Partnership is a core tenet of TASCHA’s Gates-funded Global Libraries legacy work. With the work steaming ahead, TASCHA has invested a great deal of time thinking through how we will work together with our legacy partners, and with others — aligned organizations, funding agencies, libraries, and community members. Our focus was on the partnership of the three legacy grantees (IFLA, PLA, and TASCHA), and our discussions centered on how we will work together rather than on what we will do together. Our organizations have different missions and organizational cultures, and while we share a common vision for the role public libraries can play in society, we’ve come to recognize that we must embrace our differences as a source of strength and build this into our collective DNA. The result of this work is a set of values and principles. This document emerged from a series of meetings over an extended period of time. It would have looked much different had we tried to create it at the outset.
We’re quite proud of this document, and we’ve already experienced the benefits in our joint work. It has helped us dream big, and navigate disagreements. IFLA will be using this to initiate its global library visioning activity that begins in Athens in April.
We just started a similar exercise in Africa with other Gates grantees — AfLIA, EIFL, and World Reader — and can already see how this will produce an equally important foundation for our collective work with public libraries on the African continent.
Meanwhile, TASCHA continues to have discussions with many other individuals and organizations, and we invite others to reach out to share what you’re doing and your ideas for advancing the public library field. We’ll be using these values and principles as we work together.