As part of its work to develop principles for the operation of digital platforms, UNESCO is convening the Internet for Trust conference on 22-23 February. IFLA will be represented by Dilara Begum (Bangladesh), who will highlight in particular the role of libraries and information literacy skills in achieving the goals of the conference.

Libraries have for centuries been the world’s information infrastructure, ensuring that knowledge is saved and shared, enabling further discovery and innovation. This gives us a powerful basis for engaging in discussions around the internet and how it works, given our collections, our experience, and our values.

In particular, libraries have much to say about the role of platforms given that they have long been key nodes, gathering a wide variety of content and making it available to others. Today, they are often involved in platforms which have key roles, such as open access and open education resource repositories.

Beyond this work, libraries are built on a strong defence of the importance of freedom of access to information and freedom of expression, but with an understanding that the freedom of some should not come at the expense of the freedom of others. They also have a key role in bottom-up approaches to a healthier internet through promoting information literacy and engagement in the life of society.

The UNESCO Internet for Trust conference offers an opportunity to consider the draft UNESCO Principles on regulating digital platforms. In particular, we are honoured that Dilara Begum, East-West University, Bangladesh, will speak on behalf of IFLA, highlighting the importance of media and information literacy.