Talking points on libraries and the post-2015 development agenda

In order to achieve the most from meetings with Member State Representatives, IFLA has create short talking points which will help library representatives to bring across the key messages within the framework of the post2015 Development Agenda. 

We want Member State representatives to hear our views on access to information, ICTs, and culture for development, and bring these messages back to the floor in UN meetings and negotiations.Many Member States presenting the same message, helps to strengthen our voice. When meeting with Member State Representatives, please include each of the key talking points in your meeting, and include examples from your country where relevant.

Please also include priorities of your the national level into this meetings. Examples of how access to information and libraries meet needs in your country across the proposed Sustainable Development Goals areas will help illustrate the message.  When you are preparing national examples, consider who benefited, how many, how did libraries contribute to this, and did it save and/or lead to better investment of funding. 

Talking points: IFLA's message

1. Access to information 

Increased access to information and knowledge, underpinned by universal literacy, is an essential pillar of sustainable development. We ask for your support during the negotiations for the new development framework to ensure that access to information is included as identified in the SDG outcome document target:

16.10: "Ensure public access to information and protect fundamental freedoms, in accordance with national legislation and international agreement."

And the UN Secretary General synthesis report:

 "Press freedom and access to information, freedom of expression, assembly and association are enablers of sustainable development"

As outlined in the Lyon Declaration on Access to Information and Development, to fully realise access to information, everyone needs access and skills to effectively use information. Information intermediaries such as libraries have the skills and resources to help governments, institutions and individuals communicate, organise, structure and use information and data for development. 

We can measure the contribution of access to information through indicators including:

  • Literacy rate of Youth and Adults, urban and rural literacy rate
    • Literacy is a basic requirement to access information in all formats. Existing literacy data is collected annually by UNESCO Institute for Statistics;
  • Ownership of a smartphone or other internet-enabled devices per 100 people
    • Data on phone and broadband access is collected by the ITU;
  • Media and Information (MIL) competencies 
    • As by the Global MIL Assessment Framework, UNESCO Communications and Information

2. Public Access to ICTs

Increased access to information and communications technologies (ICTs) can help people access the information they need to improve their lives. Not everyone has a smart phone or computer to help them get online, public access to ICTs is still needed to help more than 4 billion people on the planet who do not use the Internet. Libraries worldwide provide that public access.
Increased access to ICTs is identified as a target in the SDG outcome document:

9.c. "Significantly increase access to ICT and strive to provide universal and affordable access to internet in LDCs by 2020" 

We ask for your support during the negotiations to recognise the importance of universal and affordable access to the Internet – LDCs are vitally important but all countries should be able to benefit.

We can measure the increase in universal and affordable access to ICTs through indicators including:

  • Number of broadband subscriptions (per 100 people) 
    • Data collected annually by the International Telecommunications Union (ITU) in the World Telecommunication/ICT Indicators Database)
  • Cost of fixed broadband subscriptions as a percentage of monthly Gross National Income (GNI)
    • Data collected annually by International Telecommunications Union (ITU) and UN Broadband Commission in the World Telecommunication/ICT Indicators Database)
  • Proportion of public libraries with broadband Internet access.
    • Data collected in relation to WSIS Statistical Indicators for Target 4 (‘Connect all public libraries, museums, post offices and national archives with ICTs’), Indicator 4.1
  • Proportion of public libraries providing public Internet access.
    • Data collected in relation to WSIS Statistical Indicators for Target 4 (‘Connect all public libraries, museums, post offices and national archives with ICTs’), Indicator 4.2

Furthermore, ICTs are crucial to means of implementation. We ask for your support during the negotiations to ensure that increasing access to ICTs to support the achievement of the SDGs is included:

17.8: "Fully operationalize the technology bank and science, technology and innovation capacity-building mechanism for least developed countries by 2017 and enhance the use of enabling technology, in particular information and communications technology."

We can measure increases in use of ICTs through indicators including:

  • Numbers of individuals using the Internet 
    • existing data collected annually by the International Telecommunications Union (ITU) in the World Telecommunication/ICT Indicators Database
  • Numbers of individuals owning a mobile phone 
    • existing data collected annually by the International Telecommunications Union (ITU) in the World Telecommunication/ICT Indicators Database

3. Culture

Culture underpins development by supporting social inclusion, resilience, innovation and local knowledge. Culture strengthens local communities and supports inclusive and sustainable development of cities.

4. Libraries can help achieve the SDGs

Libraries are ready to support development goals across our country and communities. We urge you to include libraries in your national development plans after 2016, and we are ready to be actively engaged in this process.

Access to information, Access to knowledge, Advocacy, post2015

Last update: 7 July 2017