IFLA and the Information Society

Libraries, WSIS and Internet Governance

Photo courtesy of Cook Jones

Libraries have been at the heart of the information society since the very early days of the information and communication technology revolution, continuously adapting to new means of communication to fulfill their mandate of providing universal access to information and knowledge.

Since 2002, IFLA has contributed to the definition of information society policy at the international level through its participation in the World Summit Information Society (WSIS). Consequently, the WSIS Tunis Agenda recognized the important public-service role of libraries in providing open, equitable and affordable access to information and of improving ICT literacy and community connectivity, particularly in underserved communities. IFLA’s statements on the information society during the first period of WSIS tell the story of our engagement between 2002-2005.

Since 2005, IFLA has continued to engage at the International level to define the policies and strategies to achieve the WSIS Plan of Action and build an inclusive information society. Through its participation in the WSIS Forum, the WSIS+10 Review process and in the Internet Governance Forum (IGF), IFLA advocates for the recognition of public access to the Internet as a key for addressing the challenges of development and reaching the UN Millennium Development Goals. In January 2013 the IFLA Governing Board endorsed a revised Position on Internet Governance which states clearly the issues IFLA believes should be addressed in any post WSIS framework.

IFLA continues to engage on issues that affect the ability of libraries and library users to benefit from the possibilities that the Internet offers. The Principles on Public Access in Libraries, agreed by a coalition of actors, sets out how to help more people to get online. IFLA also sets out positions and makes recommendations on issues that affect access to knowledge online, such as the Right to Be Forgotten, and Net Neutrality.

These webpages contain background information on the WSIS and IGF and why librarians should pay attention to the discussions that take place in these forums, as well as information on what IFLA is doing to promote libraries as part of its information society advocacy. They also outline how you can get involved to get the library viewpoint across.

Access to information, Advocacy, Internet access, Information society

Letzte Aktualisierung: 13 August 2016

Latest News

Press Release: Every Community Connected - A Call to Action

A coalition of organisations representing libraries and technologists has called on governments and decision-makers to ensure that every community is connected, and, through libraries, has access to the content and skills needed to enjoy the benefits that the internet can bring.

16 Oktober 2020 | FAIFE (Committee on Freedom of Access to Information and Freedom of Expression), Access to information, Digital inclusion, Internet access

Every Community Connected: A Call to Action, a Pledge to Engage

IFLA is proud to sign up to two documents addressing a key issue of our time – the digital divide. The first calls on governments to act to support investment in wider connectivity and the libraries that help users make the most of it. The second represents a pledge to do all in our power to promote digital inclusion, and is open to wider signatures.

16 Oktober 2020 | FAIFE (Committee on Freedom of Access to Information and Freedom of Expression), Access to information, Digital inclusion, Internet access, Digital divide

IFLA at the 2020 Asia Pacific Regional Internet Governance Forum: Access to Information and Meaningful Digital Inclusion

The 2020 Asia Pacific Regional Internet Governance Forum took place between 27 and 30 of September. This platform offers unique opportunities for dialogue and collaboration among the different stakeholders interested and engaged in the way the Internet works and is governed in a region that includes the majority of the world’s population. An IFLA-led workshop explored the policy and practice perspectives on meaningful digital inclusion and access to information, drawing on the work and experiences of libraries in the region.

8 Oktober 2020 | Access to information, Access to knowledge, Digital inclusion