Sydney University librarian to head global federation

Sydney University librarian to head global federation

The International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions (IFLA) have voted Sydney's University of Technology librarian, Alex Byrne, as its president-elect.

It will only be the second occasion that the IFLA president has been from outwith Europe or the US. Byrne, who is the current Chair of the IFLA Free Access to Information and Freedom of Expression Committee, will first take on the role of president-elect during the IFLA conference in Berlin in August. He will succeed Kay Raseroka, of Botswana, as president in August 2005 for a two-year period.

The IFLA was founded in 1927, and is an independent, international, non-governmental organisation that represents the interests of libraries, librarians and users of libraries worldwide, with members in over 150 countries.

Byrne says his election was indicative of the high esteem that Australian information professionals are held in around the world, adding that the relationship that the IFLA enjoys with other major organisations gives it a powerful voice around the world.

"We are good at sharing our knowledge and experience with others," he commented. "The IFLA has close links with the United Nations, particularly the United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO). Through this relationship, the federation can influence international issues of access to information for the benefit of smaller countries, including Australia and our neighbours in Asia and the Pacific."

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