Tag Archives: policy

The 10-Minute International Librarian #88: Think of a process where libraries should be included

Libraries have an incredible breadth of expertise and action.

As has been said before in this series, when someone walks through the door of a library (or visits a library website!), it can be for a huge variety of reasons.

In each of these areas, libraries bring important expertise to bear, both in terms of the role of information, and in how to respond to the needs of users.

For example, they can be well placed to explain how users find and interact with information, community programming, and the specific needs of people in a local area.

This can make a major contribution to the goals of different groups and processes. But too often, libraries are forgotten or ignored!

So for our 88th 10-Minute International Librarian exercise, think of a process where libraries should be included.

For example, groups or committees on public health could gain from libraries’ knowledge of, and role in, providing information about eating better and doing more exercise.

Lifelong learning initiatives miss a opportunity when they don’t involve libraries, as venues for training, access points for online learning, and portals to further courses.

And it is hard to imagine open science strategies fulfilling their potential without library understanding of promoting preservation and discoverability.

A particular example is around the Sustainable Development Goals, where there are often civil society or official groups or networks.

What examples do you have of processes which would gain from engaging libraries better? Share them in the comments below!

Good luck!


This idea relates to the IFLA Strategy! Key Initiative 1.3: Work with library associations and libraries to identify key legal and funding challenges to their work, and advocate for action 

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!

Every Association an Advocate: Interview with Jean-Marie Reding, Luxembourg

Library associations have a key role in advocacy for our sector, able to take advantage of their role as civil society organisations to speak freely about what our profession and institutions need to succeed. It is also not only in larger countries that they can develop a capacity to do this.

To find out about the experience of a small country association, we talked to Jean-Marie Reding, Chair since 2003 of the Policy Corps at the Association of Luxembourgish Librarians, Archivists and Documentary specialists (ALBAD):

Panoramic view of Luxembourg city's Grund, at dusk, in 2010.

Luxembourg City. Photo: Benh Lieu Song, CC-BY-SA 3.0: bit.ly/3ALX5AA

How did ALBAD’s Policy Corps come together?

In 2003, one year before national elections, I, as newly elected ALBAD President, wanted to see “Libraries on the agenda” (slogan of IFLA-President Claudia Lux, 2005) in the election programs of our main political parties. In a Lilliput-state as Luxembourg political parties have very few staff; we couldn’t send questionnaires to them hoping for answers. So we contacted the democratic parties with a list, worked out by the ALBAD board, setting out current problems and asked for a visit to talk about it. For the composition of the ALBAD Policy Corps I chose two Board members who were members of a political party, accompanied if possible by one librarian, active in the field, who could explain the difficulties encountered “out there”, with real passion, making politicians’ hearts melt.

What are the advantages of having a group of people focused on policy issues?

Your Policy Corps has to be ready, if you get any requests from political parties between elections when someone needs free “biblio consulting” – with a group, this becomes easier. Moreover, if the Corps members are long-term colleagues, a well-oiled team, there exists the possibility to play right wing librarian against left wing librarian, affecting politically sensible book selection processes in libraries for example, which can be especially funny in meetings with populist parties.

How is it composed – do you have different experiences and skill sets represented?

The best librarians for this lobbying job are the ones belonging to a political party. It even doesn’t matter if they are from a public or academic library! These committed people are simply very interested in politics, know the different ideologies and the politicians to meet from the media (press, TV, etc), or are even personally close to certain politicians. They are talking the same “language”! Having knowledge about library history and especially legislation is important too of course.

How do its members manage to be both public servants, and engaged in politics?

As our Policy Corps members are members of the Executive committee (EC) of a librarian association too, they are automatically and democratically elected to speak in the name of the association. But you can also organise special elections for the Policy Corps. The most important thing is to be elected by a majority of members, and so become official representatives! Civil servants also take advantage of the role of representatives of an association (as for a union) – this means that they can even contradict their own library directors’ opinions! They just need to avoid revealing any internal information of their employers (library).

What sort of activities do you carry out to train yourselves to work most effectively with politicians?

