16 June 2014
IFLA at EuroDIG 2014
Last week IFLA participated in EuroDIG 2014: Digital Society at Stake – Europe and the future of the Internet held in Berlin, Germany, from 12 – 13 June. During the EuroDig IFLA was involved in discussions spanning copyright, accessibility, development, information literacy and digital inclusion.
IFLA at EuroDig workshops:
IFLA was represented in two workshops by Ellen Broad, Manager, Digital Projects and Policy:
- Workshop 2, The Three musketeers of ICT for development: Access, inclusion and empowerment
- Workshop 6, European copyright for the digital age
Ellen was also joined by IFLA National Committee member Guido Jansen, of the German Library Association, who presented in the copyright workshop on the views and needs of German libraries acquiring and providing access to digital content.
Workshop 2: The Three musketeers of ICT for development: Access, inclusion and empowerment
As part of Workshop 2 IFLA highlighted the key role libraries play in providing public access to information and communications technologies (ICTs) and fundamentally, as agents for development. Ellen spoke of IFLA’s engagement in the World Summit Information Society, where it promotes public access to the internet, and libraries as providers of public access, as key to addressing the challenges of development and achieving the UN Millennium Development Goals. Panelists also discussed accessibility challenges and opportunities for people with visual impairments and other disabilities, touching on the recent ratification of the Marrakesh Treaty as well as efforts to impose basic accessibility standards at the EU level. How to embed accessibility initiatives across service providers, including libraries, and transition to “accessible by default” was identified by panelists as a key challenge to overcome.
Workshop 6: European copyright for the digital age
Workshop 6, which examined European copyright for the digital age, considered a range of topical copyright developments spanning the EU Copyright Consultation, IFLA’s advocacy at the World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO), EBLIDA’s Right to e-Read campaign, online enforcement initiatives, geo blocks and licensing and the future evolution of copyright. A diversity of views on the functioning of existing EU copyright rules were put forward by panelists and workshop participants, with many lively interventions. Both IFLA and the German Library Association emphasized the need to ensure library services online aren’t restricted or redefined by licensing terms and conditions, and to reform copyright rules to harness the benefits of a borderless, inclusive digital environment.