9 August is the International Day of the World’s Indigenous Peoples. It provides a great opportunity to highlight the work that libraries are doing to support and promote languages, and the communities that speak them. To celebrate, we share three stories – from Norway, the United States and Colombia. 

Thoughout 2019 IFLA has taken an active role in the International Year of Indigenous Languages, to promote and raise awareness of indigneous languages across the globe.

We have shared stories of libraries who work to preserve and promote the Igbo language in Nigeriareflections on traditional knowledge and copyright, how a Danish library in Germany provides access to literature in the mother language, and how libraries in Canada are collecting and preserving historical and culturally diverse records to ensure that indigenous groups benefit and see themselves reflected in the work of libraries.

Today, to celebrate the International Day of the World’s Indigenous Peoples, we are sharing a further three examples of how libraries are protecting, preserving and promoting languages and the communities that speak them.

  • Trøndelag county library in Norway has turned into a publisher to promote indigenous language reading. Read the story by Morten Olsen Haugen on how the country library is working together with the Saami community to preserve and promote the Saami language.
  • The US Library of Congress’ Indigenous Law Portal is providing vital evidence to help indigenous communities in Bolivia define land claims and so obtain greater levels of autonomy.
  • The Technological University of Chocó in Colombia is organising dialgoues with indigenous communities in order to build up an understanding of how they can and do work with libraries

Find out more about IFLA’s involvement in the International Year of Indigenous Languages.