During Executive Committee (EC) meetings the general objectives are fixed on paper, ready to be sent to political parties in the name of the association. EC meetings are also the platform for passionate debates, establishing No-Go-principles, finding a common political basis. Details are often discussed during a social event afterwards. The Policy Corps members are well connected and exchanging important political information by e-mail, from IFLA, EBLIDA and neighbouring countries. The political training is fortunately taken over by the political parties to which some Policy Corps members belong. The escorting “field librarians” just need to talk about their daily job and refer to the well informed Policy Corps members, sitting/staying next to them. This also worked in lobbying meetings with MEPs in Brussels (1 field librarian & 1 Policy Corps Member).

How does working in a smaller country affect the way you work with political parties?

The possibilities we have are different in a tiny country. But like in the USA (ALA Policy Corps in Washington D.C.), every Policy Corps needs to be close to the capital city of your country. This is the case in the Grand-Duchy of Luxembourg indeed, as the 3 permanent members are/were working in the capital.

What have you learnt about how to convince politicians to engage with libraries?

Really almost all politicians are (print-)booklovers! And they normally have their own private library. The most frequent question during political party meetings in the beginning is: How can I protect my books best? You have to reply in 10 seconds: No light, 18 C° temperature, 50% humidity! Then, making them speechless for about 30 seconds, make the connection immediately with the advocacy agenda: do you have all printed books ever published at home? The politician will answer: No, that’s not possible! Your reply: That’s why libraries still exist for 2 000 years …

What results have you seen from this engagement?

The ALBAD Policy Corps worked so well that all political parties contacted since 2003, gave us the opportunity for a meeting face to face, in their offices in Luxembourg-City. Afterwards some even asked us for text proposals for their election programs. 2004 was the 1st year in history that libraries became a part of the elections programs of all big parties. During the government coalition-forming process election programs are compared each another and intersections are put into the government program. So libraries got on the agenda! This is a huge success that we have repeated every five years since 2003!

An important point: you should publish the results, all the library related content of election programs in a special national election newsletter/magazine, for information for your association members of course, but especially, fixed for history, for the next lobbying activities.

What recommendations would you have for other countries?

1. Just copy the idea!

2. Start your lobbying activities at least 1 year before election day!

And 3. Respect the KISS-formula in meetings: Keep it simple, stupid!

The 10-Minute Library Advocate #6: Find Out Who’s In Charge

Find Out Who's in Charge

The end goal of advocacy is to affect decision-making.

You want to encourage those who have power – or resources – to support your library, library system, or libraries in general.

Of course advocacy itself is about preparing the ground – building understanding, changing attitudes, creating the motivation to act. But it is important to remember that there will always be certain people you need to influence, directly or indirectly.

But who are you targeting?

So for our sixth 10-Minute Library Advocate exercise, find out who is the one – or who are the ones – who are taking those key decisions, about your funding, the laws that affect you?

You should start just by focusing on one level of government.

At the local level, is there someone responsible for library issues? There may be both an official and someone who is elected for example.

At the regional or national level, you will need to think about which ministries, departments or agencies have a say in the way libraries are run, funded, or can serve users.

Write down your answers – you will need them for future exercises!

Good luck!

See the introduction and previous posts in our 10-Minute Library Advocate series and join the discussion in social media using the #EveryLibrarianAnAdvocate hashtag!

Copyright for libraries in 2019: What’s on the Agenda? Part 1

Copyright Week 2019 - Day 1

Today is the first day of Copyright Week 2019!

Copyright week is an initiative launched by the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) in order to highlight key issues around copyright. Every day, various groups, all defenders of a copyright framework that promotes creativity and innovation, look into specific copyright policy matters.

Of course this includes IFLA! Given the central role that copyright plays in libraries’ work, we will be participating by posting a blog post a day. We encourage librarians around the world to do the same by writing and tweeting about #Copyright4Libraries.

This first blog of the week looks at what is coming up in 2019 in copyright around the world with a potential impact for libraries. We have gathered information thanks to the IFLA Advisory Committee on Copyright and other Legal Matters and its network. We’ll be following the same model as last year, when we published a first blog focusing on legislation, and a second one on wider trends.

