9 April 2021
Nicaraguan libraries + IFLA Strategy: all aboard for a national strategic plan
Closely aligned to the IFLA Key Initiative 1.2 “Build a strong presence in international organizations and meetings as a valued partner”, the Nicaraguan Association of Librarians and Related Professionals (Asociación Nicaragüense de Bibliotecarios y Profesionales Afines - ANIBIPA) has been strategically planning how to strengthen the library system. They have done this by making strategic alliances at the national and Central American levels, carrying out workshops, and speaking publicly about burning issues, such as the Marrakesh Treaty.
Since 2015, ANIBIPA has strengthened collaboration ties with IFLA on relevant issues for professionals in the library sector such as copyright, the SDGs and the UN 2030 Agenda, and the IFLA Global Vision and Strategy. This has allowed ANIBIPA to carry out meetings, forums, and workshops, inspiring participants to join their voices with IFLA, and to strengthen networks and library systems at the country level. In this way, ANIBIPA, with the IFLA Strategy, is contributing to the development of literate, informed and participative societies.
ANIBIPA’s President, Gustavo Alfonso Cruz Mèndez emphasized the importance of ANIBIPA's collaboration with IFLA
Since 2019, we have taken up the challenge of aligning our national strategy to the IFLA Strategy 2019-2024 and implementing it in the actions outlined in our Association's annual operating plan. Our Association's annual operating plan is carried out in conjunction with our strategic allies, networks, institutions, systems of libraries and national and international organizations as valued partners, in the fulfillment of the proposed goals.
We have been addressing this challenge at a Central American level, as I am also President of the Central American Federation of Library Associations (FECEAB). Thus, we have collaborated and participated in virtual and face-to-face meetings, with the aim of identifying and evaluating the challenges that promote thinking to promising future and new approaches for the library sector.
At the national level ANIBIPA promotes public opinion, the values of libraries, including intellectual freedom and free access to information as a human right in Nicaragua.
The strategic plan of the Nicaraguan Association of Librarians
Since the reactivation of ANIBIPA in 2000, the National Meeting of Librarians and Related Professionals is held every year in Managua, the capital of Nicaragua, presenting topics of interest for the advancement of the library, archivist, and museum profession.
The last two years have been no different.
- In November 2019 ANIBIPA held the XIX National Meeting of Information Management Professionals, with the motto "Libraries, Archives and Museums, for inclusive access to information: Agenda 2030". More than 200 librarians participated in person.
- In November 2020 ANIBIPA organised the XX National Meeting of Information Professionals with the motto: “For the challenges and trends of access to information in Nicaragua: Agenda 2030". 120 information professionals from more than 50 municipalities of Nicaragua took part, with all the appropriate precautions for Covid-19 taken, while the meeting was also broadcasted through ANIBIPA’s Facebook, in order to reach as many librarians as possible.
Both meetings have had a clear focus on the development of ANIBIPA’s strategic plan, drawing inspiration from the IFLA Strategy 2019-2024.
Specifically, in 12-13 December 2020 ANIBIPA’s President, Gustavo Alfonso Cruz Mèndez co-led the workshop “Strategic Planning in Libraries and Archives of Nicaragua”, where strategic planning issues were addressed, such as: the IFLA Strategy 2019-2024, organizational principles, stages of strategic planning, strategic diagnosis, management indices, strategic planning assessment, institutional context, human resources, physical infrastructure, technology infrastructure, financial resources, collections, services, resources, processes and users.
Going back to 2019, ANIBIPA organised workshops that were a replica of the IFLA workshop “Strategies for Stronger Libraries” that took place in May 2019, in Buenos Aires. The workshops were focused on the creation of ANIBIPA’s strategic plan in alignment with the IFLA Strategy 2019-2024. More than 200 librarians from different kind of libraries, as well as archivists, museologists and other related information professionals took part in the workshop, enriching Nicaragua’s strategic plan with their innovative ideas. All this group work resulted into the creation of ANIBIPA’s strategic plan aligned to the IFLA Strategy 2019-2024.
