ამბების აგრეგატორი

COVID-19 intensifies calls to end digital divide

EIFL-OA news and events - ორშ, 23/11/2020 - 20:01

The Internet Governance Forum (IGF), an annual forum that brings together stakeholders from government, industry and civil society to discuss public policy issues relating to the internet, was held online this year from 2 - 17 November. For 12 days, the IGF 2020 digital platform was buzzing - with a record 6,000 participants from 173 countries. Ramune Petuchovaite, Manager of the EIFL Public Library Innovation Programme (EIFL-PLIP), reports.

კატეგორიები: თავისუფალი წვდომა

COVID-19 intensifies calls to end digital divide

EIFL - FOSS news - ორშ, 23/11/2020 - 20:01

The Internet Governance Forum (IGF), an annual forum that brings together stakeholders from government, industry and civil society to discuss public policy issues relating to the internet, was held online this year from 2 - 17 November. For 12 days, the IGF 2020 digital platform was buzzing - with a record 6,000 participants from 173 countries. Ramune Petuchovaite, Manager of the EIFL Public Library Innovation Programme (EIFL-PLIP), reports.

COVID-19 intensifies calls to end digital divide

EIFL news and events - ორშ, 23/11/2020 - 20:01

The Internet Governance Forum (IGF), an annual forum that brings together stakeholders from government, industry and civil society to discuss public policy issues relating to the internet, was held online this year from 2 - 17 November. For 12 days, the IGF 2020 digital platform was buzzing - with a record 6,000 participants from 173 countries. Ramune Petuchovaite, Manager of the EIFL Public Library Innovation Programme (EIFL-PLIP), reports.

Fedora 6 Alpha Release is Here

DSpace news - ორშ, 23/11/2020 - 18:35

Today marks a milestone in our progress toward Fedora 6 – the Alpha Release is now available for download and testing! Over the past year, our dedicated Fedora team, along with an extensive list of active community members and committers, have been working hard to deliver this exciting release to all of our users.

So what does Alpha mean? Fedora 6.0 Alpha-1 is our initial release of the newly updated software. The 3 primary goals for Fedora 6 are robust migration support, enhanced digital preservations features, and improved performance and scale. We have been actively working on a strong feature set that we hope to release with the full version in early 2021.

Features Available in Alpha Release

For now, we are happy to deliver the following features with the Alpha:

Alpha Migration Tooling for Fedora 3, 4 & 5 to Fedora 6
Native Amazon S3 Support
Support for Oxford Common File Layout persistence
Built-in search service
Metrics collection available
Docker deployment option

To showcase what’s in store for Fedora 6, we also created this mini Highlight Reel featuring the Top 4 Features we thought you would be most excited about.

 

In the coming weeks, as we work toward Beta release, we want to ensure the broader community has ample opportunity to confirm the functionality of the software against local needs and use cases. We cannot emphasize enough how valuable your feedback will be. It is only through the feedback of those within our own community that we can help guide the development efforts and deliver a product you are proud to use.

Feedback and Testing

Please feel free to use the fedora-tech mailing list, the #fedora-6-testing channel in Fedora Slack or reach out to David Wilcox at david.wilcox@lyrasis.org to provide any and all feedback on this release. Even letting us know that you are testing the software would be greatly appreciated!

Stay tuned on the Road to Fedora 6 for more exciting updates as we move toward Beta and eventually full production release. Thanks to all involved, we couldn’t have done it without your support and dedication.

The post Fedora 6 Alpha Release is Here appeared first on Duraspace.org.

IFLA continues raising awareness around library needs at WIPO

IFLA - ორშ, 23/11/2020 - 16:55

On 16-20 November 2020, the World Intellectual Property Organization hosted the 40th meeting of the Standing Committee on Copyright and Related Rights (SCCR). The objective of this meeting – the first in over a year – was to take stock of work so far, and explore steps forwards on the Committee’s agenda, including its work on exceptions and limitations to copyright for libraries, archives and museums.

The meeting was held in digital version to avoid the complexities linked to the COVID19 pandemic, with two and a half hours of meeting per day.  

IFLA has continued to advocate for copyright rules for libraries to facilitate the evolution of professional practices of these institutions towards digital environments and this, focusing around two themes in its interventions.

