may struggle to connect with these findings". Furthermore, library and information sciences professions can benefit from listening to these diverse voices, and internationality "needs to be intentional" (Merga, 2022, p. xxii) and not just something that we seek to resolve by scholarships that might allow a handful of attendees from marginalised geographic contexts. 


    We have been relatively silent on marginalising the participation of voices from beyond Europe and the US for a very long time.


    It would be great if IFLA could find a middle ground, where LGBTQ+ participants can feel safe and included, but otherwise marginalised voices from beyond Europe and the US, particularly from Asia and Africa, could participate. 


    Best wishes




    Dr. Margaret K. Merga

    Merga Consulting

    ABN: 90867670016

    Twitter: @MKMerga

    Order my new books here:


    School literacy policy (2023):


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  • 2.  RE: Fwd: [IFLA-L] Internationality and participation in IFLA

    Posted Jun 26, 2023 09:07 AM
    The argument of geographical diversity vs identity is fundamentally invalid in my opinion. There are countries in South West Asia where LGBTQ+ people's existence is not jeopardized legally and systematically.  

    I wholeheartedly support ALISE's decision and Professor Tang's statement regarding IFLA WLIC 2024 participation. Also, I agree with Kari that we must uphold our core values in dealing with this issue.

    Ramin Naderi, Councilor at Large