IFLA Mailing lists

Under most circumstances IFLA can provide its Units with mailing lists on topics related to the mandate of IFLA. Potentially a large amount of mailing lists with its posts have significant technical resource requirements. That is why proposals for lists will have to be addressed on a case-by-case basis. The appropriateness of proposed topics will be evaluated by IFLA HQ.

Starting a Mailing List

In general, small and closed lists pose few problems and have only marginal resource requirements. Proposals for new lists should provide the following information:

  1. The short title (i.e., list name) of the proposed list, no more than 8 characters, (e.g., DIGLIB). When choosing a list title, avoid using the following reserved characters: ! @ # % & * ( ) / .
  2. A description of the list in up to 70 characters (e.g., Digital Libraries Research Mailing List).
  3. Name and email address of one or more individuals who will be responsible as list owner and moderator (see below for responsibilities of the list owner and moderator).
  4. A short paragraph describing the purpose of the list (the scope note). This note will be used in the welcome message that will be automatically sent to each subscriber.
  5. A statement whether the list is closed or open to the public.

Note: All IFLA-sponsored lists must be moderated.

Please send the proposal to the webmasters team: webmaster@ifla.org

List Owner/Moderator

The list owner/moderator is responsible for the list, and each list must have an owner/moderator. Owner/moderators are typically someone from the community of users served by the list. The new list owner/moderator is expected to develop expertise with the Listserv software (Sympa) and is expected to deal with the routine technical considerations of list ownership, email management, and list moderation.

List ownership and the role of moderator confers certain responsibilities on individuals. These are:

  • to respond to subscriber requests for information
  • to maintain the integrity and accuracy of the mailing list
  • to subscribe, unsubscribe, and change the options for users as required
  • to deal with the email errors resulting from failures in transmission, inaccurate mailing list information, or other sources of mail interruption.
  • to approve postings and to ensure that posts are appropriate and on-topic.

Mailing list owners/moderators are expected to become self-sufficient. Management of mailing lists is strictly that of the list owner/moderator once the initial set-up occurs. They are also responsible for providing information beyond information to subscribers, such as questions about the list itself.


GDPR - General Data Protection Regulation - is how the European Union guarantees data privacy and protection for its people and companies.

IFLA Mailing lists follow GDPR guidelines.  Read our privacy and data use policy.

  • We collect the following information about users:
    • Name (as entered by user)
    • Email address (as entered by user)
  • The information is used to distribute emails to the user for the lists to which they have subscribed.
  • We store this information within the email server.
  • We keep this information until the subscriber removes themselves from the email list.
  • We require explicit opt-in consent from the subscriber for use and storage of their data for these purposes.

Responsibilities of the Webmasters' Team

The webmasters will:

  • provide guidance and documentation for setting up lists;
  • provide a limited amount of continuing technical support;
  • will not act as list owners or moderators for any new lists.

Lists that are unused, dormant or poorly maintained, may be removed in consultation with the list owner and Web Manager.

Migration of Existing Lists to the IFLA Web Server

If a mailing list is to be started with a pre-existing list of subscribers, the subscribers list must be supplied in the following format:

   email@address firstname lastname


   joe.smith@library.ca Joe Smith
   j.baker@stage.us Janet Baker
   dewey@public.library.uk Melvyl Dewey

Note: There can be only one space between each of the 'words' (email address, first name, last name). Failure to do otherwise can have an impact upon the conversion of the addresses.

Discussion List Archives

In general, list archives will not be maintained. Requests for exemptions will be dealt with on a case-by-case basis.