Libraries and Cities of Literature: Involvement and Impacts
31 October 2021
To mark World Cities Day 2021, IFLA has released a short report looking at the experience of libraries as UNESCO Cities of Literature, and the impact that this designation has.
Cities of Literature are part of the wider UNESCO Creative Cities Network, bringing together towns and cities committed to realising the potential of strong and inclusive culture to drive development. They are often leaders globally in exploring how this can be done most effectively.
Libraries have an important role to play in culture and wider development policies, as highlighted across IFLA’s work around the Sustainable Development Goals, and in particular as part of the Culture2030Goal campaign. IFLA encourages governments at all levels to recognise the potential of libraries as partners for development, and to give them the laws and resources needed to realise this.
Looking at the experience of Cities of Literature, and how libraries are involved in both the planning and delivery of programming, therefore offers useful insights into what library engagement in culture-focused development strategies can look like, and what impacts this has on libraries themselves in their work to achieve their missions.
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The UNESCO Creative Cities programme, and in particular its Cities of Literature, is well-established, focusing on promoting creativity and participation as a driver of local development. Libraries have often played (and continue to play) key roles in bidding for and managing City of Literature stat...