Image: Woman with child looking at books. Text: Placing LIbraries at the Heart of Literacy and Reading Strategies.On the occasion of the United Nations International Literacy Day (September 8), IFLA has formally published the first version of the IFLA Toolkit for National Literacy and Reading Strategies.  

Libraries play a major role in supporting literacy and reading through providing access to books and promoting a love of them throughout life.

Yet to realise their potential fully, libraries’ role needs to be recognised by governments, and integrated into broader literacy and reading strategies. This is the path to more effective partnerships, as well as adequate resources.  

The first version of this IFLA toolkit aims to help library associations, institutions and individual library and information workers to advocate for libraries’ role in literacy and reading to be recognised in relevant national strategy documents.

The Toolkit was presented at the World Library and Information Congress in Athens, Greece, during a vivid workshop with over 100 delegates from various countries. A visitor underlined: ‘What an inspiring, productive and encouraging workshop’.

This IFLA Toolkit aims to provide guidance and flexible materials for library associations, their members and the wider Library and Information Science (LIS) community when engaging with relevant public authorities.

It focuses primarily at national-level strategies, and complements work elsewhere into developing strategies for libraries and library systems. The toolkit includes chapters looking at how to structure an advocacy campaign, as well as arguments and evidence to use in order to strengthen your case. It also contains an extensive list of resources you can use.

It is – as the name suggests – a toolkit. Depending on the situation in your country – who is responsible for literacy, who pays, whether you have a strategy already – you will need different tools. You can therefore adapt this document, and make your own additions or variations.

Take a look at the first version of the toolkit. If you need more information or have questions, please contact Adriaan Langendonk, Chair of the IFLA section Literacy & Reading IFLA: or