Inclusiveness through Openness | IFLA Academic and Research Libraries Section Blog

“Our assumption is that we are moving into a world in which open science and open access publishing are the rule not the exception, the norm not an experiment.  Ever since “open” became an ambition in academic libraries (one of our organizers has been an OA publisher since 1990!), we have believed and assumed that a critical benefit will be opening up science and scholarship to those who are disadvantaged in the world of high paywalls and closed systems.  The time has come to make sure the publishing and library worlds are ready to deliver on that promise.

Accordingly, this conference will start with our assumption and focus on the issues that arise and the steps that need to be taken in order to make a more open world a genuinely more inclusive world.  What mistakes must we avoid?  What strategies succeed?  What considerations do we need to keep “top of mind”?  Much of our focus will be on the global south as a region whose development and advancement will be critical to the health, prosperity, and sustainability of the human family in the coming decades.  A keynote speaker coming to Rotterdam from Zambia will set the tone and a rich variety of presentations by stakeholders and colleagues from many diverse places will frame the discussion….”

IFLA’s global role in Open Access – engaging networks and partnerships for sustainable progress | 21 August, IFLA WLIC 2023 | Rotterdam

“Description: Open access seeks to make research globally available and discoverable for the long-term and not only in times of crisis. While considerable progress has been made towards realising this ambition, financial, equity, and other barriers remain. This high-level session will bring together stakeholders from major regional and global initiatives, and IFLA, that seek to create more inclusive, diverse, and sustainable means of achieving open access. The contribution of open access to the UN Sustainable Development Goals, UNESCO Open Science Recommendations, and a rights-based approach to access to information will be explored, together with practical examples for implementation at regional and local levels. These include the need for a diversity of models, sustainable funding, and underpinning infrastructure. The session will also focus on the recommendations from IFLA’s 2022 statement and call to action on open access, and progress towards implementation. A strong global position that makes space for regional diversity and needs is critical to achieving open access, and in turn, to a positive and inclusive open research and open science culture. Opportunities must be taken to strengthen networks among libraries and stakeholders and the voices of all regions. The session will conclude with recommendations on how to continue to build these networks and partnerships so that key priorities and barriers to equity at global, regional and local levels can be identified and addressed. This session is currently scheduled to take place 15:15-16:00 on Monday, 21 August 2023 and is expected to attract around 300 delegates. Each speaker will give opening remarks, followed by a panel discussion.”

IFLA Newsletter, April 2023: The Open Access and Culture Issue | International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions

“Libraries give access to and facilitate use of information. Libraries of all types carry out preservation initiatives, build knowledge platforms, and develop programmes and services for the benefit of their users. Yet the ability to undertake these activities is not entirely in the hands of libraries, nor librarians. A key factor in determining what they can and cannot do is copyright law. When copyright law works well, its legal framework enables libraries and supports the vital and unique contribution these institutions and the profession make. A positive example, in the science and education space, is the rise of Open Access (OA). This recognises that the best interests of society are served not by paywalls, but by maximising access, use and re-use. Of course, the transition to OA is far from complete, and key challenges do remain. This edition therefore looks at progress made and what we need to do next, including an article from the team behind IFLA’s latest OA statement, as well as the people working on our OA vocabularies project. There is also a snapshot of just a few of our other volunteer units working to make inclusive open access a reality around the world….”

Making a reality of access to knowledge: new website supports advocacy and WIPO engagement – IFLA

“As part of a global group of organisations committed to promoting access to knowledge at the World Intellectual Property Organization and beyond, IFLA encourages the library field to engage with a new website which shares key resources and data for advocacy and awareness-raising….”

OER and Collection Development, Oct 05, 2022, 3pm (BST) | IFLA

Do you work with collections at a university library and want to know more about open educational resources (OER) and the way they can influence the development of the collection at your library? Then register for this webinar!

When: October 5, 2022
Where: online
Starting Time: 1600 CEST, 1500 GMT, 0700 PDT
Duration: 90 min


This webinar is targeted towards librarians who work with or have an interest in collection development and management at university libraries. We hope to prompt thinking about the topic generally and consider how those who work in acquisitions/collections might integrate OER resources into their work. Anyone who would like to learn more about the relationship between OER and library collections is also welcome.


The following speakers will each give a 15 minute presentation about OER in relation to other collection development activities at their institution or country:

Cécile Swiatek (University of Paris Nanterre Library, France)
Ezra Shiloba Gbaje (Federal University Lokoja, Nigeria)
Erin Fields (University of British Columbia Library, Canada)
Mira Buist-Zhuk (University of Groningen Library, Netherlands)


IFLA Guidelines for Professional Library and Information Science (LIS) Education Programmes

“LIS education builds, holistically, the capacity of professionals with ingrained ethics and humanistic values. Equity, diversity, inclusion, and accessibility (EDIA) are essential to LIS professionalism, service-orientation, social responsibility, sustainability, education, and lifelong learning. Access to information, including open access (OA), as a public good; intellectual freedom; responsible stewardship of data, information and knowledge; and the technologies and intelligence driving them, are central to the profession….

