Magazine article American Libraries

Newsmaker: Ellen Tise

Magazine article American Libraries

Newsmaker: Ellen Tise

Article excerpt

South African librarian Ellen Tise is president of the International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions, 2009-2011. American Libraries caught up with her during the 76th IFLA World Library and Information Congress, August 10-15, in Gothenburg, Sweden, where she talked about international relations, energizing the profession, and her presidential theme, "Open Access to Knowledge." Her service to IFLA involves hosting the federation's annual congress, presiding over two annual board meetings at IFLA headquarters in The Hague, and representing IFLA at various conferences, meetings, and events in different countries throughout the year. When not circling the globe on behalf of IFLA, Tise is head of library services at Stellenbosch University near Cape Town, South Africa, where she has worked for four-and-a-half years. Most of her career has been spent in academic libraries, but she also served for one year in a public library. A video and transcript of the interview is at americanlibrariesmagazine.org.

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American Libraries: How was the IFLA conference in Gothenburg for you?

ELLEN TISE: The theme for the conference, "Open Access to Knowledge," links very much to my theme for two years as IFLA president. I've been inspired and stimulated by the thoughts and the ideas and all the discussions that came around this theme and how libraries need to ensure that we continue to provide the most equitable access to knowledge.

How has your professional agenda meshed with the mission of IFLA and your work with the federation?

My professional agenda fits very much into IFLA and IFLA's work for all librarians because IFLA is basically the international organization for librarians, it's part of our professional development. We are able to share expertise, and this is what the congress provides. So just from an advocacy point of view, IFLA is a global voice for libraries, it advocates for libraries, for the sustainability of libraries, funding for libraries. In addition, the federation sets standards for libraries, providing guidelines, supporting libraries, developing librarians and library services. We have professionals in the library information field, library and information science practitioners, and we also work with all other roles that involve information work. …

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