The International Friends of the Bibliotheca Alexandrina [IFBA]
Introduction and history of IFBA
The Friends of the Bibliotheca Alexandrina are a group of people from all over the world who share their humanity, love of libraries and learning.
The International Friends of the BA developed in the 1990's to help support the idea of building a new Bibliotheca Alexandrina, a public research library with worldwide significance.
Initial efforts were devoted to forming interest groups in several countries, resulting in Friends of the BA associations in Norway, France, Sweden, Greece, Mexico Italy, the UK, South Africa, and the United States. October 2008 saw the formalization of the organization into the International Friends of the Bibliotheca Alexandrina -- IFBA
The BA Friends support the library in its programs and services to become the cultural, educational, and artistic center of excellence it aims to be.
The BA Friends raise more than money; they raise awareness of the library's value, raise their voices for peace, dialogue, and positive change and raise everyone's hope for a better tomorrow.
At least one substantial annual contribution from funds raised throughout the year for the Endowment Fund or a special need or request by the Library of Alexandria. This could be through a joint-Friends contribution in collaboration with all or several of the Friends Associations.
- Encourage donations of books, manuscripts and other materials of the nation and region to the Library through efforts of Friends' members from national, regional and local sources.
- Provision of scholarships for the Librarians and other library staff for advanced study, special courses and international meetings.
- Solicit support, in-kind, financial, or other, from institutions, libraries, museums or other appropriate organizations through Memorandums of Understanding (MOU), cooperative agreements and/or protocols with the involvement of the Egyptian Embassy, Consulate or Cultural Center in the country.
- Purchase or subscription to programs applicable to the library systems.
- Contribution of software programs when possible, and in accordance with the needs of the Library.
- Consider developing a traveling booth/poster exhibit for Friends' use at BA and book conferences, lectures and other programs (suitable for shipping around the world as needed or one per country).
- Offer certain expertise available through the Friends' membership, which could be called upon by the Bibliotheca Alexandrina in a volunteer capacity.
Friends Annual Meeting
Numerous International Meetings of the International Friends of the Bibliotheca Alexandrina (IFBA) have been held: the first in Athens, Greece in May 1996; London, UK in September 1997; Athens, Greece in September 1998; and Alexandria, Egypt in April 2002; and beginning October 2002, the annual IFBA meeting has been set to coincide with the anniversary of the official inauguration of the Library and held at the Bibliotheca Alexandrina in Alexandria, Egypt every October.
The BA officers in the Public Relations and International Communications Department form the organizing committee for these annual meetings.
The annual meetings of the BA Friends are held to:
- Exchange views on past and possible future actions in support of the Library and its affiliated research centers and museums.
- Hear updates on BA activities and support needs
- Review progress on the group's goals, to plan upcoming support programs, to enjoy cultural entertainments, and to renew personal friendships which have grown through the years.
- Each national group may bring special materials to add to the library collections, deliver papers on scholarly topics, and present programs of international interest.