Friday, August 7, 2009

The IFLA Internet Manifesto

This Manifesto was prepared by IFLA/FAIFE. Approved by the Governing Board of IFLA27 March 2002, The Hague, Netherlands.
Proclaimed by IFLA 1 May 2002.
Adopted unanimously without dissent or abstentions on Council meeting of the 68th IFLA General Conference and Council, August 23rd 2002, Glasgow, Scotland

Abstract :

The adoption of the IFLA Internet Manifesto signifies the ongoing movement towards unhindered access to information which is vital to achieving equality and peace, freedom and global understanding. Intellectual freedom, freedom to access of information, unhindered access to the internet by libraries and removal of barriers to the flow of information are major assertions of the IFLA Manifesto. Likewise, the interconnectivity of Freedom of Access to Information, the Internet and Libraries and Information Services and the Principles of Freedom of Access to Information via the Internet are covered by the manifesto enabling the libraries to give services provided by the internet with the responsibility of providing access to quality information. For the implementation of the manifesto, IFLA encourages the support of international community, the national governments and the library community.

Three(3) Things I Learned from Reading the Manifesto :

1. The IFLA Internet Manifesto recognizes the internet as a valuable source of information and libraries and librarians as agents of access with the former as the institution the connects people and the latter as the information services provider.
2. Access to the internet should be consistent with The UN Universal Declaration of Human Rights on principles of freedom of access to information.
3. There is a unanimous call to implement the Manifesto globally as featured on the IFLA website listing the manifesto in different languages.

Reflections :

The IFLA Internet Manifesto clearly signifies the individuals' right to freedom of opinion and expression that includes the freedom to search, acquire and disseminate ideas and information through any forms of communication. The Internet is a global communication tool and a universal access to information, thus access to it should be free. I would agree that the Manifesto celebrates equality and global understanding, a weapon to minimize digital divide. A big boost to Open Access movements. It validates the importance of libraries and librarians in the provision of quality information from the Internet through responsible information services and at the same time emphasizes that importance of the individual's privacy. The general approach of the manifesto is its own strength for easy implementation. It is ideal and universal.