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Erik Boekesteijn interviews IFLA Prez Christine Mackenzie

In the first of stories from around the globe, and showing how global librarianship really is, Erik Boekesteijn from his office at the Royal Library of the Netherlands in The Hague interviews IFLA President Christine Mackenzie, who’s in Melbourne Australia

How did Christine get interested in libraries? She grew up on dairy farm as one of 8 children. Her great loves are reading and cooking. Devoured books so she could be in other people’s lives. She’s been a librarian for over 40 years. Biggest influence on her career:

1.A job exchange in 1990 at the Baltimore public libraries, changed her whole focus about customer service and what libraries could be

2.Did management course and was challenged to do something you can’t do: She jumped out of an airplane (with a parachute on). “Well, then I can do anything.” (Erik still hasn’t parachuted out of a plane

3.Bertelson Foundation of public librarians around the world – led to her interest in international librarianship

IFLA ( has been around for 93 years. What does it mean to library world? It’s the global voice of libraries and very involved in advocacy work.

IFLA Global Vision

Strategic Plan

Structure to support strategy

IFLA Roadmap is transformative

SDGs (U.N. Sustainable Development Goals)– how should we move toward sustainable libraries

Librarians can make people aware of goals. We should all learn about SDGs

Library Map of the World

Her presidential theme: Let’s work together: Great examples of libraries and library associations working together and working together with government and industry. Great barrier to working together is us. We need to have an open mind. Removing the barrier that is us and become part of solution. People loved learning new things when she initiated the 23 Things project in Australia.

Encourages librarians to take what they need from the strategic plan.

We are becoming location agnostic. Librarians’ role in 3D, AR, traditional ways of cataloging, describing may not be appropriate.

She would love to be able to travel again, see other libraries, and talk to colleagues in person. Great advance in virtual conferences and workshops and we’re getting better at it. It is very exciting time.




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