What is IFLA doing in the Information Society?

IFLA’s involvement in the information society spans across different levels, from major international development frameworks to project implementation, capacity building and foresight study.

  • IFLA has set out its formal position on Internet Governance and our approach to the information society in its revised Statement on Internet Governance (2013).
  • At the international level IFLA contributes actively to the World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS)  as moderator of library-related sub-themes under WSIS Action line C3 Access to Information and Knowledge, and C8 Cultural and Linguistic Diversity.
  • IFLA participated in the WSIS review process, which started in February 2013 at UNESCO in Paris, where it organised two session panels: Ownership of digital information: What Exactly am I Buying? Ownership vs Licensing in the Digital Age and Public Access: Supporting Knowledge Societies through Public Access to the Internet. The Review came to a successful conclusion in 2015, with strong emphasis on the importance of access to information for development, and of public access through institutions such as libraries.
  • In advocating the role of libraries as key actors in the information society IFLA has organized a number of workshops and events at the main international gatherings of the WSIS Forum and the IGF. Information on past workshops can be found here.
  • IFLA is also a member of the Beyond Access Coalition which advocates for the role of public libraries as engines for development. Beyond Access highlights the role that public access to the Internet through libraries can play in achieving the Millennium Development Goals. IFLA, as part of the Dynamic Coalition on Public Access in Libraries, has published a set of Principles on Public Access.
  • A flagship project of IFLA Key Initiative 1 is the IFLA Trend Report which was launched during the 2013 WLIC in Singapore. The Trend Report is a foresight study on major future changes and trends that will affect the information environment in which libraries operate. It helps libraries plan strategies and services in the emerging information society. 
  • IFLA works to provide guidelines, standards and best practice to support librarians in the information society. Concrete examples of this work are the UNESCO/IFLA Manifesto on Digital Preservation or IFLA’s Recommendations on Media and Information Literacy.
  • The IFLA International Leaders are actively participating in Information Society activities. They have produced a brief on the Internet Governance Forum and how to get involved [MS Word] | [PDF]
  • IFLA Leader Irina Trushina from the National Library of Russia represented the ILFA leaders at the IGF in Baku, joining the IFLA delegation and the director of the Azerbaijan National Library in workshops and debates. Irina’s report on her participation at the IGF can be downloaded in MS Word or PDF.
  • IFLA Leader Dina Youssef, from the Bibliotheca Alexandrina in Egypt, participated at the second Africa IGF in Cairo, which was organized under the auspices of the UN Economic Commission for Africa. IFLA leaders are key assets that follow and contribute to the national and regional IGFs and WSIS events, ensuring that the role of libraries are included in the policy debate at all levels. IFLA encourages its members to participate in regional and national IGF meetings (see the calendar at the bottom left of this page) in order to ensure that the library perspective is heard.

Last update: 8 August 2016