Being aware of ongoing copyright reforms is relevant for the advocacy efforts of libraries nationally, regionally and internationally at the World Intellectual Property Organisation.

By mapping what is going on, we are better able to provide support to our members in local copyright reforms, and to get a general view of policy trends. We hope that it will also support other advocacy efforts by librarians in all regions of the world. All the information you’ll see below is gathered in an online document, available here. Comments and additional information are very welcome – either contact ariadna.matas[at]ifla.org, or leave your ideas below.

You may also be interested in this blog post that we posted before the end of 2018. It looks at what happened throughout 2018 and what copyright reforms were finalized. Marrakesh implementation efforts are not included in this overview, but you can check our regularly-updated tables on that matter, available here.

And from there, we start with what is coming up in the following months:



There is a 2018 copyright review extended to several sectors including libraries.


A Copyright amendment Bill was introduced in 2017. The main areas of the amendments proposed by the Copyright (Amendment) Bill are the following:

  • Computer Programs, captured within fair dealing;
  • Circumvention of Technological Protection measures, now a possibility in limited situations;
  • Exceptions for reproduction of works in formats accessible specifically by the visually impaired or otherwise disabled (Marrakesh Treaty);
  • Introduction of artist resale rights and the provision for visual artists to form CMO’s;
  • Collection of royalties by the Kenya Revenue Authority of imports of audio recording equipment and accessories (has elicited much debate);
  • Protection now availed for the rights of a producer of sound recordings;
  • Introduction of circumstances affording protection of ISP’s against infringement;
  • Introduction of corporate liability for infringement;
  • Mechanisms for investigation of CMO’s and actions against board members.

Sources:  http://www.eifl.net/news/eifl-and-klisc-comment-kenya-isp-liability-proposals; https://www.musicinafrica.net/sites/default/files/attachments/article/201801/copyrightamendmentbill2017no33.pdf.


The government has announced its intention to review the current copyright legislation and is welcoming inputs


The Nigerian copyright bill was approved by the Cabinet and is now before Parliament.

Source: www.copyright.gov.ng/index.php/public-notice/item/268-nigerian-copyright-reform-review-of-the-copyright-act-cap-c28-laws-of-the-federation-of-nigeria-2004

IFLA will be submitting comments once the official approved Bill is available online.


The Uganda Law Reform Commission is working on a draft document. It appears like the draft is still closed to the public for discussion.



A consultation paper was released in March. It looked mainly at flexible exceptions, access to orphan works and contracting out of copyright exceptions.

Source: https://www.communications.gov.au/have-your-say/copyright-modernisation-consultation

IFLA’s full submission is available here: https://www.ifla.org/files/assets/clm/submission_international_federation_library_associations_and_institutions_ifla.pdf

The Australian LIbraries Copyright Committee’s submission is available here http://libcopyright.org.au/our-work/submission/alcc-submission-copyright-modernisation-consultation.


A draft law was published in 2015, and the current status is unclear. There are provisions on foreign protection, and also some regarding libraries and education.

Source: www.eifl.net/news/getting-ready-myanmars-new-copyright-system; www.eifl.net/eifl-in-action/copyright-reform-myanmar

New Zealand

The review of New Zealand copyright law continues, with news of Google visits to the country to undertake lobbying. A coverage in Stuff suggests efforts by the company to gain legal recognition for its upload filtering technologies (as may happen in Europe). We are waiting on further updates on legislation, as well as on Marrakesh Ratification, which is also under discussion.

Source: https://www.stuff.co.nz/business/industries/105892772/google-and-rights-holders-battle-over-copyright-reform


There was a first public consultation in October 2016 with 16 proposals, and a second one in May 2017. It is a broad reform, with some steps for libraries and archives: expiry date for copyright protection of unpublished works, use of orphan works, educational exceptions to reflect digital education, facilitating the work of libraries and archives, museums and galleries, provisions for print-disabled users, among others. Text and data mining is also on the table.


