The Need for Libraries has Never Been Greater: IFLA Speaks at Major Information Literacy Conference
20 September 2017
At a time of concern about the future of the Internet, there has never been a greater need both for information literacy, and for librarians as information literacy specialists.
Faced with worry about fake news, scams, predatory journals, and extreme speech, too many decision-makers tend to reach for censorship as a response. However, given the quantity of information available, and speed with which it spreads across the Web, the only sustainable and effective solution is for individuals to be able to spot lies, evaluate claims, and stay safe.
Regulation, blockages and shutdowns not only risk coming too late, but can have a disproportionate impact on freedom of access to information.
Information literacy is therefore crucial, and libraries are experienced and skilled in delivering this. Speaking on behalf of IFLA at the European Conference on Information Literacy, Lisa Hinchliffe, Chair of the Information Literacy Section, underlined the contribution that information literacy and libraries can make to sustainable development.
Welcoming the opportunity provided by the conference to learn and exchange, she also underlined the need to ensure that those outside of the library world understand the importance of this work.
Lisa Hinchliffe’s speech is available to download as a pdf.
IFLA will be attending this year’s Global Media and Information Literacy Week in Jamaica at the end of October, and encourages the library community to take part in order to celebrate libraries’ contribution to a smarter society. For more information, see our guide on how to Get into GAPMIL, as well as UNESCO’s suggestions for how libraries can be involved.