The 10-Minute International Librarian #65: Be able to explain why access to information matters

Tomorrow is the International Day for the Universal Access to Information, which highlights the importance of access to information of all sorts for development.

However, this access is often only seen narrowly – for example around access to government information for the purpose of supporting transparency.

This is of course an important aspect, but does not cover all of the other types of information and uses that can contribute to better lives and stronger societies.

Access to information matters in agriculture, health, education, innovation, climate action and beyond, but is all too often seen as only a marginal issue, or even forgotten entirely.

Libraries of course know that this should not be the case, and that to achieve sustainable development, there need to be comprehensive, and properly supported strategies to ensure access to information.

A key challenge in our advocacy is to convince decision-makers, and those that influence them, of the same thing.

So for our 65th 10-Minute International Librarian exercise, be able to explain why access to information matters.

If it helps, imagine a particular person you need to convince, and adapt your arguments to match what you think will be most effective for them.

Just as in in our 13th exercise (develop your 1-minute pitch for libraries), you should try to make your argument as short and convincing as possible.

Don’t assume that your interlocutor understands what libraries do, and so try to make it real for them, underlining the impacts of your work.

You can share the arguments that work best in your experience in the comments below.

Good luck!


This idea relates to the IFLA Strategy! 1.1 Show the power of libraries in achieving the Sustainable Development Goals.

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.