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

Open Access, Public Access, Meaningful Access: Libraries heard at WSIS Forum and Human Rights Council

Article 19 of the Universal Convention on Human Rights offers freedom of access to information for all. IFLA’s presence at the World Summit on the Information Society Forum 2017 and the 35th Session of the Human Rights Council allowed delegates to hear the library perspective on three aspects of access to information – open, public and meaningful.

19 Junio 2017 | FAIFE (Committee on Freedom of Access to Information and Freedom of Expression), Access to information, Access to knowledge, Censorship, Switzerland

Libraries, Human Rights and the Internet: IFLA Engages in Geneva

Libraries have a major practical role in giving their users access to knowledge and protecting their intellectual freedom. This week in Geneva, IFLA will speak at the World Summit on the Information Society 2017, as well as Human Rights Council consultations, in order to highlight this contribution to governments, business and civil society organisations.

12 Junio 2017 | FAIFE (Committee on Freedom of Access to Information and Freedom of Expression), Freedom of expression, Internet access, IFLA and the Information Society, Switzerland

More than Wires: IFLA Highlights Role of Libraries in Providing Meaningful Internet Access at EuroDIG

With long established worries about the digital divide meeting rapidly growing concerns about fake news, it is clear that alongside the immense benefits the Internet brings, there are also challenges. IFLA attended the 10th European Dialogue on Internet Governance (EuroDIG) in Tallinn, Estonia, to underline what libraries contribute to the response.

9 Junio 2017 | FAIFE (Committee on Freedom of Access to Information and Freedom of Expression), Digital divide, Estonia, Digital divide, digital literacy