European Union

The Commission proposed a Draft Directive for copyright in the Digital Single Market in 2016. Discussions are ongoing between the Commission, the Parliament and the Council, but close to being finalized. Preliminary agreements have been reached on several exceptions and limitations and on the out of commerce works provisions.

Reviews of the Orphan Works Directive and Collective Rights Management Directives are also due, but there is no indication of when these may be launched


Position papers by IFLA available here: https://www.ifla.org/publications/node/91774


The new draft copyright law, published in 2017, was expected to be completed by the end of 2018. It contains provisions for libraries, archives & education, and orphan works.

Source: www.eifl.net/eifl-in-action/copyright-reform-armenia


The potentially broad copyright reform is on hold, while waiting for EU legislation on copyright to pass.


Israel has recently passed legislation on orphan works which would create welcome new possibilities for libraries, subject to reasonable diligence in a search for rightholders.


The copyright working group reached an agreement on various issues related to the modernisation of copyright law in March 2017. The Bill should contain provisions with regards to orphan works, cataloguing, extended collective licensing, secondary right of publication, and implement the Beijing and the Marrakesh treaties.

Sources: https://www.ige.ch/en/law-and-policy/national-ip-law/copyright-law/archive/agur12.html; https://www.ejpd.admin.ch/dam/data/ejpd/aktuell/news/2017/2017-11-22/medienrohstoff-f.pdf


Jan 2018, amendments were approved by the Cabinet of Ministers. There was an impact assessment on balanced goals; allow use of online licenses, freedom of panorama, orphan works and Marrakesh treaty provisions.

Latin America and the Caribbean


There was a green paper proposal made to stakeholders with a meeting in December 2016. A public consultation process was open in March 2017 to reform the copyright law. Broad proposals, including on reprographics, preservation, document supply and Marrakesh. Consultations are still ongoing.

Sources: https://www.vialibre.org.ar/wp-content/uploads/2017/07/2017.03.Propuestas-para-una-actualizaci%C3%B3n-de-la-Ley-11723.Documento.Oficial.DNDA_.pdf

Green paper readout: http://www.ip-watch.org/2017/02/17/argentinian-copyright-office-proposes-add-exceptions-limitations-copyright-act/.

Open discussion forum on proposals to modify the law, in platform of justice: https://www.justicia2020.gob.ar/; http://laijle.alacde.org/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1036&context=journal; http://revistaacc.econ.uba.ar/entrevista.php?n=YaeV


There was some talk of a review in 2017, and the decree supporting a move towards passing legislation necessary to implement Marrakesh was signed. This could also be an opportunity for further changes in a country that currently has no exceptions and limitations for libraries.


We received news on discussions around open access to publicly funded research at Congress in 2018.


The copyright bill contains a large number of exceptions (first in Uruguay): for the communication to the public, distribution, interpretation, execution, translation or adaptation of works by educational and research institutions; for reproductions of short extracts of works by educational institutions; for the reproduction of works for an analysis through computer means; for reproductions for preservations or to replace a work by cultural heritage institutions; for the public lending of works, exception for translations by cultural heritage institutions; and for the use of orphan works. The dossier is pending for discussion at the Comisión de Educación y Cultura de la Cámara de Representantes.

Sources: position by the Library Association of Uruguay: http://www.abu.net.uy/tag/derechos-de-autor/ and an update from Creative Commons Uruguay http://www.creativecommons.uy/tag/reforma-del-derecho-de-autor/

IFLA has written to encourage progress.

North America


The Canadian government launched a copyright review in December 2017. There will most likely be discussions on fair dealing and on the so-called “value gap”. Throughout 2018, the Canadian Parliament continues to carry out its review of the country’s copyright laws, taking evidence from different sides of the debate. Libraries are arguing for the current fair dealing provisions to be safeguarded, as well as engaging in discussions around copyright and indigenous knowledge, technological protection measures, and contract override. In parallel, legal processes involving Canadian universities, education ministries and the reprographic rights collecting society Access Copyright continue, as does a review of how copyright royalties are defined. You can read more on the pages of the Canadian Association of Research Libraries and the Canadian Federation of Library Associations. Results of the review are expected towards the middle of next year and will inform policy choices made by whoever wins the elections due in October 2019.

