New briefing on digital public goods
02 May 2023
There are a number of ways in which libraries can engage with the concept of digital public goods, which has become more and more prominent in discussions about about the future of internet governance, and development in general. This briefing explains what they are, and why they are relevant.
The idea of public goods has been around for a long time, describing things that benefit society as a whole, but which need to be supported in order to be sustainable.
The concept has, in recent years, started to be applied in the digital space, recognising the huge potential in digital technologies to enable development. However, and importantly, it underlines that the realisation of this potential cannot be taken for granted.
It has been defined as including open software and tools, as well as open data and open content – all of which help ensure that the internet helps and provides value for everyone. It can be a basis for innovation, a solution for digital sovereignty, and a booster for transparency.
Our new briefing explores what Digital Public Goods are, and how they are relevant for libraries – both if only defined as open software and tools (such as those enabling repositories or library management systems), and when we look more broadly at open content and the wider knowledge commons.
It also suggests a number of advocacy points for libraries when getting involved in discussions in this field.