Category Archives: Library advocacy

IFLA publications to support your work on the U.N. 2030 Agenda

IFLA has announced new publications to support the work libraries, librarians and library advocates do related to the United Nations 2030 Agenda. Our joint work will help our countries to meet the United Nations 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development Goals.

SDgsIn September 2015, the United Nations endorsed the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. IFLA has been actively involved in the process of creating the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) over the last years and has advocated for the importance of access to information, Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs), culture and universal literacy, all of which have been included in the UN 2030 Agenda.

IFLA has produced a toolkit with customisable templates and a booklet to support you in your advocacy work. They can be used together, or separately:

Use the toolkit for background on the UN 2030 Agenda and to plan your advocacy;

Use the booklet and handout as documents you can take to meetings to give to government officials or coalition partners;

Send electronic versions of the booklet and handout to your members, your partners, and decision makers;

Re-print the booklet and handout for additional meetings.

More information and files for re-printing all documents can be found on the publication webpage.


Brief from the Sustainable Development Summit within the United Nations General Assembly

IMG_4232 (1)During these past weeks I’ve been advocating about libraries and access to information, along with colleagues from IFLA, at events related to the Sustainable Development Summit which took place as part of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA). I was able to have meaningful conversations with UN Member States, representatives from NGOs, civil society, private corporations and public agencies. All the Summit events including opening, statements from countries and adoption of the SDGs should be available on the UN Web TV.

I was fortunate to have been approved by the U.N. to attend the Sunday morning Summit plenary at the UNGA Hall where Presidents and Prime Ministers gave statements supporting the SDGs goals and targets and shared what their countries are doing to establish and implement the SDGs. A number of them included remarks about Goal 16. The President from Bosnia and Herzegovina mentioned that the world in 2030 should be a place where we respect human rights and fundamental freedoms for all without distinction of any kind. The President of Bulgaria emphasized that Bulgaria will make every effort to foster peaceful and inclusive societies according to the rule of law. The Prime Minister of Italy said that his country is basing its national development plans on the five Ps and also peace keeping; they support Goal 16 just, peaceful and inclusive societies. The Prime Minister of Belgium expressed that freedom of expression, civil society and rule of law are very important to his country. Peace and security as well. He also said, “access to information for sustainable development should be encouraged,” which is a very positive statement for libraries and librarians because we provide access to millions around the globe.

On Tuesday, September 29, IFLA along with IREX and NYPL hosted Connecting the Next 4 Billion a successful reception to discuss why inclusive access to information and technology is imperative to meet the new development agenda, and how community spaces like libraries are already implementing this vision. I was happy to hear about how much attendees liked the event and the speakers. As a Governing Board Member of IFLA, it was fantastic to greet and engage in encouraging talks with attendees along with IFLA President Donna Scheeder, and IFLA Deputy Secretary General, Stuart Hamilton.

FullSizeRender (1)Although I’ve been advocating at the U.N. since January 2014 and my colleagues, our amazing global team and I are ecstatic that Target 16.10  of the SDGs reflects our advocacy efforts, I believe our work is only starting. We, the global library community, must continue working together to position libraries within the national development plans of each country. Together we can make it happen!

16.10 Ensure public access to information and protect fundamental freedoms, in accordance with national legislation and international agreements

Access to information & the Post2015 development agenda

scheeder-garcia-febo-un-feb-2015This week I am at the United Nations in New York advocating for access to information at the #post2015 Intergovernmental Negotiations. Here I am sharing an article posted by the International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions (IFLA) about our advocacy efforts this past February. Excerpt from the intervention by IFLA President-Elect, Donna Scheeder:

I wanted to remind delegates that in moving forward we must pay attention to a different kind of poverty that has not been mentioned much here – information poverty.

Information and knowledge really are the foundation for making progress towards sustainable development. Without access to information, people will lack the means to take the crucial decisions needed to improve their lives.

Increased access to information is a cross-cutting issue that will contribute to the achievement of all goals – whether in health, education, transparency and accountability: all goals will benefit from people being able to know more about how to achieve them.

And we – libraries – can help you get there. There are over 320,000 public libraries worldwide, and hundreds of thousands of school and research libraries – in all of your countries. Librarians are skilled information professionals who can be strong partners in increasing access to information. And we can help people gain the information literacy skills needed to improve their lives.

So when considering how we do this, let’s make sure we use the institutions who can help open up the datasets, knowledge resources and provide access to the ICTs people need to achieve sustainable development.

We look forward to being partners in the data revolution and helping us get to 2030 in great shape.”

Acceso a la Información y Desarrollo: la importancia de la Declaración de Lyon

-Solely en Español

Gracias a los colegas de Infotecarios por publicar el siguiente articulo titulado Acceso a la Información y Desarrollo: la importancia de la Declaración de Lyon.

Parte de mi articulo en Infotecarios:

Les invito a trabajar fuertemente todos juntos para asegurarnos de que el acceso a la información permanezca en los informes y documentos de la ONU. Les motivo a que nos ayuden en esta labor firmando y promoviendo la Declaración de Lyon, y luego con las herramientas que IFLA desarrollará proximamente.  Trabajando unidos, podemos! Visite el siguiente enlace para firmar la Declaración de Lyon.

