Manifesto of the Slovenian Library Association

Manifesto of the Slovenian Library Association

Manifesto

Librarians in Slovenia, being part of the Slovenian and global society, are fulfilling our mission for the present and the future. We are following the road towards a humane society, paved for us by our predecessors, with acute awareness of the present and future significance of our work for a sustainable development of Slovenia and the world as such.

MISSION

With the mission to advance the knowledge and the abilities of the Slovene people as the most important national asset, libraries will ensure equal possibilities for accessing materials and information presented by all formats and media and satisfy the people's cultural, informational, educational, research, communication, and social needs, enabling personal growth irrespectively of individual financial, intellectual or other abilities or needs.

As cultural centres, libraries will continuously promote reading culture and lifelong literacy. As specialised information centres, libraries will develop their own information services and products. As social centres, libraries will enable their users to cultivate social contacts and exchange opinions and experiences.

In accordance with principles of professional ethics, libraries will strive for a humane development of global society.

ORIENTATIONS AND ASPIRATIONS FOR PROGRESS

Quality of life

The increasing lag of humane progress behind state-of-the-art technology can imperil the quality of life. Libraries, being traditionally neutral collectors, preservers and mediators of knowledge, can promote the humane progress of society by user-friendly utilisation of state-of-the-art technology.

With this aim in mind, based on the aspiration for a fair balance between the humane development of society and its technological progress, libraries must become much more recognisable in their communities.

Information society

The evolutional process of information society is connected with the occurring changes in the system of values and, consequently in the way we relate to knowledge. Libraries will preserve their existing key role, however, in fulfilling their mission, they will have to compete with commercial knowledge providers. Libraries will still retain their traditional work, but will also introduce new activities.

  • They will introduce technological novelties and new work methods. With appropriate use of information technology they will continue to conscientiously collect, preserve, present and make available the existing and evolving knowledge;
  • They will uphold and expand their user-friendly image, strive for values, especially for universal and unbiased access to publications and information, expansion of reading culture and lifelong literacy, free use and interpretation of knowledge, equality in the presentation of established and alternative knowledge and protection of privacy;
  • With timely and appropriate response to present-day demands, libraries will reasonably combine various informational and other activities with their traditional roles, keeping a sound balance between the commitment to their mission and the economic effectiveness of their activities;
  • They will preserve their rich collections of all media formats for future generations, protect them from misuse and transform them into generally available and understandable narratives of human endeavour.

 

National identity and cultural diversity

Libraries creatively contribute to the establishment, preservation and promotion of the Slovene national identity and its cultural diversity. Consequently, they will take great care to collect, preserve and promote library materials, which are the cultural heritage and monument of the country.
Through the acquisition policy, which meets the needs of local users and their environment, through the organisation of cultural events for all ethnic communities, and through the popularisation of multicultural creativity, libraries will promote intercultural co-operation and tolerance.

Professional co-operation

The national professional association connects librarians, libraries and professional societies. It will strive for public recognition of declarations, manifestos and other documents of the library profession. Consequently, it must assume an active role in public decision-making processes and participate on equal terms in making decisions in society. Therefore it will strive for:

  • Professional co-operation on national and international level;
  • Connection and consolidation of the sense of belonging to the national association, adequate assessment of the library profession in society, fortification of the code-of-ethics principles, professional standards and orientations;
  • The awarding of licences of the library profession, uniform professional titles and suitable inter-competency consistency in their recognition, the establishment and recognition of new library professions;
  • Recognition of the association as a professional body for the verification of programmes for the informal education of librarians and library users;
  • Research, education and publishing activities in the field of librarianship;
  • Stimulation of creative work by awarding prizes and grants for top-level accomplishments in the profession;
  • Realisation of the trade-union rights of library workers.

Education, continuing professional education and research

The rapid development of the profession, of the information and communication technology, of information carriers as well as the changing needs of library users, demand constant and continuing professional education of library staff.

Formal and informal education and continuing professional education of librarians will be organised in such a manner as to: stimulate scientific-research work, follow new scientific and professional findings and the library's changing role in society as well as the needs for new knowledge. Consequently, the library profession will strive for:

  • The development of such a system of formal and informal education and continuing professional education of librarians, which will follow modern international findings of the profession and stimulate scientific-research work;
  • Stimulation of the continuing professional education of librarians and its adequate evaluation in the context of library staff career development;
  • An appropriate system of verifying the qualification of candidates for admission and work in the profession;
  • The development, formation and implementation of education and training programmes for users, focused especially on information literacy.
  • Co-operation with the environment

The libraries' recognition in their environments is a precondition for the achievement of their missions. All libraries' activities must constantly be focused on their users, at the same time using their own resources economically and providing access to them at present and in the future. Therefore libraries will:

  • In the framework of strategic planning and management, make an in-depth study of their own organisation and needs of the community and create an offer of services and materials designed to accommodate their users;
  • Develop strategies for communicating and sustaining good relations with various media: the staff, central branches, users, local and state authorities, religious and political organisations, civil society, professional associations, sponsors and donators, professional partners and others;
  • Inform the media about their activities and in this way also enhance the communities' awareness of the libraries' role and significance in attaining a balanced technological and humane development of the society;
  • Emphasize the benefits of their activities for the environment and promote the idea of their significance in the development of a humane society and consequently, reach a recognisable position in the strategic plans and documents of the development of central branches/organisations and broader society;
  • By promoting user-friendly library services, assert a positive public image and consequently obtain support in raising funds for their activities.

Administrative political environment

Libraries must act as equal co-designers of social changes and participants in the development of their environment. They must design appropriate forms and methods of influence over the decision-making bodies of the administrative and political structures. Therefore libraries will strive for:

  • An adequate position of librarianship in national and other developmental programmes of the state, as well as in the plans of political and syndicate organisations;
  • The establishment of a governmental body of authority competent for the consistent development of Slovene librarianship;
  • The establishment of adequate bodies responsible for libraries at all the competent ministries;
  • Appropriate representation of librarians in all the agencies and working bodies responsible for making decisions regarding the development and directions of librarianship on state and local levels as well as in the organisations in which libraries operate.

To put the Manifesto into effect, librarians, libraries and library associations will join forces with all organisations, societies and associations, especially from the fields of culture, education and science, which are striving for similar goals.

Manifesto was adopted at the Slovenian Library Association Conference
on September 17, 2004