United Nations 2030 Agenda and libraries
The agenda is a framework of 17 Sustainable Development Goals which span economic, environmental and social development. Libraries are key institutions to help achieve the goals.
Public access to information enables people to make informed decisions that can improve their lives. Access to information has been recognised in the SDGs under Goal 16. The target is 16.10: Ensure public access to information and protect fundamental freedoms, in accordance with national legislation and international agreements
Libraries provide information and ICT infrastructure, helping people develop the capacity to use information effectively and preserve information to ensure ongoing access for future generations. They provide an established, trusted network that can reach out to the population.
Libraries and access to information contribute to improved outcomes in the SDGs by: promoting literacy, including digital literacy; closing gaps in information needs, providing delivery sites for Government programs and services, advancing digital inclusion by providing ICT; serving the research and academic community; and preserving culture and heritage.
While the SDGs are universal goals, each country will be responsible for developing and implementing national strategies to achieve them and will be expected to track and report progress. As these national plans are developed, libraries stand ready to serve as partners to help meet the goals.
What is ALIA doing?
ALIA is already in discussions with the Federal Government Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) about libraries:
· supporting the freedom of access to information outcomes;
· providing examples of success, which can be used as part of Australia’s reporting; and
· helping to communicate the 2030 agenda to the general population.
The ALIA Board has reviewed its own Constitution and there will be an opportunity for Members to vote for a new Object of the Association related to the Sustainable Development Goals at its AGM in May 2017. Read more
ALIA has also has signed an international advocacy agreement with IFLA. By signing the agreement with IFLA, ALIA has committed to carry on advocacy work on how libraries are helping Australia, and the rest of the UN Member States, achieve the SDGs.
Sue McKerracher, Chief Executive Officer of ALIA, said: 'In the context of the UN 2030 Agenda, ALIA believes that increasing access to information and knowledge across society, assisted by the availability of information and communications technologies (ICT), supports sustainable development and improves lives.'
It's an exciting time to think global and act local.