Libraries play critical role in expanding worldwide access to information, report says
NEW YORK – The Public Library Association (PLA) is teaming with its legacy partners to celebrate the launch of a new research report on the role of information access in development of sustainable societies around the world. Development and Access to Information (DA2I) is a joint project between the International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions (IFLA) and the Technology & Social Change Group (TASCHA) at the University of Washington Information School, which demonstrates how access to information and libraries contribute to the achievement of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
Addressing four of the focus SDGs, DA2I report also illustrates how meaningful access to information delivers results in the fields of agriculture, health, gender equality and innovation. It also underscores the importance of partnerships between national and local governments, business, practitioners, researchers, and libraries.
PLA Executive Director Barb Macikas and Deputy Director Mary Hirsh joined IFLA and TASCHA staff for a special event at the New York Public Library today. Several Permanent Representatives of Member States to the United Nations (UN), UN officials and New York-area library leaders also participated.
“We believe, and this report validates, that libraries are critical to the achievement of the UN’s goals for sustainable nation-building,” Macikas explains. “Libraries in the U.S. and globally do so much more than providing access to information—they make information meaningful and help people all around the world exercise their rights and improve their lives.”
DA2I is the first of a series of annual reports that will monitor the progress countries are making towards fulfilling their commitment to promote meaningful access to information as part of the UN SDGs. Please visit https://da2i.ifla.org to access the DA2I report, and to learn more about the Legacy Partnership, go to www.ala.org/pla/initiatives/legacy.
The Public Library Association (PLA) is the largest association dedicated to supporting the unique and evolving needs of public library professionals. Founded in 1944, PLA serves nearly 9,000 members in public libraries large and small in communities across the United States and Canada, with a growing presence around the world. PLA strives to help its members shape the essential institution of public libraries by serving as an indispensable ally for public library leaders. For more information about PLA, contact the PLA office at 1 (800) 545-2433, ext.5PLA, or firstname.lastname@example.org.
About the Legacy Partnership
For 20 years, the Global Libraries (GL) Initiative of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation collaborated with libraries and organizations like PLA, investing more than $1 billion globally to enhance the power of libraries to improve lives. In May 2016, the Gates Foundation made a $10 million investment in PLA. Over the next 10 years, these funds will allow the Association to:
- create and scale new models of public library research, training, and practice,
- strengthen collaboration across organizations that support public libraries,
- support global connections between public libraries and library organizations, and
- sustain the success of existing GL programs.
The Technology and Social Change Group at the University of Washington’s Information School (TASCHA) and the International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions (IFLA) are PLA’s legacy partners. Together, we will ensure that libraries continue to serve as engines of development and are funded as essential community assets around the world.