Research proficiency includes problem-oriented research which analyses the basis of issues encountered in LIS and attempts to provide possible solutions and understanding for professional practice in diverse information settings. It also includes the ability to identify, collate, catalogue, retrieve, evaluate, and disseminate research produced by others for scholarship advancement across disciplines as well as for general societal impact and innovative policy development for the betterment of communities. Such scholarly communication includes open access which ensures unrestricted access to research for further knowledge generation….” 

Knowledge Rights 21 – 21st Century Access to Culture, Learning & Research

“The programme Knowledge Rights 21 (KR21) is focused on bringing about changes in legislation and practice across Europe that will strengthen the right of all to knowledge. It is built on a conviction that knowledge is essential for education, innovation and cultural participation, and that everyone should have the possibility – in particular through libraries, archives and digitally – to access and use it….

Copyright and COVID: Libraries take stock | EIFL

“In February 2022, EIFL and IFLA (International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions) distributed an online survey to librarians seeking information on experiences relating to copyright and licensing of electronic resources during the pandemic. …

While temporary expanded access granted by publishers to certain electronic resources was a welcome gesture, it either didn’t last long enough or the usage conditions were too complicated to allow the content to be meaningfully integrated into teaching and research activities (48%)….

To help alleviate these situations, librarians looked to use alternative materials. For example, librarians in Malawi ramped up efforts to identify, encourage and promote use of open access materials and open educational resources. In Uganda, librarians made full use of materials in the public domain or content available under an open licence, for example, the National Curriculum Development Centre produced home-schooling materials licensed for non-commercial uses, such as teaching.

The pandemic has highlighted the benefits of open access for education, science and society and the need for a copyright ecosystem that supports online education and research. As the above examples show, current copyright rules fell short of what was needed during the pandemic….”


Save the date: next IFLA ARL Webinar series re: Research Ethics in an Open Research Environment – IFLA

“Research ethics guide the production of scholarly inquiry the world over. While there are differences in research standards in different regions of the world, and different perspectives between different groups of people (see Australia’s NHMRC as one example), standards exist, and human subjects rules guide researchers in their work. As we increasingly move to a more open access research environment, there are considerations to tackle as we share research instrumentation, data, and published output.

Join us as we consider these issues with librarians who have already been involved in adapting practices to a new open access environment.”

Research Report: How well did copyright laws serve libraries during COVID-19? – IFLA

“83% of responding library professionals said they had copyright-related challenges providing materials during pandemic-related facility closures. These intersected with ongoing challenges predating the pandemic, including budget pressures, external financial crises, difficult negotiations with publishers, and demand for eBooks that outpaces publisher offerings.

While many publishers offered expanded access to services and content during the early months of the pandemic, these offers usually did not last for sufficient time for libraries to meaningfully integrate them into teaching and research activities. 69% of respondents who had challenges said they included issues providing access to textbooks, and 52% of libraries that had copyright challenges indicated challenges with providing access internationally, as students and faculty returned to their home countries. To access content digitally, some libraries made use of programs such as the HathiTrust’s Emergency Temporary Access project and ‘Resource-Sharing during COVID’ (RSCVD)….”

CFP: Library Publishing Special Interest Group – IFLA WLIC 2022 | due May 2nd | International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions

“The IFLA Library Publishing Special Interest Group is seeking proposals for 5-minute lightning talks to be presented at its Open Session at the IFLA World Library and Information Congress 2022 in Dublin, Ireland. The session will be followed by 30-minutes of Q&A and discussion. This session will explore the contribution of library publishing to the advancement of the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The value of library publishing on these and like topics is that the work reaches and supports readers and policymakers where they live, with information relevant to their immediate needs and strategic challenges. Inspiration and engagement result from such publications, and they enable coherent and focused discussion, policymaking, and action in specific circumstances. Presentations will inform WLIC participants about a variety of initiatives through library produced publications that are often locally rooted and relevant, almost always openly accessible, and produced as trusted and high-quality content which address a range of global issues pertaining to the UN SDGs. Possible topics may include, but are not limited to

Promotes gender equality
Advocates for climate action
Supports quality education
Promotes good health and well-being
Creates partnerships for the SDGs
Advocates for peace, justice and strong institutions…”

Call for proposals: IFLA WLIC 2022 Science & Technology Section Program “Open Practices: Science Engagement” – IFLA

“Call for proposals: IFLA WLIC 2022 Science & Technology Section Program “Open Practices: Science Engagement” 26-29 July 2022

This call is an invitation to participate in a one-hour session at the WLIC 2022 in Dublin, Ireland, with 3 speakers who will address Open Practices: Science Engagement.  Consideration for diversity will be honored that cover practices such as different subject areas in the sciences, regions of the world, scientific publishing, funding mandates, and how to break down and remove any of the systemic or structural barriers that prevent more open practices in the sciences. WLIC will be an in-person international congress…

Possible topics may include (but are not limited to):

Diversity and inequity within Open Science…

Technologies, infrastructures & innovations that drive Open Science…”

IFLA | WLIC 2022


Simplicity, flexibility, equity – IFLA submits comments on South Africa’s Copyright Amendment Bill – IFLA

“IFLA has responded to a call for comments on the South African Copyright Amendment Bill, highlighting the need to reject proposals that will have a chilling effect on the work of libraries, and deepen divisions in terms of access to education, knowledge and culture.”