25 June 2017

EU Digital Assembly 2017 – Libraries As Relevant As Ever in the Internet Age

WiFi4EU Panel at European Digital Assembly

WiFi4EU Panel at European Digital Assembly

This year’s European Digital Assembly took place in Malta, bringing together representatives of the EU, national governments, business and civil society. It focused on the opportunities and challenges raised by the development of the digital economy, and how policy makers should respond. Morgane Gourgand from the University of Malta Library attended.

For libraries, digital technologies offer strong potential to further progress towards the goal of access to information for all. They also increase the importance of spaces where people can develop their information literacy skills, receive training throughout their lives, and feel safe.

Highlights of this year’s Assembly included discussions about WiFi4EU, a project which will allow local authorities to work with community institutions to bid for money to install public WiFi. Libraries are potentially very strong candidates, given their trusted status and ability to offer other services.

Participants also discussed digital skills, and their importance for employability. There are many options out there, from boot camps to MOOCs. Here too, given their position within communities, libraries can make a contribution as resource centres and training venues. They could also serve as workspaces for people working remotely, enabling them better to balance professional and personal lives. 

FAIFE (Committee on Freedom of Access to Information and Freedom of Expression), Digital divide, Malta, digital literacy, Internet governance

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