IFLA and the Information Society

Libraries, WSIS and Internet Governance

Photo courtesy of Cook Jones

Libraries have been at the heart of the information society since the very early days of the information and communication technology revolution, continuously adapting to new means of communication to fulfill their mandate of providing universal access to information and knowledge.

Since 2002, IFLA has contributed to the definition of information society policy at the international level through its participation in the World Summit Information Society (WSIS). Consequently, the WSIS Tunis Agenda recognized the important public-service role of libraries in providing open, equitable and affordable access to information and of improving ICT literacy and community connectivity, particularly in underserved communities. IFLA’s statements on the information society during the first period of WSIS tell the story of our engagement between 2002-2005.

Since 2005, IFLA has continued to engage at the International level to define the policies and strategies to achieve the WSIS Plan of Action and build an inclusive information society. Through its participation in the WSIS Forum, the WSIS+10 Review process and in the Internet Governance Forum (IGF), IFLA advocates for the recognition of public access to the Internet as a key for addressing the challenges of development and reaching the UN Millennium Development Goals. In January 2013 the IFLA Governing Board endorsed a revised Position on Internet Governance which states clearly the issues IFLA believes should be addressed in any post WSIS framework.

IFLA continues to engage on issues that affect the ability of libraries and library users to benefit from the possibilities that the Internet offers. The Principles on Public Access in Libraries, agreed by a coalition of actors, sets out how to help more people to get online. IFLA also sets out positions and makes recommendations on issues that affect access to knowledge online, such as the Right to Be Forgotten, and Net Neutrality.

These webpages contain background information on the WSIS and IGF and why librarians should pay attention to the discussions that take place in these forums, as well as information on what IFLA is doing to promote libraries as part of its information society advocacy. They also outline how you can get involved to get the library viewpoint across.

Access to information, Advocacy, Internet access, Information society

Última actualización: 13 Agosto 2016

Latest News

Applying the Right to Be Forgotten: IFLA Publishes Open Letter

With rapidly increasing volumes of information available online, search engines play a vital role in allowing library users to access knowledge. As such, any removeal of results from search queries should be the result of balanced consideration of the various rights in play. Universal application of right to be forgotten decisions, as demanded by the French data protection authority, risks jeopardising this.

24 Octubre 2016 | CLM (Committee on Copyright and other Legal Matters), Access to information, Access to knowledge, Privacy

Engaging the world’s libraries with Wikipedia - what are the opportunities?

Wikipedia Do library patrons get the best information for the topic they are looking for? Do they have the skills needed to use Wikipedia as part of a research process that helps with learning and advancement of human society?

20 Septiembre 2016 | Access to information, Access to knowledge, Information technology, Knowledge society, Information society