In the face of COVID-19, IFLA closes offices but continues to offer strong support to the global library field

I wanted to write to you to inform you that following announcements by the Dutch government, IFLA’s offices are closing from Monday 16 March until Tuesday 31 March, and possibly longer. We have prepared well for this moment, and therefore are putting into action our plans to ensure that we are able to continue to serve and support the global library field.


Around the world, we are aware that libraries are working hard to provide a service to their communities in the face of the spread of the virus. We in turn at IFLA Headquarters are determined to do all we can to ensure the best support possible to our members and the wider library field, despite the disruption that so many of us are facing.


Fortunately, we have invested time and effort into ensuring all of our staff have the skills and tools necessary to carry on in their work, wherever they are. Our goal has been to ensure that we are just as able to provide all major services to our members when working remotely as from our offices in The Hague. I am happy to say that we are ready to do so.


As a result, and in the light of the guidance issued by the government of the Netherlands, and the decision of our hosts – the Royal Library of the Netherlands – to close building where our offices are located, IFLA’s staff will be working remotely from Monday 16 March until Tuesday 31 March, and possibly longer.


Given that so much of our work already takes place online, you will likely see little difference in our offer. You should therefore continue to engage with us by email or otherwise online. Please be aware that we may not be able to respond to phone calls or physical post during the closure of our offices. 


We will continue to support our Professional Units in their work, as well as answering questions and requests from Members. We have a great suite of tools for our volunteers in order to exchange ideas, develop guidelines, and strengthen our field – the biggest brains trust in the library field will keep working! 


We also still be preparing materials and tools for professional development and advocacy, and will advance with our planning for our Congress in Dublin in August, which we are confident will be a great success.


With all of this in place, we are in a great position to continue to inspire, engage, enable and connect the global library field.




Kind regards,


Gerald Leitner

IFLA Secretary General


Kind regards,


Gerald Leitner



Gerald Leitner
Secretary General
International Federation of Library Associations
and Institutions
PO Box 95312
2509 CH The Hague,  Netherlands
Tel: +31-70-3140884


The World Health Organization (WHO) has declared the COVID-19 (Coronavirus) a pandemic. Around the world an increasing number of countries and people are being affected. IFLA is monitoring the situation daily and taking all precautions to ensure the health and safety of IFLA’s staff, representatives and volunteers engaged in IFLA work. These Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) provide information on IFLA’s current response. As the situation is unpredictable and changes quickly, please check back with these pages regularly for updated information.

.............You can find more information on our Frequently Asked Questions webpage