The iSchool’s Technology and Social Change Group (TASCHA) has announced a new project highlighting the role of libraries and access to information in achieving the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals.
The Development and Access to Information project, a partnership with the International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions (IFLA), is intended to demonstrate the importance of access to information in achieving progress toward the 17 goals set by the U.N. 2030 agenda, as well as raise awareness of the role libraries play in development. It will track 16 of 169 targets associated with individual Sustainable Development Goals. Some examples of the targets include sustainable cities and communities, gender equality, the elimination of poverty and starvation, and the promotion of peace and justice. The role of public libraries in serving those goals is a key focus of the research.
“Library networks are established all over the world – 320,000 public libraries, and tens of thousands more school, academic, and research libraries. Not to mention the hundreds of thousands of information professionals and non-professionals that are committed to helping people access the information they need to improve their lives,” said Stuart Hamilton, Director of Policy & Advocacy at IFLA. “These institutions reach down into the communities that they serve, and engage with people’s development needs.”
The project will produce reports tracking the progress of the project every two years, beginning in 2017. In addition to the research, the reports will feature thought pieces from leaders in access to information discussing key issues in the field.