Guidelines for Parliamentary Research Services
Publisher: Inter-Parliamentary Union
The IFLA Section on Library and Research Services for Parliaments operates at the intersection of two international communities: one of libraries, which finds its global voice in the International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions (IFLA), and the other of parliaments, represented at the highest level by the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU).
While different in their membership and governance, both organizations believe that cooperation and the sharing of experiences are strong enablers for progress, and that knowledge is vital for development. They both promote, in their own environments, access to reliable and high-quality information as one of the essential elements of democratic societies.
Guided by those values, the members of the Section on Library and Research Services for Parliaments have been collaborating over the years to become trusted “key information brokers” for legislatures, able to respond in a timely and efficient way to the needs of legislators and, when possible, of the public. Within the Section, each member has become an important player in making parliamentary library and research services around the world stronger and capable of better supporting their institution.
Collectively, during its decades of activity, the Section has successfully promoted understanding and cooperation among legislatures by offering a platform for librarians and researchers to exchange practices, provide advice and assistance, and build fruitful and long-lasting relations among peers from around the world. In doing so, the Section has built up its own collective knowledge through which it has delivered important activities, documents and publications aimed at improving the professional skills and working methods of colleagues. Over time, this collaboration has led to the creation of a body of sound references for innovation.
These Guidelines for Parliamentary Research Services are a new step in the capture of our collective knowledge. Developed in response to a persistent demand from members of the Section for guidance in strengthening research services for parliaments, this publication is an example of how results can be achieved by working together and by mutually supporting each other in our professional work. The Guidelines are grounded in the work that librarians and researchers carry out every day, in the reality they face while serving the institution they work in, and in the collective expertise and knowledge grown in the Section through cooperation, collaboration and the sharing of ideas.
The result is a document that takes into account different realities and parliamentary contexts, capacities and levels of development, organizational structures and institutional environments. As underlined in the publication, “many considerations can shape the design of a parliamentary research service. The observations offered here should not be construed as strict recipes to be followed. Ultimately, they must be assessed and pursued with deference to the culture and context within which the parliamentary research service is established”.
The Guidelines for Parliamentary Research Services are the outcome of the work of a group of professionals who committed their time and knowledge in support of the Section’s goals. My thanks go to them for the excellent work done, and to IPU and IFLA for making this publication possible.
Chair, IFLA section
Library and Research Services for Parliaments
Guidelines for parliamentary research services
Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) and the International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions (IFLA), 2015
- English [PDF – 2 MB]
Last update: 4 September 2020