The 10-Minute International Librarian #50: Re-read the universal declaration of human rights

A key argument for the existence of libraries is not just that they are useful for their communities, but also deliver on key rights.

Central to this is the right of access to information, as set out in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, agreed in 1948.

Spelt out in full, this gives everyone freedom of expression, including the rights to seek, receive and impart information.

This is Article 19 of the Declaration, but there are 29 others!

A number of these refer to key issues for libraries, such as education, privacy, cultural participation and beyond.

These can be helpful as you thinking about your own work in an international context, as well as provide references for your advocacy.

So for our 50th 10-Minute International Librarian exercise, re-read the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

Think about which articles refer to issues which matter for libraries, or where libraries can contribute.

You could even write down a couple of ideas about how you, through your work, you deliver on each of the articles you identify.

Share your ideas about which articles matter for libraries, and how you contribute in the comments below.

Good luck!


This idea relates to the IFLA Strategy! 1.4 Shape public opinion and debate around open access and library values, including intellectual freedom and human rights.

As we publish more ideas, you will be able to view these using the #10MinuteInternationalLibrarian tag on this blog, and of course on IFLA’s Ideas Store! Do also share your ideas in the comments box below.