Europe: A library manifesto

Libraries matter for Europe and Europe matters for libraries. IFLA and its partners have developed a library manifesto for Europe. Here are the highlights.

Libraries are key venues for learning and civic engagement, windows for all to culture and heritage, and drivers of research and innovation.

Policies made at the European level can have a major impact on libraries – from copyright laws to research programmes. Working with partners in LIBER, EBLIDA, SPARC Europe and Public Libraries 2030, IFLA has developed its Library Manifesto for Europe.

The manifesto calls for the following:

Guarantees that everyone, at any time in their lives, is able to learn, read, and develop through libraries

  • Europe should deliver an information promise – everyone should be able to access the information they need to improve their lives. Libraries should be supported so they can ensure that everyone has access to initiatives and projects that promote reading, literacy and learning for all.
  • Legislative frameworks, funding programmes and associated regulations should be designed in a way that facilitates the participation of libraries, notably in developing digital skills and media and information literacy.

Access should be at the heart of its action on culture, science and innovation

  • Europe should be a world leader in promoting open science. It should deliver on the promise to make all publicly funded research publications open access by 2020.
  • Europe should ensure that its programmes deliver access for all and support libraries as they set out to digitise and share collections. It should ensure implementation of relevant legislation (copyright etc) in a way which supports these goals

Europe to commit to the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals and promotes access to information in its accession and development initiatives

  • Europe should deliver a comprehensive plan for inclusive sustainable development at the regional level, recognising the importance of access to information, including through libraries, as a social investment and an essential factor for success.
  • EU accession and development funding should promote access to information and skills. The EU should take a more constructive position in discussions at the World Intellectual Property Organisation on global limitations and exceptions to copyright.

The full document is available here.