Reading Michael Stephens blogpost on ALA 2.0 I started thinking about library organizations and how web 2.0 can improve relations between members and organization and between organization and the world at large. I wrote a post on the Norwegian Library Association (NBF 2.0 – in norwegian) and having slept on the issue came to the conclusion that this was way to narrow thinking. The whole issue with web 2.0 and library 2.0 and hence Library Association 2.0 is that borders no longer count, national organizations are fine from both a social and professional viewpoint, but the real potential lies in the international possibilities that web 2.0 offers. Therefore the title of this blogpost: IFLA 2.0. IFLA, the International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions has so far, from where I stand, been an organization for the bigwigs on the national library scene. The director and president of the Norwegian library association, the directors of the lagest academic and public libraries and some people with special skills or papers to present. The membership fee is high and the benefit of becoming a member hard to see unless you have the budget to travel to the annual conferences around the world. This could now change. There is so much to be said for an internationalization of the library association work. I feel that I have more in common with Michael Stephens, Jenny Levine, Karen Schneider, Sukhdev Singh, Bonaria Biancu, and other Librarian 2.0s than I have with a majority of my fellow members of the Norwegian Library Association.
I would love to be a member of an organization that organized the people that looks at what makes libraries work and how they can develop on an international scale. These people are the ones I want to meet and discuss with, online in Second Life or World of Warcraft, on conferences like Internet Librarian and in any IM or chat session you can name. I have discussed with many interesting people on the Library 2.0 gang podcast and know from experience that I have a LOT to learn from others.
I know that a lot of the members of IFLA comes from developing countries and that the issues of web 2.0 and technology are completely outside the immediate problems and challenges that face the librarians of Nigeria, Peru or Vietnam. At the same time I think that some types of technology have the potential of solving some of the problems facing librarians in these and other developing countries. I would love to exchange experiences and understanding with librarians from all over the world. I know I would become a far more knowledgeable person from this, and I hope that some of my understanding will contribute to the knowledge of others. I think that what we now need is a truely international library organization for individual librarians using web 2.0 technology to exchange knowledge and fuel professional development. Either IFLA could take this ball and run with it, or this will expand and develop on its own just from the need of a critical mass of people. When you have that need it will drive the establishment and future of such an organization.