Language is essential to culture, community and daily life. Through languages, people not only express their history, traditions and memory, but more importantly construct their future. Yet many languages are disappearing due to a variety of factors, with indigenous languages particularly vulnerable.

Libraries play an essential role in keeping a record of indigenous cultural heritage, knowledge and language. Their work in preserving these aims to ensure their survival in order to inform and inspire future generations.

Yet preservation and conservation are not the only way in which libraries contribute. They also promote cooperation in the field of culture and information services to indigenous communities as well as encourage indigenous leadership within the sector.

The United Nations (UN) has proclaimed 2019 to be the International Year of Indigenous Languages (IY2019) as a proactive response to concerns about their disappearance. This briefing offers an idea of how to get involved and how to get libraries’ work recognised.

Read the IFLA briefing on how to get involved here.