First of all, IFLA raised awareness of the importance of setting up an international legal framework allowing for digital reproductions of heritage objects to protect them from weather degradation, human destruction or the impacts of global warming (fires, hurricanes, floods, rising waters).

The second theme that IFLA supported during SCCR40 is the need to make use of flexibilities in current international copyright laws, in particular to allow libraries but also archives, museums, research organizations and educational, to continue their online missions.

The need for action soon is pressing. These institutions are publicly funded organizations and act for the common good of all citizens. They have worked hard to participate in a joint effort by societies to support citizens in learning to read, to offer educational materials, to open up cultural perspectives to build enlightened societies.

IFLA stresses the need to provide them with an adequate legal environment which would allow them to carry out their physical activities in the same way online. IFLA is convinced that laws should not be dependent on the types of technologies, or pure goodwill, but should focus on the missions necessary for the development and well-being of communities.

Regarding the Public Lending Right – an issue brought to the table at the meeting – IFLA underlines the lack of concrete evidence regarding the impact of library lending on book sales and only considers a study on this subject if it considers the subject in a holistic way.

This would include also other means of supporting creators and artists such as the framing of contracts, transparency, reversion of rights, the right to renegotiate contracts, and the right for authors to benefit from organizations of professional representations.

SCCR recordings are available: here

2020-2021 Open Access Publishing Action Plan is now available!

IFLA - ორშ, 23/11/2020 - 14:15

2020-2021 ACD Action Plan is now available here.

LIBSENSE Francophone Africa Day

EIFL-OA news and events - პარ, 20/11/2020 - 20:36

Join LIBSENSE Francophone Africa Day, hosted by the West and Central Education and Research Network (WACREN), Université Virtuelle de Côte d’Ivoire (UVCI) and EIFL as part of Open Access Week Côte d’Ivoire. 

კატეგორიები: თავისუფალი წვდომა

LIBSENSE Francophone Africa Day

EIFL - FOSS news - პარ, 20/11/2020 - 20:36

Join LIBSENSE Francophone Africa Day, hosted by the West and Central Education and Research Network (WACREN), Université Virtuelle de Côte d’Ivoire (UVCI) and EIFL as part of Open Access Week Côte d’Ivoire. 

LIBSENSE Francophone Africa Day

EIFL news and events - პარ, 20/11/2020 - 20:36

Join LIBSENSE Francophone Africa Day, hosted by the West and Central Education and Research Network (WACREN), Université Virtuelle de Côte d’Ivoire (UVCI) and EIFL as part of Open Access Week Côte d’Ivoire. 

Open Access Week Côte d’Ivoire

EIFL-OA news and events - პარ, 20/11/2020 - 18:42

L’Université Virtuelle de Côte d’Ivoire (UVCI) and EIFL’s partner library consortium, Consortium des Bibliothèques de l‘Enseignement Supérieur de Cote d‘Ivoire (COBES-CI), are co-organizers of Open Access Week Côte d’Ivoire, with  the West and Central Education and Research Network (WACREN/LIBSENSE) and Commission Nationale Ivoirienne pour l’UNESCO. 

Open Access Week Côte d’Ivoire, from 24 - 27 November, takes place in conjunction with the international colloquium, ‘Digital. Social dynamics and resilience in the context of COVID-19’. 

კატეგორიები: თავისუფალი წვდომა

Open Access Week Côte d’Ivoire

EIFL - FOSS news - პარ, 20/11/2020 - 18:42

L’Université Virtuelle de Côte d’Ivoire (UVCI) and EIFL’s partner library consortium, Consortium des Bibliothèques de l‘Enseignement Supérieur de Cote d‘Ivoire (COBES-CI), are co-organizers of Open Access Week Côte d’Ivoire, with  the West and Central Education and Research Network (WACREN/LIBSENSE) and Commission Nationale Ivoirienne pour l’UNESCO. 

Open Access Week Côte d’Ivoire, from 24 - 27 November, takes place in conjunction with the international colloquium, ‘Digital. Social dynamics and resilience in the context of COVID-19’. 

