Why not join us as a committee member?
IFLA has announced its Call for Nominations for Section Standing Committees August 2019 – August 2023 is now open.
This call outlines what is expected of committee members in general. If you are interested in standing for a position, or in nominating someone, please read through these and make sure that you or the nominee can commit to the time, the travel and the activity involved. There is more information in the IFLA webpages for committee members. Please note that this year’s nomination and election process takes place earlier than normal, with the completed nomination to be received by IFLA by 3 January 2019.
For the Rare Books and Special Collections committee in particular, here is what makes an excellent committee member:
– You can commit to attending meetings, both physical and virtual, and if not able to attend any meeting, you are able to contribute actively to the discussion topics and decisions to be made on the agenda. If you can’t make this commitment but would still like to contribute, you could become a Corresponding Member, get involved in one of our working groups, or simply attend our meetings and give feedback on our activities. There’s always some leeway – there may be a good reason why you have to miss one meeting, and everyone has times when they have to give their focus to other things, but our committee depends on everyone playing an active role to enable us to do everything that we want without unfairly burdening a few people.
– You are prepared actively to engage in the work of the section, in particular
– leading on the organisation of WLIC sessions, participating in the organisation of RBSC panels, and doing everything from chairing a session to being our liaison on a collaborative session with another section
– getting involved in planning for other conferences and seminars, particularly around mid-term meetings
– contributing your knowledge and understanding to our projects and to the requests we receive for expert advice and help – in the past few years we have needed people to write drafts for our project to develop competencies for people working with rare books and special collections, and to comment urgently on legislation relating to the trade in rare books, for instance
– getting involved in one of our subgroups – currently communications, metadata, the Competencies working group
– You are not just involved because of your own interests, but want to engage with the truly global perspective of IFLA, not just your national or regional perspective. But you also push to have the issues that matter to your region and your kind of rare books and special collections on our Section’s agenda.
– You are an ambassador for the IFLA RBSC in your own region, in professional associations and in other groups where you are active, for instance in the academic community, taking the ideas, information and best practice from the RBSC out to the sector where you are and bringing them from your own community to the RBSC to reach a wider audience
– IFLA will be producing a new strategy and undergoing some organisational change in the next few years. You want to participate in this process and make sure that the rare books and special collections community has the voice it needs in IFLA going forwards.
Some things you will get out of being a member of the RBSC Committee
– you will develop your understanding of rare book and special collections librarianship in every way from the detail of how we catalogue books to the global picture of the part rare books play in the memory of the world
– as a participant in WLICs and our mid-term meetings, you will see interesting collections of rare books and meet colleagues from all over the world – it’s a great opportunity to learn, to help other people who can learn from your expertise, and to see some amazing libraries and books
– you will have the opportunity to develop your own skills and to keep up with the latest developments and future directions of our sector. In the past few years we’ve brought IIIF and virtual reality gaming based on rare books to participants in our conferences, looked at the ethical issues involved in curating historical collections together with the Indigenous Matters section, and are playing an active part in the revisions and updates to library cataloguing models and standards.
– you will gain valuable breadth and depth of understanding of the field, that will enable you to advocate better for the needs of rare books and special collections and for the skills of those who work with them in your own organisation and in the wider world
…in short, an experience that is personally satisfying and inspirational, enabling you to give something back to your professional community and to take back good things to your own organisation, and a valuable source of professional development that can help you do your own job better or give you skills and experience to help you move on to a new one.
If you would like to become active in IFLA, you don’t need to confine yourself to the RBSC just because you work with rare books and special collections. There are other Sections and Special Interest Groups which are concerned with issues relevant to rare books and where the input of special collections librarians can be valuable from metadata to metropolitan libraries!