About Digital Libraries

Library users increasingly expect everything to be immediately available on the web, free of charge at each point of service and coupled with the assurance of permanent access. At a cross-cultural level, libraries, museums and archives work together to a growing extend, to make their digital collections and objects available on the web for a large audience, very often through one central access point, a so called portal or digital library.

IFLA recognizes the current shift of many libraries from analogue to digital, and increasingly includes digital libraries in its strategic agenda. This focus will be achieved not only by looking at the digitisation process as such, but also at strategies for providing long term access to digital content.

At the IFLA World Library and Information Congress in Milan in 2009, the IFLA Professional Committee together with the Italian government organized a one-day conference on digital libraries which focused on the user perspective and the way in which cultural heritage institutions and publishers respond to the digital shift in the library world.

As a result of this conference the IFLA Professional Committee drew up a vision statement for IFLA to form the basis to position and connect digital libraries related activities within the IFLA organisation.  This vision is formulated as follows:

To employ the fullest potential of digital technology in partnership with users by enabling seamless and open access to all types of information without limits to format or geography, and to enhance the ability of libraries, archives and museums to collaborate among themselves and with others to offer the broadest and most complete service possible.

Digital Libraries, Digitisation, Users, Access to information, Digital strategies, Cross-cultural cooperation

Last update: 24 March 2014