Connecting libraries offers a great way of bringing more people online, and providing a space where they can develop the skills and confidence necessary to get the most out of the Internet. The new Public Access Policy Toolkit looks at the different policy areas where libraries may need to advocate to make this happen.

With barely half of the world’s population using the internet and growing concerns about the risks that exist online, the need to provide public internet access in libraries has never been higher.

The goal of getting all libraries – and their users – online has been recognised for almost fifteen years, featuring in the WSIS Action Plan.

Thanks to the free access they provide, in a welcoming environment with dedicated staff on hand to help, libraries have a unique potential. They ensure that people do not face financial barriers to use the internet, and can receive the support and training they need to become skilled and confident internet users.

Yet we are far from having high-speed connectivity everywhere.

To address this, IFLA has worked through the Dynamic Coalition on Public Access in Libraries at the Internet Governance Forum to produce a policy toolkit. This provides an overview of the different policy areas where it may be necessary for governments to act.

The Toolkit is intended for libraries and library associations who can use the diagnostic toolkit at the beginning to decide on priorities. You can then use the key advocacy points to shape your own campaigning, and the additional links to find out more.

Crucially, this is a living document. We look forward to ideas from you, in particular on links to other sources which can help! Please contact us if you want to share your ideas.

Read the IFLA Public Access Policy Toolkit