Access to Knowledge
IFLA & SLIR & AILIS
21 May 2009,
11:00 - 12:30
ITU Headquarters, Room B1
The International Federation of Libraries
Associations and Institutions (IFLA), SLIR
(Swiss librarians for International
Relations) and the Association of
International Librarians and Information
Federation of Library Associations and
Institutions (IFLA) is the global voice of
the International library community and
represents over 700,000 library and
information workers worldwide. IFLA,
alongside other library organisations, has
been an active participant in the WSIS
process since its beginnings. Following the
Tunis summit IFLA has been involved in many
WSIS follow-up activities including the
development of policy guidelines relating to
public access computing and digital
libraries, multicultural and multilingual
access to government information, and the
training of librarians and library users.
IFLA is the moderator of two WSIS
sub-themes, one in Action Line C3 (Access to
information) relating to ‘Libraries and
Archives’ and the other in Action Line C8
(Cultural diversity and identity, linguistic
diversity and local content) relating to
In the years following
the Tunis summit IFLA has focused
extensively on advocacy in order to make the
value of libraries to society more visible
to stakeholders and decision makers. In
particular, IFLA is advocating for libraries
as the driving engines behind access to
knowledge – libraries are primary gateways
to information and therefore important
vehicles for the acquisition of knowledge.
Knowledge is foundational to all spheres of
life and critical for the growth of society.
It is produced when information is absorbed,
processed and internalized by individuals.
The library, as a major source for
information serving a wide spectrum of
information seekers, is central to the
facilitation of knowledge generation.
Libraries as knowledge institutions provide
spaces for information-sharing and learning
for all ages, genders, ethnicities and
socio-economic groups regardless of their
information/knowledge needs. Libraries
facilitate access to information and provide
the means through which new knowledge is
developed and made available to all.
The goal of this session
is to explain the concept of libraries as
the driving engines behind access to
knowledge, and to introduce brief
presentations (some on video) on
groundbreaking library activities around the
world that are redefining what libraries can
do for their users in the digital age. The
aim of the session is to make participants
aware of what libraries are doing, and to
have an open discussion on how libraries
might partner with other organisations to
innovate and use new technologies at a local
level to increase access to knowledge.
Driving Access to Knowledge – an
Vasconcelos Project – Libraries,
Technology and Buses in Mexico (video).
10 – The Library Space as a New Learning
Environment in Helsinki.
Libraries Latvia – Strong Libraries
Build Strong Communities (video).
as Community Knowledge Spaces in Brazil
Access and Libraries.
Libraries as drivers of access to information and facilitators of knowledge generation.
new partnerships for libraries.
ICTs and multilingualism.
and local knowledge dissemination.
Speakers will include
librarians, representatives from academia,
and international organizations operating in
the area of ICT for development. The session
will interest policy makers, NGOs, academics
and representatives from the private sector.
Organisation and Management
The Meeting will be
conducted in English. All documents and
papers presented at the Meeting will
subsequently be posted at:
To follow the meeting
through the web-cast,
please click here!