Libraries for digital and information welfare: AIB (Italian Library Association) for “Repubblica digitale”
29 August 2022
Libraries need to be at the heart of discussions around digital policies and internet governance. This is not just because of how much we depend on these in order to be able to do our jobs, but also because our profession brings unique perspectives and skills. To find out how this is happening in Italy, we talked to the Italian Library Association, who shared the below insights.
Repubblica digitale (Digital Republic) is an initiative to develop part of the Italian Strategy for Digital Skills and some of the objectives of the 2026 Digital Italy strategy of the Minister for innovation and digital transition . It aims to develop the digital and information skills necessary to exercise citizenship rights and promote active participation in the democratic life.
It is supported by the National Coalition for Digital Skills, launched in 2020, a multi-stakeholder initiative that promotes digital skills at all levels of the Italian economy and society. Each member of the coalition is responsible for a project. Some projects regards the development of digital competences for citizens, other address specific categories (schools students, workers, ICT specialists, Public Administration workers…).
The Italian Library Association is part of the National Coalition for Digital Skills and of Repubblica Digitale with the Project “Libraries for digital and information welfare”.
The Project, started in 2020, is made by a series of initiatives that AIB organizes to:
- Give support, through training and education, to Italian librarians that offer courses of digital and information literacy, open education, digitization, digital learning
- monitor library initiatives of digital and information literacy courses
- enhance the principles of a digital and information welfare through Manifestos:
- Manifesto per l’information literacy (Information literacy Manifesto)
- Nuovo Manifesto per le biblioteche digitali (New Digital Library Manifesto)
- Manifesto per la documentazione del settore pubblico (Public Sector information Manifesto)
- Semantic Web Manifesto (In English)
All the activities are organized by Study Groups of the Italian Library Association and by the national and regional network of AIB.
Repubblica Digitale asks AIB to monitor the evolution of the activities.
Some examples of initiatives of Italian Library Association included in this project
1) Training for librarians about digital and information literacy, digital libraries, open education
- L’informazione di fonte pubblica conta. Fonti informative di qualità dal bibliotecario al cittadino (Public sector information is relevant. Quality information from librarians to citizens). (Youtube Webinar about public sector information and reference for librarians – law information, statistical information, health…)
- Inform-azione: il ruolo delle biblioteche per l’information literacy. Webinar (Libraries for information literacy) (Youtube webinar)
- Fake news. (Youtube webinar)
- Educare a documentarsi nei contesti di studio e di ricerca (information literacy education for university and research libraries) (Course)
- Educazione civica e information literacy a Scuola e in Biblioteca (Civic information literacy at school and libraries) (Course)
- Open Education Librarians (Course)
- Digital libraries (Course)
2) Monitoring library activities
Information literacy Study Group: Survey about information literacy initiatives in Libraries
3) Organising Conferences
- Biblioteche per il welfare digitale (Libraries for digital welfare): 26-27 novembre 2020 (online Conference) <https://www.aib.it/attivita/convegni-e-seminari/biblioteche-welfare-digitale/>
- Ravello Conference III session. Ravello, 10-11 giugno: Faro Convention and digital sustainable transformation< https://www.aib.it/attivita/convegni-e-seminari/convenzione-faro-obiettivi-sviluppo-sostenibile/>
The value of this initiative
Repubblica digitale gives AIB and Italian libraries projects about digital and information literacy more visibility at a national level. In a context in which many actors propose different kind of projects (associations, private companies, other cultural institutions…), the voice of librarians is in risk not to be perceived for its peculiarity. Italian libraries do a lot of activities to improve digital and information literacy for all citizens, in schools, universities, public libraries. Being part of such an initiative at a national level support self consciousness of librarians about the importance of the digital and information literacy instruction in libraries and can help libraries gaining support from stakeholders for any kind of initiative for the future.
 The official site of Repubblica digitale is located at:< https://innovazione.gov.it/progetti/repubblica-digitale/>. For a description in English: Italy National Strategy for digital skills, <https://digital-skills-jobs.europa.eu/en/actions/national-initiatives/national-strategies/italy-national-strategy-digital-skills>
 AIB, Le biblioteche per il welfare digitale e informativo, <https://www.aib.it/progetti/le-biblioteche-per-il-welfare-digitale-e-informativo/>