Sources: http://www.ourcommons.ca/Committees/en/INDU/StudyActivity?studyActivityId=9897131; http://www.carl-abrc.ca/influencing-policy/copyright/2018-review-of-the-copyright-act/; http://cfla-fcab.ca/fr/copyright/

IFLA submitted comments in October 2018: https://www.ifla.org/node/82020.

Library/university institutions submitted comments, for instance: CFLA-FCAB http://www.ourcommons.ca/Content/Committee/421/INDU/Brief/BR9921734/br-external/CanadianFederationOfLibraryAssociations-e.pdf; Universities Canada http://www.ourcommons.ca/Content/Committee/421/INDU/Brief/BR10002433/br-external/UniversitiesCanada-e.pdf; or the Canadian Association of Research Libraries http://www.carl-abrc.ca/wp-content/uploads/2018/08/CARL_brief_to_INDU_copyright_en.pdf.

United States

Discussions continue around whether the Register of Copyrights (Head of the US Copyright Office) should be a presidential appointment, or rather hired by the Librarian of Congress. The issue was not decided by the previous Congress.

Sources: https://americanlibrariesmagazine.org/blogs/the-scoop/keep-copyright-office-in-library-of-congress/, https://www.congress.gov/bill/115th-congress/senate-bill/1010?r=86

Trade Agreements


The EU is currently negotiating a trade agreement with the four founding members of Mercosur (Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay, and Uruguay). The first negotiation round took place on 11 May 2016, followed by a negotiation round in October 2016. The chapter on intellectual property rights contains some worrying provisions: art. 4.7 sets the term of protection of a literary or artistic work in death+70 years (some of the parties have a shorter term), and art. 4.11 mandates the provision of adequate legal protection against the circumvention of TPMs. There is very little reference to exceptions and limitations (art. 4.10, which only adds temporary reproductions which are part of technological processes). A later version was leaked by Greenpeace. It contains some slight changes on the topic of exceptions and limitations. has a list of mandatory exceptions and limitations (art. 9.9.1): criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching, research, and facilitating access to published works for persons who are blind, visually impaired or otherwise print disabled, and a provision recognising their cross-border effect (9.9.2), both proposals by the Mercosur countries.

Resources: https://trade-leaks.org/mercosur-leaks/intellectual-property-rights-3/.


The EU-Japan Free Trade Agreement, signed in July, contains a chapter on intellectual property. The agreement is expected to become effective as soon as 1 February 2019. It includes the following provisions relevant to libraries:

  • An encouragement to both sides to ratify the Marrakesh Treaty (this should be achieved by next year) (14.4.3(f))
  • Encouragement to raise awareness about the protection of intellectual property (although there is a reference to the use of IP) (14.7)
  • Exclusive Rights (14.8):
    • Reproduction, in whole or in part, in any form or by any means (for authors)
    • Distribution, by sale or otherwise (but the details of exhaustion/first sale are left to the parties) (for authors)
    • Communication to the public (for authors)
    • To note that there are also fixation and post-fixation rights for broadcasters (14.11)
    • Term of protection set at life+70 for authors, and 70 years from creation for works by moral persons (14.13)
  • Limitations and Exceptions (14.14)
    • Each Party may provide for limitations or exceptions to the rights set out in Articles 14.8 to 14.12 only in certain special cases which neither conflict with a normal exploitation of the subject matter nor unreasonably prejudice the legitimate interests of the right holders, in accordance with the conventions and international agreements to which it is party.
  • Resale Right (14.15)
    • There is to be an exchange of views on this
  • Collective Management (14.16)
    • The agreement promotes cooperation, transparency, and non-discrimination
  • Public Domain (14.17)
    • At least works that are already in the public domain are not going to be brought back under copyright.

Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RECP)

RCEP is a free trade agreement between the ten member states of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations – ASEAN (Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, Vietnam) and the six states with which ASEAN has existing free trade agreements (Australia, China, India, Japan, South Korea and New Zealand). The chapter on intellectual property (not sure it is the right document) has been strongly criticised. It only contains a provision on exceptions and limitations similar to the three-step-test, a provision forbidding the circumvention of TPMs, and a provision on the transparency and accountability of CMOs, among a few others.

