At the invitation of the National Central Library (NCL), president of the International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions (IFLA), Ms. Glòria Pérez-Salmerón, paid a visit to Taiwan from January 8-12, 2019. The purpose of her visit was to offer Taiwan’s libraries a new global perspective for the new year. Elected president of IFLA in 2017, Ms. Pérez-Salmerón is a former director of the Spanish National Library, and has also previously held important posts at a variety of different libraries. On the afternoon of Wednesday, January 9, she delivered a special lecture at the NCL International Conference Hall entitled “Libraries: Motors for Social Change and Development,” and later participated in a discussion forum.
The focus of the lecture, moderated by NCL Director-general, Dr. Shu-hsien Tseng, was to outline the important role libraries will play in achieving the UN’s 2030 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). IFLA’s International Advocacy Program has promoted awareness of the UN’s SDGs among librarians from a variety of libraries, while also increasing the substantive contribution libraries are making towards achieving them. Looking ahead to 2019, IFLA will be particularly focusing on SDGs such as quality education; decent work and economic growth; reduced inequalities; and peace, justice, and strong institutions. The lecture also discussed participation and policymaking in the transformation of IFLA. Through the creation of its global vision and draft action plan, IFLA is effectively bringing together the global library community to respond to the trend of increasing globalization.
The audience for the lecture was comprised of staff and students from Library and Information Science departments around the country, as well as librarians from university and public libraries. They all came to take advantage of this rare and valuable opportunity to consult Ms. Pérez-Salmerón on a range of questions, such as how to effectively persuade policymakers to fund library development; how to effectively utilize the influence of libraries on society; and how to select which SDGs to focus on each year. In responding to each question, Ms. Pérez-Salmerón offered opinions drawn from her own practical experience, a personal touch which also made this lecture a much more meaningful occasion.