The message below accompanies the September 2022 edition of the IFLA Newsletter.

IFLA Newsletter, Vol. 2, No. 9

Welcome to the September IFLA Newsletter!

The importance of access to information as a right for all is of course at the heart of IFLA’s values. It is both a valuable goal in its own right, and an essential precondition for the achievement of so many other rights – to education, health, culture, science and more.

Crucially, it is also part and parcel of effective and good governance. As already highlighted in IFLA’s statement on the topic a few years back, not only do those in power need information in order to take the best possible decisions, but so too do the legislators who shape legislation, and of course the citizens who vote in elections, and engage in between.

As guarantors of access to information, selected, packaged and presented in ways that best enable this, libraries have an essential role, and one that we need to underline at any opportunity.

So I am glad that this month’s IFLA Newsletter is focused on access to information, ahead of the International Day for the Universal Access to Information on 28 September. I am particularly happy that this includes contributions from three of the Sections in my division – Government Libraries, Government Information and Official Publications, and Library and Research Services for Parliament.

As a government librarian myself, I see how the work of libraries not only enables effective knowledge management within our ministries and agencies, but also supports the functioning of the science-policy interface. This is a crucial role, and one that I hope will be ever more strongly recognised by national and international authorities as essential for achieving development goals.

Throughout this newsletter you will find plenty of other examples of how libraries – and IFLA – are helping to deliver on these goals. There’s an update from our Law Libraries Section on the work they’re doing to follow up on the IFLA Statement on Government Provision of Public Legal Information in the Digital Age, an overview of how our Section on Library and Research Services for Parliaments is supporting democracy, and insights from our Government Libraries Section on the lessons from a revolution in how government services are provided in the UK.

I therefore wish you happy reading, and a happy International Day for the Universal Access to Information on 28 September.

Anoja Fernando
Chair, Professional Division B