IFLA and SCL librarians at MozFest 2016

IFLA attended the 7th annual Mozilla Festival (MozFest) on 28-30 October at Ravensbourne College, London, to set out the library perspective on copyright, especially in the context of current EU reforms.

Mozilla is a free-software community, perhaps best known for their open-source web browser Firefox, who develops software and advocates for an open and accessible Internet.

The Mozilla Festival gathers a broad spectrum of users, entrepreneurs, tech community, NGOs, librarians, and many other stakeholders with an interest in the open Internet movement. Speakers, participants and exhibitors came from around the world , with sessions on advocating for sensible EU copyright, children at Redbridge Libraries presenting their Raspberry Pi robots, and crowdsourced mapping to end FGM in Tanzania, all under the same roof.

IFLA also met up with local librarians from the British public library organisation Society of Chief Librarians and discussed great ideas and experience on how public libraries can help further the information society.

Many libraries are already working towards this goal, acting as connecting hubs between broader society and educators, and organising maker parties and Wikipedia Editathons. IFLA itself has already been working with the Wikimedia Foundation, in order to build a stronger understanding of the opportunities for collaboration between libraries and Wikipedia. Following public comments, two papers will be published in the coming months.

MozFest offered a great opportunity to connect with activists and organisations working towards the same goals as libraries. It also raised many fascinating questions about how copyright can work better for library users, and the role that libraries themselves can play in both giving access to knowledge and helping people realise its potential to promote sustainable development.