From February 27th to March 1st, the European Digital and Media Literacy Week took place in Brussels, organized under the auspices of the Belgian Presidency of the Council of the European Union. Representatives from educational and media organizations across various countries participated in the international conference, offering insights into ongoing and forthcoming initiatives aimed at enhancing population literacy, promoting media education, countering disinformation, and advancing digital literacy. IFLA’s Europe Regional Division Committee was also represented as one of its members participated in the conference.

The conference Media Literacy Matters covered a wide array of topics including the significance of digital and media literacy during times of conflict, shifts in the political landscape impacting media and democracy, the role of news media in fostering public awareness, strategies of disinformation employed by online platforms, digital and media education as a societal endeavour, global perspectives on digital education, engagement of artificial intelligence in literacy efforts, and more.

Two sessions of the conference focused on the efforts of European libraries in fostering media literacy and fostering collaboration with media outlets. Maia Simonishvili, the lead specialist from the National Library of the Parliament of Georgia, curator of the Anglo-American reading room and EURDC member, shared insights during the session Navigating the information battlefield: the importance of media literacy in times of conflict.  She discussed ongoing and planned projects by Georgian libraries, media literacy programs in the country and organized by the International Federation of the Library Associations and Institutions, and the outcomes of the library’s endeavours as a democratic institution dedicated to enhancing population literacy.

During a special session for libraries Librarians as a Media Literacy Advocates Ilona Kish (Public Libraries 2030 – Belgium) talked about the Digital innovation in European public libraries: Guerilla Education for Librarians (GEL), Katarina Blažina Mukavec (DKMK – Croatia) discussed Librarians as media literacy advocates in Croatia and Tatiana Sanches (Institute of Education, ULisboa – Portugal): spoke about Libraries, reading and digital fluency: building skills, (trans)forming audiences.

Under the auspices of the European Union, the European Conference on Digital and Media Literacy 2024 in Brussels facilitated the exchange of international experiences, sharing of innovative initiatives and projects, dissemination of the latest recommendations from the European Union, UNESCO, and other international bodies, and fostering future collaborations to combat misinformation and enhance public awareness.