10th International Indigenous Librarians Forum

IILF Sydney


10th International Indigenous Librarians Forum

February 21-23, 2017

State Library of NSW

Sydney, Australia.

Tuesday 21, and Wednesday 22 Duration 9.00 hrs

Description of activity

The 9th International Indigenous Librarian Forum was held in Sydney in 2017 and I was fortunate to have been granted permission to attend. My position at the library is a designated Indigenous position, and this would be a great opportunity to network among information professionals and update my knowledge and learn new skills.


The theme for IILF 2017 is “knowledge connections, survival and activism” and creates an opportunity for indigenous librarians and information professionals to gather and discuss issues relating to Indigenous people from Australia, New Zealand, Canada, Norway, Sweden and the United States. Traditional protocols were respected when the forum was opened by a welcome to country from Uncle Chicka Madden a local elder and the official opening and the handover of the Mauri Stone which travels to each IILF.


In my current position, I network with the Indigenous community, through the local primary schools. I wish to hold workshops on indigenous family history in the library. The workshops will add to the library’s indigenous collection as well as the local history collection as there is an overlap of colonial and indigenous records. Library guides listing the items available in the Aboriginal Collection would help library staff and our patrons find the information they need.

Reason for attending

From the first speaker to the last you are immersed in the culture and passion from Indigenous people who are knowledge keepers of their people’s history. All Indigenous communities have the same concerns with the dispossession of land and language, drug and alcohol abuse and chronic health issues. The presenters spoke of culture and by preserving the culture, Indigenous people can take charge of their history and it will be told from their perspective. The projects that have been presented may be possible in our community and firsthand knowledge of successful programs and how they were managed will be an asset to the library and the community.

Relationship of workshops to my studies

The forum and the workshops provide the knowledge and confidence to ensure successful projects will be introduced to the library. The contacts made at these forums provide many contacts across many disciplines within the library profession and the experience of these contacts are invaluable. I have formed a good network with the Indigenous Unit at the State Library of NSW and a quick email is answered when assistance is requested.

Celia is a member of IFLA Indigenous Matters Section, which I first heard about at the IILF forum in Winnipeg. IFLA global vision project may be international but has a local impact. The need for Indigenous information professionals to join forces and work together, to collaborate and work with library services to develop Indigenous Matters (IM) and partner with IILF to progress IILF outcomes. The IM section would gather the thoughts of the Indigenous people working in the profession, and communicate with IFLA on their behalf. This IM section would include libraries, galleries, museums and cultural centres. This may be a possibility to get involved with in the future.

Learning Outcomes

The need to get young indigenous people involved in libraries to become educated and become future leaders. The library could provide a safe space where youth are comfortable and have access to the latest technology is possible if we partnered with stakeholders to provide supervision as the library may not have the staff available to manage study groups.

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