Resources: Status of the RCEP Negotiations (as at November 2018) in the Australian Government’s webpage: https://dfat.gov.au/trade/agreements/negotiations/rcep/news/Pages/joint-leaders-statement-on-the-rcep-negotiations-14-november-2018-singapore.aspx


Negotiations have opened on a trade deal between the European Union and Australia. A blog from Rita Matulionyte at the University of Newcastle, Australia, explores the potential impact on copyright, suggesting that the EU is unlikely to have much to ask for beyond the concessions Australia already made as part of its trade deal with the United States. The main area is likely to be platforms where, the blog suggests, the EU may both push for extension of safe harbour provisions to commercial operators, but also application of whatever rules on upload filtering come out of the current copyright reforms within the blog.

Resources: http://copyrightblog.kluweriplaw.com/2018/08/02/future-eu-australia-fta-copyright-expect-ip-chapter/


Libraries: Unleashing the Transformative Power of Culture and Creativity for Local Development

Libraries: Unleashing the Transformative Power of Culture and Creativity for Local Development

IFLA attended the first ever OECD conference examining the links between culture and local growth. The conference took place in Venice, an ideal venue to discuss the importance of culture and cultural heritage, and the newly launched OECD Guide: Culture and Local Development: Maximising the Impact.

Culture is currently on the agenda of cities, regions and territories. Whereas the focus globally is often only on access in itself, for example via the internet, taking a local perspective allows for more focus on the impact of culture, and in particular, its contribution to building social capital.

Over 300 participants from NGOs, cultural institutions, the creative business and decision makers joined the discussion on how local government can realise the potential of culture as a lever for local development.

“Culture can positively impact communities and foster mutual understanding… culture is intrinsically human, with inherent value for all”

Xing Qu, Deputy Director-General of UNESCO

Libraries: Good for Society

One theme that kept reappearing during the conference is the influence that access to culture has on citizens’ well-being, in other words, the level of happiness!

Libraries and cultural institutions undoubtably have a powerful impact on their communities. They support initiatives in a variety of fields and further development by helping people get information they need to access economic opportunity, gender equality, quality education, improve their health and give a sense of belonging.

“Culture is about storytelling. It’s about using data opening up multilateral perspectives on the same reality… It’s not about collections, it’s about connections”

Jeffrey Schnapp, Director of the metaLAB at Harvard

Though most agree that access to culture has a great impact on our life, we still struggle to find tools that can help measure the impact and demonstrate its value. In 2005 Denmark published its study on the value of public libraries, with three roles of the library highlighted as the most important:

  1. The role as culture and information deliver
  2. The role as safeguarding cultural heritage
  3. The role as creator for creative and social development

The Danish study was followed by a number of other European countries identifying the many benefits a community receive from its local libraries concluding that libraries have a positive effect on its community and counter many economic and social challenges.

Earlier this year, Europeana launched its Impact Playbook, helping cultural heritage institutions around the world establish and analyse the impact of their activities. And now, with the growing interest in the role played by cultural activities in local development the OECD has launched the Guide: Culture and Local Development: Maximising the Impact.

This is not to say that this work is easy.  Every society is different, and its history must be considered when measuring cultural impact. Nonetheless, it seems that, increasingly, all societies can unite around the belief that culture can transform cities.

Moving Up a Gear on Measuring the Impact of Culture

With the launch of the Guide, the OECD announced that they are commitment to strengthening the role culture can play in creating a better society. The OECD has also incorporated access to culture into their high-profile well-being framework, understanding that access to culture is key for social cohesion and local development.

They have furthermore started cooperation with UNESCO and the European Commission, pledging to work for all cultural institutions, libraries included

Libraries increase cultural participation and in IFLA we are looking forward to working with the OECD on future projects, putting libraries on the political agenda, and making sure that their impact is not only seen, but with the right set of data, can be measured as well.