15 June 2021
IFLA signs the WikiLibrary Manifesto
IFLA has endorsed the WikiLibrary Manifesto, aimed at connecting libraries and Wikimedia projects such as Wikibase in order to promote the dissemination of knowledge in open formats, especially in linked open data networks.
Libraries and Wikimedia, two types of sister organizations, one aim: sharing information and knowledge
The heart of libraries' mission is to enable all citizens to access information and knowledge in order to be able to build informed opinions and perspectives in their life.
Every day, millions of librarians around the world choose books, advise users in their research through books or websites, reveal pluralities of perspectives, and support the development of individual opinions and the exercise of freedom of expression.
On its side, the Wikimedia Foundation is a non-profit organization which aims to share knowledge openly. They believe that each citizen has information and knowledge that they can share openly on Wikimedia projects, based on reliable and verifiable sources.
As such, on both sides, there is a strong desire to allow open access to information and knowledge via reliable sources while respecting the will of communities such as indigenous groups.
Beyond this, there is the will to share to ensure the sustainability and preservation of this knowledge, as well as to bring together different perspectives to ensure a more nuanced, better informed story of the world. The importance of open, interoperable tools that can facilitate the work of linked data libraries like Wikibase, is part of this.
The WikiLibrary Manifesto, open principles
Within this context, the WikiLibrary Manifesto aims to promote the development of principles and the establishment of strong digital policies which are open, and therefore reusable for libraries.
This initiative, born of discussions and collaborations between libraries and Wikimedia Germany, is also the opportunity to continue these discussions between our structures.
The manifesto supports the application of the principles of FAIR (free, open, accessible, re-usable) data and proposes other principles such as:
Promoting free licenses for data and their software environment.
Shaping spaces where diverse communities thrive (community gardening).
Providing structured data based on FAIR data principles in order to be able to transparently transform data into information to create FAIR knowledge.
Promoting common core standards created consensually and collaboratively.
Providing open governance structures and embedding them into existing systems.
Dedicating resources to obtain user interfaces that are accessible to and user ‑ friendly for everybody who wants to contribute and actively care for data and knowledge.
Fostering data literacy in the digital transformation on the three stages: data, information and knowledge.