10 November 2020

Libraries are an Important Component of Media and Information Literacy for All

IFLA was proud to take part in UNESCO Global Media and Information Literacy Week 2020, which was hosted by the Republic of Korea on 24-31 October.

Local Events

In the lead up to this week, we encouraged the global library field to take part in the celebrations by organising local events. These events could be anything, large or small, virtual or in-person, that would help communities become familiar with MIL and the dangers of misinformation. These events were registered on the UNESCO Global MIL Week website.

IFLA was glad to see a number of libraries organising or hosting events, and engaging their communities in other ways in this critical topic.

Now that the week has passed, I just wanted to highlight a few examples from the global library field of events marking Global MIL week. IFLA will highlight these and others in a news article and on our social media channels in the coming week. Here are a few examples of bespoke local celebrations of MIL in libraires:

The Glass Room: Misinformation Edition, dlr Libraries, Republic of Ireland

This exhibition on data and privacy explores how social media and the web have changed the way we read information and react to it. While originally planned for an in-person exhibition at the library, it is now presented online. A series of webinars, workshops and videos are planned to promote and accompany the exhibition, watch one here. The event drew on the work of an EU-funded project involving IFLA, alongside Tactical Tech and Save the Children Italy.

Post-Pandemic Hacks: The Library’s Approach to Counter Infodemic, Nazarbayev University, Kazakhstan

The goal of this panel discussion was to enrich Media and Information Literacy (MIL) education and experience in Kazakhstan. The University invited professors from several Universities worldwide, including Professor Jesus Lau, of the Universidad Veracruzana, Mexico, to share experience.

UNESCO Global Media and Information Literacy: Singapore style, The Council of Chief Librarians Information Literacy Interest Group (CCL IL-IG) together with the Library Association of Singapore (LAS)

This webinar brought together colleagues from libraries and universities in Singapore and beyond to share case studies on digital, media and information literacy during the time of the pandemic.

The Seoul Declaration

One concrete outcome of Global MIL Week 2020 is the drafting of the Seoul Declaration on Media and Information Literacy for Everyone and by Everyone: A Defence against Disinfodemics. Stakeholders from a multitude of sectors from around the world came together to affirm the urgent need to strengthen media and information literacy for all people.

IFLA worked with UNESCO and others in the preparation of the Declaration to ensure that libraries were included in key sections. These include calls to:

  • enhance multilateral collaboration, including between libraries, all levels of government, educational institutions, communications regulators, and media institutions
  • advance MIL as a key tool for library development
  • develop syllabi for lifelong learning educators and for educators outside of formal education (such as librarians).

This document will form the basis for future work towards building MIL, with libraries playing a key role in delivering MIL education for all people. IFLA looks forward to continuing our relationship with UNESCO in delivering the commitments of the Seoul Declaration.

Read the full text of the Seoul Declaration here

Information Literacy, Access to information, Access to knowledge, Information literacy

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