A Constant Goal in a Changing Landscape: IFLA Launches Survey on Intellectual Freedom
10 December 2020
To mark Human Rights Day 2020, IFLA has opened a survey seeking views on intellectual freedom developments in recent years, their impact on libraries, and potential revisions to IFLA’s Statement on the subject.
IFLA’s Statement on Libraries and Intellectual Freedom turned 21 this year.
Over more than two decades, it has provided a core reference point for much of IFLA’s work around freedom of access to information and freedom of expression.
More importantly still, it has provided a reference point for work in libraries and library associations around the world, having been translated into 33 languages, from Albanian to Vietnamese.
Its two decades of existence have of course seen significant changes in the world around us, affecting the very basics of the way we create, share, receive and use information.
This has obliged libraries and others committed to supporting intellectual freedom to be creative and adaptive, finding appropriate ways to apply constant principles in a changing situation. These decisions are often difficult, requiring library staff to take different interests and rights into account.
In the light of this, it is important to ensure that the Statement – and IFLA’s work in general – provides the best possible support to members of the global library field.
To do this, IFLA’s Advisory Committee on Freedom of Access to Information and Freedom of Expression is welcoming input from libraries, library associations and library workers globally.
A survey seeks to collect views on awareness and use of the Statement, key developments around intellectual freedom over recent years (both for wider society and libraries), actions taken, and suggestions for amendments.
The results will support discussion in the committee around next steps, both as concerns a potential update of the Statement, and other tools that can support libraries in their work.