Open Access Week Côte d’Ivoire

EIFL news and events - პარ, 20/11/2020 - 18:42

L’Université Virtuelle de Côte d’Ivoire (UVCI) and EIFL’s partner library consortium, Consortium des Bibliothèques de l‘Enseignement Supérieur de Cote d‘Ivoire (COBES-CI), are co-organizers of Open Access Week Côte d’Ivoire, with  the West and Central Education and Research Network (WACREN/LIBSENSE) and Commission Nationale Ivoirienne pour l’UNESCO. 

Open Access Week Côte d’Ivoire, from 24 - 27 November, takes place in conjunction with the international colloquium, ‘Digital. Social dynamics and resilience in the context of COVID-19’. 

LIBER 2021 Online: Call for Papers

LIBER news - პარ, 20/11/2020 - 17:38

The Call for Papers for LIBER’s 2021 Annual Conference Online from 23 to 25 June, is now open. The deadline for submitting a proposal is 11 January 2021. In view of the ongoing health crisis because of COVID-19, we have decided to host our Annual Conference Online for the second consecutive year. Guidance and conference topics are outlined…

The post LIBER 2021 Online: Call for Papers appeared first on LIBER.

GIOPS 2020 Annual Report Now Available!

IFLA - პარ, 20/11/2020 - 07:00

GIOPS 2020 Annual Report has been submitted to our Divsion II Chair.  It is available under the Annual Reports section of our Publications.

Internet Governance Forum 2020: Takeaway Messages for Libraries

IFLA - ხუთ, 19/11/2020 - 17:58

The 2020 IGF – the first to take place in a fully virtual format – has drawn to a close. With over 250 online sessions, many issues that were raised are relevant for the global library sector.

Across a two-week programme, IFLA took part in discussions at the Internet Governance Forum (IGF – or vIGF, standing for virtual IGF), working to highlight the work and potential of libraries in bridging the digital divide, identify and advocate for supportive policy environments, and take stock of current internet governance issues and challenges.

How has the world progressed with digital inclusion?

This year marked an alarming milestone – despite one of the Sustainable Development Goals targets being to aim for universal and affordable access to the internet in least developed countries by 2020, global internet use is still only estimated at about 57% of the world population, with just 23% of the population of least developed countries being online.

One of the IGF tracks this year – Inclusion – therefore focused on the challenges of bringing more people online.

Broadly, there is wide agreement on the urgency of connecting more people. To help achieve this, complementary providers and alternatives to traditional commercial internet service provision can have powerful potential.

As one of the speakers at the High-Level Leaders Track Wrap Up session highlighted, a number of possible solutions are available – spectrum regulation that can drive broader access, community networks, and, importantly, public access solutions. These, paired with public sector investments in skills and content, could help more people make meaningful use of the internet.

As the Dynamic Coalition on Public Access in Libraries session highlighted, libraries can be a valuable tool in helping deliver such an intervention. Among the takeaway messages from this session, speakers highlighted the importance of:

- taking stock of both available (library and connectivity) infrastructure, resources and community needs;

- accelerated rollout of infrastructure which helps connect priority endpoints like libraries – which can in turn bring more people online;

- and building up the skills and capacity of library staff, so that they can offer equitable access solutions for their communities.

An Equal Internet?

Vulnerable and marginalised social groups have been particularly affected by the rapid digitisation of society associated with the pandemic, exacerbating existing digital inequalities.

For example, much remains to be done to ensure accessibility for people with disabilities. While the Marrakesh Treaty was pointed out to have had a crucial impact on access to information for people with visual and print disabilities, much more needs to be done to ensure access for people with different types of disabilities.

This leads to another point raised during the vIGF2020 – access to content is crucial. The topic of access to digital content emerged several times over the course of the IGF – and IFLA has reiterated the importance of policies and practices that ensure equitable access.

Access to local, relevant and high-quality content is a crucial element of meaningful digital inclusion. The IGF offered a platform to highlight that supportive policies and practices – from addressing the issues around e-book pricing to digital-ready copyright exceptions and limitations – are urgently needed.

Without this, access to quality digital content may be yet another dimension of digital exclusion that magnifies existing inequalities, with fewer people being able to afford and access quality materials online.

Digital skills, as ever, were reiterated as another key dimension of digital inclusion, with different crucial skills and capacities highlighted over the course of this IGF. Alongside traditional ICT skills, various participants highlighted critical thinking, users’ knowledge and understanding of their rights online, skills for participating in the online digital economy.

