American Library Association (ALA) President Courtney Young and Barbara Lison, a representative of the German library association Bibliothek & Information Deutschland (BID), signed an agreement on Tuesday, August 19, at the World Library and Information Congress (WLIC) in Lyon, France, establishing a collaboration between the two organizations through 2019.
The agreement, which is posted below, includes a variety of dialogue, networking, and exchange activities. ALA will be participating as host and partner at the German library conference in Leipzig, Germany, in 2016, and German librarians will attend the ALA Annual Conference and Exhibition in Chicago in 2017. Topic-specific activities as well as virtual events and resources will be offered in addition to the conference exchange.
Memorandum of Understanding
Partner Country USA, 2016–2019
Pursuant to Bibliothek & Information Deutschland’s collaboration invitation dating March 2014 as endorsed by the American Library Association’s International Relations Committee in June 2014.
Wishing to contribute to the International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions’ (IFLA) post-2015 development agenda;
being eager to strengthen the links between the US-American and German library landscapes in the form of tangible joint achievements;
hoping to intensify exchange and knowledge sharing between both professional communities; and
looking forward to fostering lasting, mutually beneficial relationships between institutions and individuals in both countries;
the American Library Association (hereafter referred to as ALA) and the umbrella organization of German library associations Bibliothek & Information Deutschland (hereafter referred to as BID) hereby decide as follows:
ALA and BID will jointly organize the engagement of the United States of America as “Partner Country“ of Germany in the library field in the period 2016 to 2019.
The Partner Country USA project will be launched at the German Library Congress in March 2016. This congress, organized by BID, takes place triennially in the city of Leipzig in Saxony. With more than 4,000 participants, it is the largest library event in Europe.
The suggested project strands will include US-American participation in the German Library Congress as well as German participation in the ALA congresses. A range of additional outputs both in the United States and Germany, as well as virtual events and digital products, will ensure ongoing project activity between 2016 and 2019.
ALA and BID, as well as their respective US-American and German partners, will form a steering committee to manage the project. Both parties will nominate individuals to represent their interests on the committee. Decisions on project themes, activities, funding, and additional partners, as far as they fall into the remit of that committee, will be taken on the basis of unanimity.
BID and ALA both will provide financial and in-kind funding to make this project happen. In order to increase the volume of activity, they will aim to attract sponsoring from suitable third parties.
Signed in a spirit of trust and mutual understanding on the occasion of the 80th IFLA World Library and Information Congress 2014.
Lyon,19 August 2014