IFLA, Libraries and Development

Photo courtesy of KC Wong

As the United Nations reflects on the future of global development and its post-2015 agenda, access to information must be recognised as critical to supporting governments to achieve development goals, and enabling citizens to make informed decisions to improve their own lives. IFLA believes that high-quality library and information services help guarantee that access. 

Through UN agency sessions, the WSIS+10 review process, and Member State consultations, IFLA is engaged with its members, civil society and the development community to advocate for access to information to be included in the post-2015 UN development agenda. The post-2015 framework will succeed the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and set the agenda for development for at least the next decade. The responsibility to reduce poverty, exclusion and inequality, build accountable public institutions, and achieve sustainability will be shared by all countries.

As all libraries actively support development, all libraries have a stake in the agenda.

Libraries and access to information:

  • Enable governments and civil society to achieve development goals: Libraries are transparent, accountable institutions that support government programmes and provide services that help government, civil society and business to better understand citizens’ information needs;
  • Support citizens to make informed decisions: Libraries provide equitable access to information, and expert guidance to effectively use the world’s knowledge. Librarians contribute to the reduction of poverty, exclusion and inequality by helping citizens develop skills to effectively seek, access, and use information in all forms. 

Every library and librarian supports development

IFLA encourages all library associations, institutions and librarians to demonstrate the contribution that access to information and libraries make to achieving development as outlined in the IFLA Statement on Libraries and Development by:

  • Advocating for, and delivering, library and information services relevant to a library’s local environment that help citizens to be educated, informed and included;
  • Monitoring and contributing to the post-2015 agenda utilising briefings and support materials to be provided by IFLA, and;
  • Supporting national and local frameworks that achieve development goals and help governments to understand citizens’ information needs.

Development, ICT4D

Last update: 19 January 2016

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