In light of libraries’ continued work to support digital literacy, it is worth keeping track of the ongoing discussions on what skills people today need to use the internet effectively and safely.

Misinformation concerns were once again prominent in the discussions this year, with the worrying trends of dis- and mis-information pertaining to COVID, electoral processes and climate change, among others.

Several participants pointed out that media literacy initiatives are an important part of the solution; meanwhile, libraries’ work in the area is of course ongoing.

Online education was also high on the IGF agenda this year, with several sessions examining the experiences of students and educators with the rapid shift to digital during the pandemic. Some of the common (and severe) challenges faced around the world include not just a lack of access to the internet or appropriate devices for students and digital skills (of both students and teachers), but also, as was pointed out in one of the sessions, the need for social infrastructure that supports online education. This speaks to such issues as students’ difficulties with concentration or motivation, or the need for support for parents or educators.

This has a relation to the library sector’s ongoing work to support education throughout the pandemic. While libraries are of course only a part of the education infrastructure, many took up various efforts to help deliver on people’s right to education – beyond simply providing access to content.

These initiatives ranged from homework help resources or tutoring and information literacy sessions to helping students carry out research online and to various informal virtual educational activities. That is why it is worth examining good practices and the potential of libraries to help support online education, especially for those who need it most.

Innovation in online education and learning. Another point highlighted by some of the panelists was that simply transporting traditional classroom activities into an online environment may not yield the most effective results. Instead, the shift to digital in education should entail innovative approaches to teaching and learning, models and curricula that best suit the online mediums.

The emerging good pedagogical practices and ideas that can follow this push for digital could also be of interest for all libraries working to offer virtual programming for less formal learning.

From virtual conversation classes to online storytimes and beyond, many libraries have already adapted their learning programming, and it can be useful to keep an eye out on the online learning and education discourse for more ideas or inspiration.

A closing statement by the United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Gutteres highlighted, among other key challenges, the online ‘pandemic of disinformation’, the urgent need to narrow the digital divides, and using digital data for the public good. All these are areas where libraries – from public to academic, from school to National, special, and beyond – can offer valuable help.

Leveraging the Internet and ICT in support of an effective societal response, recovery and development can be achieved by strong cooperation and contribution of many stakeholders. Libraries are well placed to help realise this potential.

IFLA LAC Section + IFLA Strategy: Uniting libraries in Latin America & the Caribbean

IFLA - ხუთ, 19/11/2020 - 17:08

Inspired by the IFLA Strategy, the IFLA Latin America and the Caribbean Section (IFLA LAC Section) has taken the lead in connecting library associations in the region. Having already started to focus their networking efforts in December 2019, this work has intensified since the COVID-19 outbreak.

Closely aligned to IFLA Key Initiative 4.1 Foster the long-term financial continuity and stability of the organisation, IFLA LAC saw an opportunity to plan for the future, developing strategies and options for long-term financial sustainability, based on an understanding of their regional partners and their capacity to seize new opportunities.

To unite IFLA members in the LAC region, and those in other world regions which are part of IFLA's Division V, IFLA LAC has engaged members through frequent communication and Zoom calls since the beginning of the COVID-19 outbreak.

Members of IFLA LAC have also been actively working and proactively connecting with the national library associations in the regions, to disseminate engagement opportunities to the worldwide library field, through events first in September 2019 and then in July 2020.

 
 

These meetings not only enhanced communication among LAC regional associations, but also allowed IFLA LAC to gather insights into specific needs and ideas from organisations in each country throughout Latin America and the Caribbean, helping other IFLA Sections to identify and understand the characteristics of each association.

The Chair of the IFLA LAC Standing Committee, Maria Angélica Fuentes Martínez highlighted the importance of aligning national strategic actions from each country’s library associations to the IFLA Strategy:

The IFLA LAC Section in its strengthening of regional processes will continue to convene the presidents of the national associations of the region to raise their awareness of the IFLA Strategy and make the actions driven by the IFLA Strategy more efficient. IFLA LAC aims for this process to generate an essential alliance so that the region is more visible and has a greater voice at the international level. The particularities of the region are a strength and an opportunity to improve the communications and the alignment of strategies and efforts worldwide.”  

