You are invited to attend session 191, Public access in libraries, which is hosted by IFLA, in collaboration with the Dynamic Coalition on Public Access in Libraries (Internet Governance Forum).

Date: Wednesday 17 August

Time: 13:45 – 15:45

Room: C210-212

This session will give an overview of IFLA's advocacy for public access to the Internet in regional and global Internet Governance Forums, and an introduction to the Global Connect Initiative, a programme launched by the U.S. State Department in September 2015 with the purpose of bringing 1.5 billion people online by 2020.

The UN 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development identifies ICTs and the Internet as horizontal enablers for development. At the moment, half of the world's population lacks access to information online. Worldwide, more than a million libraries ensure that information and the skills to use it are available to everyone – making them critical institutions for all in the digital age. Public access to Internet through libraries is strongly promoted by IFLA and, together with EIFL (Electronic Information for Libraries) and other partners, we have mobilised many stakeholders in the Dynamic Coalition on Public Access in Libraries, which works within the context of the UN Internet Governance Forum to promote the role libraries play in public access to information.

The session will be chaired by IFLA Deputy Secretary General Stuart Hamilton (IFLA) and Janet Sawaya (EIFL), and the programme is as follows:    

  1. Welcomes and introductory remarks
    Stuart Hamilton, IFLA Deputy Secretary General / Director, Policy & Advocacy
  2. The Global Connect Initiative and Getting the Next Billion Online
    Suhas Subramanyam, Office of Science and Technology Policy – The White House, United States
  3. The Importance of Public Access to the Internet
    Deborah Brown, Association of Progressive Communications (APC)
  4. Public Libraries as an Access Policy Option Corinne Hill, Chattanooga Public Libraries, United States
  5. EIFL Public Libraries Innovation Project
    Janet Sawaya, Electronic Information for Libraries (EIFL)
  6. Beyond Access
    Rachel Crocker, IREX
  7. The Gigabit Libraries Network – White Space Project
    Don Means, Gigabit Libraries Network, United States
  8. Discussion: How can we get more support for libraries as providers of public access to the Internet?