Addressing persistent digital divides remains a key priority in internet governance policy dialogues and initiatives. Libraries bring valuable solutions, practices and lessons learned to this discussion – and the Dynamic Coalition on Public Access in Libraries (DC-PAL) continues to facilitate this learning and exchange within the Internet Governance Forum platforms.

DC-PAL in 2021

A new DC-PAL annual report summarises key activities, focus areas and outputs of the Coalition from the past year. These include both events which offer libraries an accessible platform to engage with Internet Governance discussions, and resources and materials libraries could draw on in their own digital inclusion work:

  • A 2021 IGF DC-PAL session exploring the ways library-based public access can help power community-level connectivity;
  • A learning and exchange meeting organised by the Silesian Library and DC-PAL, focusing on the concept of people-centered connectivity and the role of libraries in achieving this policy goal;
  • An expanded and finalised 2-part report on the role of libraries in national-level broadband policies, and a series of case studies examining the implementation of library-based broadband policy interventions on the ground;
  • A draft report summarising recent evidence on the impacts of public access in libraries, and instruments and approaches which can help measure these impacts.

You can find out more information about these events and resources in the full annual report below.

You are also welcome to explore the DC-PAL activity reports from the past years – e.g. 2020, 2019, and earlier years – to learn more about the work of the Coalition!

Drawing conclusions and fostering library engagement in internet governance in 2022

One of the takeaway messages from the 2021 Internet Governance Forum in Katowice highlights the role of libraries in the discussions on universal access and meaningful connectivity:

“Public access through institutions such as libraries can help deliver on all of the components of access that help drive development – equitable and inclusive connectivity, content and competences. The COVID-19 pandemic has demonstrated that countries had to prioritise the massive development of connectivity infrastructure to connect the unconnected to an increasingly digital world.”

The discussions facilitated by DC-PAL over the past year have also pointed to emerging questions and issue areas which can help identify ways to maximise the impacts of library digital inclusion efforts – for example, around metrics and definitions of community-level connectivity, evolution of the ICT skills ecosystem, and innovative library-based public access solutions, to name a few.

DC-PAL will take forward and build on these conversation in 2022 – and, as ever, the Coalition is open to all interested stakeholders!

If you would like to share any insights from your library’s work with digital inclusion, or flag key issues you’d like to see reflected in internet governance discussions, or find out more about other libraries’ digital inclusion initiatives, DC-PAL publications and resources, and ways to get involved in the Internet Governance Forum – you are very welcome to join the coalition.

You can sign up to join the conversation and receive updates about engagement opportunities and resources via the DC-PAL mailing list, or email us directly to find out more!

Dynamic Coalition on Public Access in Libraries: Annual Activity Report (January 2022)

The Dynamic Coalition on Public Access in Libraries (DC-PAL) has been working within the Internet Governance Forum platforms since 2012. The Coalition facilitates action and policy dialogue to leverage public access – shared, low-or no-cost access to the internet and ICT in libraries and similar f...