The objective of the workshop was to highlight the implementation of strategies based on the guidelines of the IFLA Strategy 2019-2024; to strengthen the library, archives, and professional information systems to reinforce the articulation of information management. All these issues are related to cultural policy, which is why the workshops were organized in collaboration with the Nicaraguan Institute of Culture, in order to acquire strengths, skills, experiences, and abilities among in human talent that librarians have.
The following specific objectives were defined: to reflect, dialogue and generate new learning that will make it possible to strengthen Nicaraguan libraries, as inclusive information scenarios to implement the Nicaraguan national strategic plan based on the guidelines mentioned in the IFLA Strategy 2019-2024; analyze the situation of Libraries, Archives and Museums as cultural entities as an important input for the IFLA Strategy 2019-2024, with a view to strengthen the country's Information and Documentation System and build a national movement of Libraries, Archives and Museums; analyze the Sustainable Development Goals and the 2030 Agenda, incorporating it into the work of the Libraries, Archives and Museums of Nicaragua.
Here are a few results of the group work that was developed during the workshops in Nicaragua. Information professionals were split into six groups and discussed their main strengths, weaknesses, challenges, and actions, in alignment to the IFLA Strategy 2019-2024.
In particular, ANIBIPA’s President, Gustavo Alfonso Cruz Mèndez underlined the importance of co-creating a strategic plan together with Nicaraguan information professionals
“We wanted to prepare a proposal for the creation of a National Information System in Nicaragua. It is a challenge that we have raised from as an association.
With the initiative of the aforementioned system, it would be possible to provide access to information and promote reading throughout the country, by sharing experiences, exchanging ideas, communicating knowledge and debating different points of view and concerns. This will allow us to develop collaborative work with the different information sectors and networks in Nicaragua.”
ANIBIPA's 2020 National Meeting attracted National Media Coverage:
The Marrakesh Treaty in Nicaragua
In alignment with the IFLA Key Initiative 1.2, ANIBIPA has looked to bring global advocacy priorities to the national level.
In ANIBIPA’s 2019 National Meeting an important panel took place to talk about the Marrakesh Treaty in Nicaragua, with the participation of Maritza Espinales, the Deputy National Librarian, David López, president of the Federation of the Blind in Nicaragua "Maricela Toledo" FECONORI and Gustavo Alfonso Cruz Mèndez, ANIBIPA’s President.
Maritza Espinales highlighted that the Marrakesh Treaty opens the doors to all those people of the Nicaraguan society with different disabilities to access reading and learning.
Gustavo Alfonso Cruz Mèndez presented the challenges of ANIBIPA in the face of compliance with the SDGs and of the actions for the Marrakesh treaty.
“We need to create initiatives and alliances between the sectors to create a national committee that will be responsible to prepare the Marrakesh Treaty regulations. Emphasis should be also placed on the challenges for libraries to provide services and give solutions how they can overcome those challenges.”
Additionally, in alignment with the IFLA Key Initiative 3.3 “Empower the field at the national and regional levels”, Gustavo Alfonso Cruz Mèndez, ANIBIPA’s President and also President of the Central American Federation of Library Associations and Colleges (FECEAB) participated in several webinars:
- the webinar "Searching for Immunity for Libraries" (May 15, 2020)
- the Librarian Conference of Honduras with the theme "Create Strategic Alliances for the Sustainable Development Agenda 2030" (October 25, 2020)
- the IFLA LAC webinar: "Latin American libraries in times of pandemic" which focused on how libraries in the Latin American region face the reopening of services, staff safety and the treatment of collections during the COVID-19 pandemic (September 17, 2020)
Read more about the IFLA Strategy 2019-2024
How is your library or library association engaging with the IFLA Strategy? Let us know! Post on your social media, using the hashtag #IFLAStrategy and #WeAreIFLA or send an email to Despina Gerasimidou, IFLA’s Strategic Development Officer at firstname.lastname@example.org.