CILIP Conference Day 1 Plenary

Stuart Hamilton, IFLA
Libraries, development and the bigger picture: what will the post-2015 information environment look like for libraries

Sustainable development is development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs

A new UN framework is being developed with a new set of Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) that will apply to all countries, not just developing countries. IFLA wanted libraries to be recognised as partners in development.

Lyon Declaration on Access to Information and Development

There are 17 SDGs and 169 targets.

  1. End Poverty
  2. End Hunger
  3. Well Being
  4. Quality Education
  5. Gender Equality
  6. Water and Sanitation for All
  7. Affordable and Sustainable Energy
  8. Decent Work for All
  9. Technology to Benefit All
  10. Reduce Inequality
  11. Safe Cities and Communities
  12. Responsible Consumption by All
  13. Stop Climate Change
  14. Protect the Ocean
  15. Take Care of the Earth
  16. Live in Peace
  17. Mechanisms and Partnerships to Meet the Goals

One way of achieving this is using data:

A World That Counts: : Mobilising the Data Revolution for Sustainable Development

In the IFLA published their Trends Report. This identified 5 trends:

TREND 1 New Technologies will both expand and limit who has access to information.

TREND 2 Online Education will democratise and disrupt global learning.

TREND 3 The boundaries of privacy and data protection will be redefined..

TREND 4 Hyper-connected societies will listen to and empower new voices and groups.

TREND 5 The global information environment will be transformed by new technologies.

Of particular interest is what happens when these trends clash together and what they mean for the post-2015 environment.

The Lyon Declaration asks countries to:

Acknowledge the public’s right to access information and data, while respecting the right to individual privacy.

We may need to think harder about engaging the wider open data community to help libraries open their data. If we do that how do we protect our user’s privacy and also manage information overload?

We also need to think about literacy. Without information literacy access to information doesn’t make much difference.

Recognise the important role of local authorities, information intermediaries and infrastructure such as ICTs and an open Internet as a means of implementation.

If the trends are moving towards open data then we have to bring our strengths to the policy framework and supporting Internet neutrality. Public libraries remain the most trusted places to go online. The ALA is on record about supporting Net Neutrality but Europe is more muted and we need to be more vocal.

Adopt policy, standards and legislation to ensure the continued funding, integrity, preservation and provision of information by governments, and access by people.

We need to be more assertive about what we want for this continued funding. As an example we can’t be clear about what we want from e-books. If we don’t own our collections can we preserve them? Being able to decipher a license should now be an essential skill for a librarian.

The Oligopoly of Academic Publishers in the Digital Era

The way things are going this long-term information environment will not be sustainable. We need to demonstrate our value.

Develop targets and indicators that enable measurement of the impact of access to information and data and reporting on progress during each year of the goals in a Development and Access to Information (DA2I) report.

Globally we need to move beyond moving beyond the numbers of users and books loaned and to impact. Do we know how, do we have the skills to sell our value to policy makers? Do we have good advocates? Do we have people who understand current trends?

The UK Sustainable Development Plan will be released shortly. How much will librarians feature in it?

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