IFLA has published a new statement on the role of library and information services in improving the way societies are governed, both through optimal decision-making within government, and effective scrutiny and engagement by parliaments and wider populations.

Effective, transparent and inclusive governance is a pre-condition for success in any policy designed to improve lives and communities, as recognised in Sustainable Development Goal 16.

Information has a central role to play in this. It helps those in power take the best possible decisions on behalf of those they rule. It ensures that parliaments can hold governments to account and participate in the legislative process. And it gives citizens the a key tool for engaging civic and political life.

Where information matters, libraries matter. Through providing core services, our institutions help ensure that people get the information they need, in the form they need it.

IFLA’s new statement on libraries and open and good governance underlines this role,  and makes recommendations to governments and others on how to realise this potential.

In particular, the statement:

  • Highlights the value of library and information services to governments and parliaments, as well as properly supported government information collections in other libraries
  • Calls for open access to public data and information through the placement of such information in the public domain, as well as comprehensive management, retention, preservation and archival policies
  • Recommends effective freedom-of-information laws, and calls for public and other libraries to be engaged in their implementation
  • Argues for easier access to legal education and support for libraries to help everyone enforce their rights

IFLA encourages its Members and others to draw on this statement in their own advocacy. IFLA itself will deploy the statement in its work at the global level in support of access to information and the library services that make this a reality.

Read the statement on our publications page.