Documentary works in all formats, including digital, are a key part of our cultural heritage. Working with, preserving, and safeguarding them in order to provide access to future generations is at the core of the work of libraries globally.

To support the crucial work libraries are doing in safeguarding cultural heritage, IFLA has now published a policy statement which underlines this. The policy statement supports the UN 2030 Agenda target 11.4 which calls on member states to strengthen efforts to protect and safeguard the world’s cultural and natural heritage.

The policy statement also supports ongoing efforts by UNESCO to safeguard our cultural heritage, such as the Memory of the World Recommendations.  

Libraries safeguard Cultural Heritage

With this, IFLA sets out to help libraries to advocate to their policy makers to:

  • Support the inclusion of libraries in any global indicator measuring SDG target 11.4
  • Recognise documentary heritage as an essential part of our global cultural heritage, and establish concrete plans and make funding available for its preservation
  • Recognise libraries are crucial actors in the safeguarding of cultural heritage, and include librarians in relevant international and national efforts
  • Enable libraries to fulfil their mandate to safeguard and preserve documentary cultural heritage by ensuring appropriate legal frameworks for their activities as well as adequate resourcing
  • Include libraries and cultural heritage institutions in disaster risk reduction plans, and give them their due place in recovery programmes.

Read the full statement