Opening a virtual meeting space with associations has made it possible for the IFLA LAC Section join forces with regional associations so that the IFLA Strategy can reach even more professionals across the region’s countries.

These efforts unite the Latin America and Caribbean region and illustrate the importance of teamwork in the promotion of the library profession, raising the visibility of actions taken in each country, and the value of the LAC region’s commitment to IFLA.

 

Read more about the IFLA Strategy 2019-2024

How is your library or library association engaging with the IFLA Strategy? Let us know! Post on your social media, using the hashtag #IFLAStrategy and #WeAreIFLA or send an email to Despina Gerasimidou, IFLA’s Strategic Development Officer at despina.gerasimidou@ifla.org.

 

      

LIBER 2020 Online: Annual Conference Survey Results

LIBER news - ხუთ, 19/11/2020 - 16:46

The year 2020 was an exceptional year for our LIBER Annual Conference. For the first time ever, and as a result of COVID-19, we had to move our 49th conference online. Thank you to everyone who joined us in this new virtual endeavour and for taking the time to provide us with your feedback on…

The post LIBER 2020 Online: Annual Conference Survey Results appeared first on LIBER.

Securing SDG Success in Africa through Youth

IFLA - ხუთ, 19/11/2020 - 12:26

IFLA was present at the 3rd African Youth SDGs Summit in Accra, Ghana, on 4-5 November. IFLA’s representative, Damilare Oyedele, shared the below report.

​Young people across Africa joined the 3rd African Youth SDGs Summit in Accra, Ghana on 4-5 November 2020 to deliberate and proffer feasible solutions around the theme of this year’s summit, Securing the Sustainable Development Agenda beyond the COVID-19 era. 

Achieving this will need a pragmatic approach from all stakeholders. In this context, equitable access to information can play a transformative role, enabling better decision-making, innovation, and resilience at all levels in the wake of COVID-19. 

During various physical sessions at the summit, Damilare Oyedele, Co-Founder & Chief Executive Library Aid Africa represented the International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions (IFLA) where he explored opportunities that will strengthen contacts with stakeholders and build understanding of the importance of supporting libraries, and incorporating libraries into policy planning and implementation— most especially exploring libraries’ unique mandate to provide equitable access to information for all beyond the COVID-19 era. 

In order to facilitate inclusive responses and define strategies to harness the power of libraries in providing equitable access to information to build back better during and after the COVID-19 era, the International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions (IFLA) and Library Aid Africa hosted a side event titled: Leveraging Information to secure the sustainable development agenda beyond the COVID-19 era. 

The session explored the role of information - including access to it and the skills to use it - in delivering the Sustainable Development Agenda beyond the COVID-19 era, the different ways in which libraries support governments’ work, and what more can be done to ensure equitable access to information to building back better and to drive progress towards securing the sustainable development agenda in Africa beyond the COVID-19 era. 

Opportunities to make these points also came through speaking engagements and interactive sessions led by young speakers; Elizabeth Matheus, Senior Librarian Outapi Community Library Namibia, Daniel Nwaeze, Global Youth Coordinator Global Alliance for Partnerships on Media and Information Literacy (GAPMIL) and Alice Musonda Mwape, Assistant Library Officer Zambia Library Service HQ. 

Major points from discussions, charting a course towards an inclusive approach to drive progress towards the realisation of the Sustainable Development Agenda beyond the COVID-19 era, included:

  • Encourage decision-makers to invest in libraries as ‘one-stop-shops’ for different services, given that an investment in libraries is a major step in driving progress on most of the SDGs.
  • Promote capacity development and outreach services on identifying and curbing the spread of fake news. 
  • Librarians should engage more with youth so they are more effective at translating national development plans to youth to further drive progress. 
  • Facilitate strategic stakeholder engagement between libraries and government, UN Agencies, community leaders, youth groups, and other parties, drawing on each partner’s unique strengths.
  • Provide internet access to connect vulnerable groups and people with disabilities to legitimate information. 

With emerging plans by various UN agencies, government, private sectors, and CSOs for securing the Sustainable Development Agenda beyond the COVID-19 era, it is apparent that libraries’ role in providing equitable access to information for all is important more than ever. To this end, the major points from the session have identified a more strategic and inclusive approach to drive progress on the continent. 

