Between 25 and 29 November, 2019, IFLA will be taking part in the 14th annual Internet Governance Forum meeting in Berlin. IFLA has participated in IGF events since 2008; and we continue our involvement in policy discussions relevant for the library field: public internet access facilities, digital and information literacy, intellectual freedom in the digital sphere, and many others.

As one of the founding members of the Dynamic Coalition on Public Access in Libraries, IFLA is co-organising an open session this group . This year, we will be focusing on how public access in libraries features in national connectivity strategies.

Different speakers will look at the role of public access in development and affordability strategies, and discuss examples of government support for public access and library connectivity.

During the open session, IFLA will be presenting a DC-PAL report on how libraries are included in different national broadband plans and policies. The draft report will be available on the IFLA website.

We invite you to take part in the discussion (to participate online, you can fill in the registration form and join the Open Session by accessing “Raum 4” on November 28, 15:00-16:30)

Other sessions relevant to libraries at IGF 2019

IFLA will also join the following sessions:

  • This year’s session of the Best Practice Forum on Local Content focuses, among other topics, on how the internet and digitisation of analogue content can preserve and promote cultural heritage and local languages. This discussion is highly relevant for many libraries that are working to digitise their collections.
  • A special session hosted by the Internet and Jurisdiction Policy Network will launch a Global Status Report 2019, which discusses key trends and legal challenges online. Many of these themes – from internet shutdowns and slowdowns and online privacy to extremist content online – are deeply connected to questions around intellectual freedom, which lies at the heart of the library profession.
  • Misinformation online remains a salient issue among many stakeholders, and IFLA will be joining a number of sessions dedicated to the subject. IFLA has already issued a statement on ‘fake news’, and will highlight the importance of information literacy efforts as a response to these concerns.
  • Several sessions focus on different aspects of digital inclusion and overcoming the digital divide, particularly emphasising the needs of underserved and marginalized populations. At present, libraries’ mission to provide access to information – especially for vulnerable and marginalized populations – is often understood to include internet access provision and ICT training. Their experiences can offer valuable insights for the discussions on digital inclusion strategies.
  • A number of sessions on privacy and safety online will be relevant in light of libraries’ commitment to ensure the privacy of their patrons in the digital age.
  • Several sessions on children’s rights, safety and privacy online will be of particular interest for libraries serving children and young adults.

You can find out more about our work on the Information Society, and read about IFLA’s participation in the IGF in previous years.