Enlace completo del articulo:

Es un honor el collaborar en este esfuerzo para promover acceso a la information como parte central de la agenda de desarrollo para despues del 2015 (post-2015) en los Objetivos de Desarrollo Sostenible.



Save the Date — REFORMA and ALA Free Webinar for Library Services to Immigrants & Access to Information

REFORMA and ALA PresentFree Webinar for Library Services to Immigrants & Access to Information

Taking Action: Legal Barriers to Library Services to Immigrants & Access to Information

Tuesday, May 14, 2013 at 3:00 p.m. EDT

REFORMA, ALA Washington Office, ALA Office for Library Advocacy and ALA Office for Diversity are partnering to present a webinar to support library workers facing various laws and regulations passed or being considered in various states and counties around the nation limiting library services to immigrants and access to information. The content of the webinar includes examples from REFORMA members who have dealt with these types of situations, action taken and recommendations based on their experience. REFORMA will share resources to help librarians to advocate for services for immigrants and multi-ethnic populations. The ALA Washington Office will share points about how to effectively communicate with elected officials and government agencies. The ALA Office for Diversity will present strategies and recommendations.

Speakers: Patricia Montiel Overall, Associate Professor at the School of Information Resources and Library Sciences and Affiliated Professor at the Mexican American Studies Department of the University of Arizona; Michelle Harell Washington, Director of the ALA Office for Diversity,  Emily Sheketoff, Executive Director of the Washington Office of the American Library Association and Loida Garcia-Febo, Chair, REFORMA Legislative Committee.

Save the date and join us on May 14. The link to access the virtual meeting room will be shared soon. Stay tuned!

Libraries, Multi-ethnic populations and Technology @WNYC

-Sharing brief news-

Just called and spoke at a program on WNYC Radio about libraries. Because librarians are helping multi-cultural and multi-ethnic populations deal with new technologies. Because elected officials are on board to help libraries. Because we do need more visibility to help the new generation understand that libraries are needed in these times of digital-everything.

Diversity, Advocacy, Stress and Technology Addressed at JCLC

Sharing a summary from The 2nd Joint Conference Librarians of Color  published by American Libraries Direct, September 26, 2012.  Included, a link to NPR’s Tell Me More featuring JCLC and services to Spanish-speakers.

Diversity, advocacy, stress, and technology addressed at JCLC
Sanhita SinhaRoy writes: “Diversity, leadership, and community engagement were the three main themes at the plenary all-conference session at the Joint Conference of Librarians of Color, September 19–23, in Kansas City, Missouri. While each leader of thefive ethnic caucuses discussed how these three topics play a role within their associations, a few other common themes surfaced: branding, membership, and advocacy.” Other sessions covered the topics ofwelcoming new immigrants into your library, combating workplace stress, and all things digital. NPR’s Tell Me More program interviewed Loida Garcia-Febo about service to Spanish-speakers and mentioned the JCLC conference….
AL: Inside Scoop, Sept. 20–22; NPR, Sept. 26

Librarians Reach Out To Spanish Speakers @ NPR

Sharing a link to an interview I did with NPR about library services to multi-ethnic, Latino and Spanish-speaking populations.

Libraries Reach Out to Spanish Speakers

September 26, 2012

Librarians are facing a need to adapt to the rapidly changing makeup of America. Guest host Celeste Headlee speaks with international librarian consultant Loida Garcia-Febo about what it’s going to take to make libraries more accessible to Spanish speakers, and the significance of serving a multicultural landscape.

Cycling for Libraries

Today I am sharing a brief overview of what is probably the world’s longest library unconference, Cycling for Libraries. Two weeks, four countries, 80 participants and much energy! Created by Jukka Pennanen and Mace Ojala from Finland, this is so far one of the most creative and effective ways to advocate for libraries.

To top it all off, they lead a ‘library bike parade’ in Berlin to put libraries on the agenda of Berliners. IFLA Past President, Claudia Lux was one of the participants! They also presented at a session during the Conference, and spoke at a TWIL show

I will post edited videos and a more extended report later in July. In the picture above: Patrick Danowsky, Loida, Claudia Lux, Almuth Gastinger.

Jukka, Mace and their core working-group also coordinated seminars, library visits and answered questions from worldwide colleagues, literally on the-go. They also hosted a one-day conference in Berlin on June 6,  just before the 100 German Library Association Conference.  I was just glad to lead a discussion session about the Social Role of Libraries during this conference. 

In the picture to the left, Loida with Jukka Pennanen trying to decide where to place the flags to welcome librarians after the library bike parade.

Cycling for Libraries website:


My final thought: Would love to see Cycling the States for Libraries!

Celebrate Libraries!

April 10-16 is National Library Week in the USA. April is Love your Library Month! and we celebrate all types of libraries including Academic, Public, School and Special Libraries.

If you love libraries, support our libraries Now! Get involved! Save Libraries.

What Isn’t Great About Libraries?