At the heart of IFLA's values is the idea that everyone should enjoy freedom of access to information, and so to high quality library and information services. Yet upholding rights is not always easy or simple.
This month's IFLA newsletter highlights different angles of our work in this area. Happy reading!
Gerald Leitner (GL): How do you see a focus on human rights as supporting the work of libraries at all levels? Ellen Tise (ET): A focus on human rights is inextricably linked to the work of libraries at all levels. Libraries directly advance the cause of human rights in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights Article 19. The library profession has a rich history of alignment with human rights issues, movements, and declarations. Traditionally, the role of libraries have been recognised in the promotion of human rights, through their efforts in making information accessible to anyone, regardless of age, education, ethnicity, language, income, etc. This role of libraries in the promotion of human rights comes out from their very core mission, namely to ensure access to information for all.
Bringing the field together, globally: IFLA leadership engages with Members
IFLA's President and Secretary General took part in the second series of Leaders' Conversations organised by the National Library Board, Singapore, host of IFLA's Regional Office for Asia-Oceania, exploring the possibilities and opportunities open to public and national libraries.
The IFLA President Barbara Lison also spoke at the Russian Library for Foreign Literature about the trends shaping the future of the field, at the National Assembly Library of the Republic of Korea's Metaverse Book Festival, at the Indian Association of Teachers of Library and Information Science and the Department of Library and Information Science at the University of Calcutta, Kolkata conference about IFLA's work to support library education, the Online Forum on the Development of Librarianship, and about IFLA and the SDGs in Wismar, Germany. She also gave a keynote intervention at the event organised at Qatar National Library, host of an IFLA Preservation and Conservation Centre, about the fight against trafficking.
IFLA's President-elect Tonia Arahova participated in an EU and Southeastern Europe conference, talking about IFLA and the SDGs, a study day of the National Coordination for Architecture Libraries in Italy, and the conference on Political Leadership in Parliamentary Democracy in Vilnius, Lithuania.
POLICY AND ADVOCACY
Libraries stand for human rights: looking forward to Human Rights Day 2021
10 December each year marks Human Rights Day. It is an opportunity both to reaffirm the commitment of libraries to delivering human rights, not least that of freedom of access to information and freedom of expression, as well as work, education, science and culture, but also think about how we can achieve them most effectively. Ahead of this, we look back at IFLA's engagement in highlighting the role of libraries in delivering rights in Africa and Europe, as well as submissions to the UN Human Rights Council on disinformation and the right to development.
The UN Climate Change Conference (COP26) has come to an end. IFLA was there to ensure that a library perspective was included in the programme both for governments and other delegates, and to amplify the work that libraries are doing to empower their communities to take climate action.
A stronger voice for libraries in the regions, a stronger voice for regions in IFLA
A key innovation in IFLA's Governance Reform was the creation of our new Regional Division Committees and Council, supporting outreach and advocacy, and ensuring a strong voice for the regions in the Federation as a whole. The new Committees are already hard at work, developing action plans adapted to the needs of each region.
The UNESCO General Conference: recognising libraries as partners in culture, education, and access to information
UNESCO's 41st General Conference brought together governments, NGOs and others to determine the policies and the main lines of work of the Organisation. IFLA was there to make the case for working with libraries. Find out more about what was agreed, and next steps.
A Right to be Connected – looking ahead to the IGF
The UN Secretary-General's "Our Common Agenda" reiterated the urgency of closing digital divides and addressing inequalities. The upcoming 2021 Internet Governance Forum (IGF) in Katowice, Poland, and online, offers libraries an opportunity to demonstrate how they can help achieve these ambitious goals. Find out more about what is planned, and how you can engage!
IFLA/UNESCO Multicultural Library Manifesto Toolkit now in French
Communities have expectations that libraries will reflect, support and promote cultural and linguistic diversity. Building on the original IFLA/UNESCO Multicultural Library Manifesto, the Library Services to Multicultural Populations Section of IFLA developed a toolkit to provide practical approaches to applying the concepts in the Manifesto. The toolkit includes 'guidance on' how to conduct a community analysis and needs assessment, deliver a workshop, and define suitable policies related to multicultural populations.
The French version of the toolkit is a welcome addition to the resources IFLA is providing for the global library field.
Do you, or does someone you know, have the ability to build connections and influence law-making in Brussels in favour of 21st century access to education, research and culture? We are hiring a Brussels representative for the Knowledge Rights programme, deadline 15 December.
You're invited! After three years without the opportunity to meet in person, IFLA's World Library and Information Congress 2022 will be held as a physical conference in Dublin, Ireland from 26-29 July 2022.
It will be an opportunity to reunite with colleagues in the international library field after a long break and to share, learn and innovate. Together, we'll be focusing on the conference theme: Inspire, Engage, Enable and Connect.
Colleagues in the Irish National Committee are looking forward to presenting to you the best of Irish libraries and the literary city of Dublin.
We know you'll be keen to know more about the programme, registrations, and travel. All this and more will be published as it becomes available on the IFLA WLIC 2022 conference website.
Stay tuned for more information! We'll be using this newsletter to keep you informed of developments and key dates.
There's a bonus for organisations and individuals joining IFLA now as we are near the end of the year: pay at 2021 rates and your membership will cover all of 2022. If you are excited about coming to IFLA WLIC 2022 in Dublin, joining now means a discount on your membership and the benefit of member registration rates at the Congress.
Libraries themselves have rights, as well as responsibilities! Often, these are set out in library policies and laws. The Library Map of the World provides information about different library policies and laws from many countries.
Check out country profilesto find information about national policy documents for libraries such as strategies, development plans and guidelines, library laws, legal deposit laws, and exceptions for libraries in copyright laws with links to full text documents, where available.