NICVA is the umbrella body for community and voluntary groups in Northern Ireland. Established in 1938 as the NI Council of Social Services, the name was changed in the mid 1980s. NICVA provides its 1000+ members with information, advice and traning on a wide range of issues. NICVA adopts a community development approach, attempting to empower local communities to peursue their own needs and agendas. The Library and Information Service has been crucial in this aim.