Universal library connectivity
IFLA actively engages with issues around library connectivity to support policies and initiatives which help bring more libraries – and their users – online.
Reliable internet connectivity and modern information and communication technology (ICT) equipment are integral to libraries’ ability to guarantee equitable access to information and support digital inclusion.
With the possibility to use the internet increasingly acknowledged as a human right, we argue that libraries are key players in bringing everyone online, as set out in the [Principles on Public Access in Libraries] agreed by IFLA alongside partners in the Dynamic Coalition on Public Access in Libraries.
To achieve this, libraries should be at the heart of broadband plans, recognised as providing both essential connectivity for the unconnected, and complementary access options even for those with access at home. They should be supported to provide this service, in order to help ensure that no -one faces financial barriers to using the internet.
To help inform policy and decision-making and to support advocacy, IFLA collects country-level statistical data on internet access in libraries, as well as evidence around the impact of library connectivity – what libraries can achieve when equipped with suitable internet connection and ICT.
With the Library Map of the World, you can find the number of libraries across the world equipped to offer internet access for their users, as well as Sustainable Development Goal Stories highlighting evaluated examples of impact.
IFLA also develops tools and materials that libraries can use to advocate for library connectivity, engage with relevant policy processes, and take practical action. You can find relevant toolkits, guidelines, “Get Into” guides, briefings and other documents.
We also promote these messages through our engagement in the World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS) and the Internet Governance Forum (IGF), where we are a leading member of the Dynamic Coalition on Public Access in Libraries.