Securing SDG Success in Africa through Youth

IFLA - ხუთ, 19/11/2020 - 12:26

IFLA was present at the 3rd African Youth SDGs Summit in Accra, Ghana, on 4-5 November. IFLA’s representative, Damilare Oyedele, shared the below report.

​Young people across Africa joined the 3rd African Youth SDGs Summit in Accra, Ghana on 4-5 November 2020 to deliberate and proffer feasible solutions around the theme of this year’s summit, Securing the Sustainable Development Agenda beyond the COVID-19 era. 

Achieving this will need a pragmatic approach from all stakeholders. In this context, equitable access to information can play a transformative role, enabling better decision-making, innovation, and resilience at all levels in the wake of COVID-19. 

During various physical sessions at the summit, Damilare Oyedele, Co-Founder & Chief Executive Library Aid Africa represented the International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions (IFLA) where he explored opportunities that will strengthen contacts with stakeholders and build understanding of the importance of supporting libraries, and incorporating libraries into policy planning and implementation— most especially exploring libraries’ unique mandate to provide equitable access to information for all beyond the COVID-19 era. 

In order to facilitate inclusive responses and define strategies to harness the power of libraries in providing equitable access to information to build back better during and after the COVID-19 era, the International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions (IFLA) and Library Aid Africa hosted a side event titled: Leveraging Information to secure the sustainable development agenda beyond the COVID-19 era. 

The session explored the role of information - including access to it and the skills to use it - in delivering the Sustainable Development Agenda beyond the COVID-19 era, the different ways in which libraries support governments’ work, and what more can be done to ensure equitable access to information to building back better and to drive progress towards securing the sustainable development agenda in Africa beyond the COVID-19 era. 

Opportunities to make these points also came through speaking engagements and interactive sessions led by young speakers; Elizabeth Matheus, Senior Librarian Outapi Community Library Namibia, Daniel Nwaeze, Global Youth Coordinator Global Alliance for Partnerships on Media and Information Literacy (GAPMIL) and Alice Musonda Mwape, Assistant Library Officer Zambia Library Service HQ. 

Major points from discussions, charting a course towards an inclusive approach to drive progress towards the realisation of the Sustainable Development Agenda beyond the COVID-19 era, included:

  • Encourage decision-makers to invest in libraries as ‘one-stop-shops’ for different services, given that an investment in libraries is a major step in driving progress on most of the SDGs.
  • Promote capacity development and outreach services on identifying and curbing the spread of fake news. 
  • Librarians should engage more with youth so they are more effective at translating national development plans to youth to further drive progress. 
  • Facilitate strategic stakeholder engagement between libraries and government, UN Agencies, community leaders, youth groups, and other parties, drawing on each partner’s unique strengths.
  • Provide internet access to connect vulnerable groups and people with disabilities to legitimate information. 

With emerging plans by various UN agencies, government, private sectors, and CSOs for securing the Sustainable Development Agenda beyond the COVID-19 era, it is apparent that libraries’ role in providing equitable access to information for all is important more than ever. To this end, the major points from the session have identified a more strategic and inclusive approach to drive progress on the continent. 

IFLA NILP SIG – closing statement

IFLA - ხუთ, 19/11/2020 - 11:25

The IFLA NILP SIG completed its work at the end of 2019, after two 4-year terms, and submitted its final report to the Professional Committee of IFLA. This short statement was drafted a year later, at the request of IFLA Headquarters and the Section of National Libraries.

History of the NILP SIG

A public meeting to discuss national information and library policy and planning was held during the IFLA Congress in San Juan, Puerto Rico in 2011. IFLA approved the creation of the NILP SIG, attached to the Section of National Libraries, and convened by the CEO of the National Library of [the Republic of] Korea, Dr Wonsun Lim. He led the SIG through its open sessions at WLIC in Helsinki (2012), Singapore (2013) and Lyon (2014). Details of that period are provided in the first 4-year report submitted to IFLA by the National Library of Korea.

The mission of the NILP SIG was to provide IFLA units with practical ideas for establishing library and information policies at national level, provide opportunities for IFLA members to exchange knowledge about such policies, stimulate discussion, including by calling for examples of cases of processes, structures and lessons learned.

