The Role of Libraries in National Broadband Plans and Policies

Public internet access in libraries is an important tool to help bring more people online. Including libraries in national broadband plans and policies is a way to support and enable their work towards digital inclusion. Within the framework of the IGF Dynamic Coalition on Public Access in Libraries, IFLA and EIFL are comparing how different national broadband plans engage and implicate libraries.

Today, more than 30 national broadband policies and plans contain references to libraries. IFLA and EIFL are comparing these policy documents to understand the commonalities and differences in how libraries are involved, and to highlight examples of enabling policy environments around the world.

Comparing these documents reveals, for example, the different roles libraries play in supporting connectivity, stimulating the demand for broadband and supporting meaningful uses of connectivity: from offering public access to creating local content.

It also allows a glimpse into the kind of support libraries receive to fulfil these roles – for example, receiving ICT equipment or subsidies to help them bear internet service costs.

The second chapter looks at the implementation and impacts of such policies on the ground, drawing on seceral country case studies: Colombia, Kenya, Lithuania and Romania.

The draft reports have been discussed at a DC-PAL session at the Internet Governance Forum 2019 and 2020. We welcome your views and comments on the working documents – and if you would like to tell us about the role of libraries in broadband policies and plans in your country, don’t hesitate to get in touch!

Download chapter 1: "The Role of Libraries in National Broadband Plan and Policies":  [English – PDF]

Download chapter 2: "Public Access in Libraries: Achievements and Insights from Broadband Policy Implementation": [English – PDF]

Download the DC-PAL 2019-2020 Activity Report: [English - PDF]

Reports, Access to information, Digital divide, IFLA and the information society

Last update: 5 November 2020