At the Cape Town WLIC in 2015, the National Library of Korea handed over leadership of the SIG to the National Library of South Africa. The National Librarian of South Africa, Prof. Ralebipi-Simela was NILP Convenor through the IFLA congresses in Columbus 2016 and Wrocław 2017. She participated in the IFLA President’s meeting and initial Global Vision meeting in Athens, Greece, in April 2017. She also participated in the consultation among the wider national library and information policy community, which was organised by the IFLA Section of National Libraries to support the development of IFLA’s strategic ‘Global Vision’.

The NILP session in Wrocław, on the theme of ‘National libraries’ core functions and best practices’, discussed the findings of the survey on national Library functions which had been carried out by members of the Section of National Libraries in 2015-2016.

At the 2017 WLIC, a new Convenor of NILP SIG took over: Winston Roberts, based at the National Library of New Zealand. He organised the SIG’s open session at WLIC in Kuala Lumpur 2018 and again at WLIC 2019 in Athens.

The SIG’s open session at the IFLA congress in 2018 (Kuala Lumpur) was on the theme of ‘Lessons learned from new developments in information and library policy at national level’. Speakers were invited from New Zealand, the MENA region, the Andean region, and the Philippines to speak on library policy developments in their regions.

The theme for the open session in Athens 2019 was ‘National Information and Library Policies in Support of the UN Sustainable Development Goals’.  A panel of 7 speakers were invited to make short presentations, from Fiji, Switzerland, India, Uganda, Iran, Canada and Honduras. 

The aim of these open sessions was to allow speakers to address the links between policies and planning for the library and information sector on the one hand, with a broad range of ‘information society’ issues at national level on the other hand. The sessions were interactive, with audience participation encouraged. Efforts were made to introduce speakers from countries at various stages of development, and maintain a regional balance.

The audience for NILP sessions was consistent, but small, and overlapped with that of the Section of National Libraries. It also included a broad range of other IFLA members interested in policies and planning, including in government and tertiary education. These sessions also drew IFLA members concerned about the inclusion in national planning of issues such as: access to information, digital literacy, provision of community information, equitable access to the Internet, and legislative matters such as copyright, and citizens’ rights.

Brief assessment

The SIG was able to provide a platform at the annual congress for discussion of ideas relating to IFLA advocacy work broadly, and specifically to the advocacy work carried out in various countries by national organisations such as the National Library, other government departments, and national associations in the library and information field.

The SIG sessions showcased some instructive national and regional case-studies of dynamic national planning, and in a few cases highlighted the lack of integrated information and library planning. The audiences engaged actively in the discussions.

Feedback received indicated that the concept of ‘NILP’ was understood by IFLA members in different ways. Some regard such policy development as the function of library associations, while others regard it as the function of national government authorities. To judge from the presentations given at all the NILP sessions, there are very few countries which apply the sort of holistic and integrated information planning at national level which was called for by the two World Summits on the Information Society (2003 and 2005).

One reason must surely be that there is not one agreed and fully-inclusive definition of “information” or the term “information society” which takes account of infrastructure, telecommunications, media and human rights issues as well as the range of issues important to the library sector. Many national authorities have an imperfect understanding of the actual contribution of libraries to the information economy, and of the interrelationship between the information economy and education and culture.

The NILP theme is relevant to IFLA at a high level, and can be linked to its strategic advocacy work. There are possible connections with other IFLA groups, such as FAIFE, and organisations outside IFLA such as the international and regional organisations dealing with Internet governance.

In order for further discussions in this area to continue within IFLA, the theme would no doubt need to be included in a process such as advocacy, or picked up by established IFLA Sections - (these might be the Section of National Libraries, or the regional Sections, for example). A review of the papers and presentations delivered at the NILP sessions at the WLIC might provide a synthesis of points for further action by IFLA.

Resources:

The webpage of NILP SIG is still live but has been removed from the list of current IFLA SIGs.  Past NILP papers presented at WLICs are included in the ‘IFLA Library’: links can be located on the old NILP “Conferences” webpage, with the exception of the 2018 WLIC, where there were presentations instead of the papers. For that year, the publications link can be used or links to individual files. 

Winston Roberts
National Library of New Zealand
November 2020

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