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The IFLA/UNESCO Internet Manifesto Guidelines

The guidelines take the Internet Manifesto in a new direction by moving towards a charter for users, in effect becoming a document prepared by the library community that safeguards and sets out users' rights to information on the Internet in libraries. Read more on http://archive.ifla.org/faife/policy/iflastat/Internet-ManifestoGuidelines.pdf

IFLA and UNESCO are happy to announce the publication of the IFLA UNESCO Internet Manifesto Guidelines that have been prepared by IFLA/FAIFE (the IFLA Committee on Free Access to Information and Freedom of Expression); and generously sponsored by UNESCO's Intergovernmental Council for the Information for All Programme (IFAP); and the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida).

IFLA Internet Manifesto

The guidelines are based on the principles stated in the IFLA Internet Manifesto that was prepared by IFLA/FAIFE and adopted unanimously by the Council of IFLA in August 2002. The Manifesto was created out of a perceived need for a policy document that brought the traditional library values of freedom of expression and freedom of access to information into the age of the Internet. Following the adoption, the manifesto has been translated into 19 languages, and adopted by national library associations in 30 countries. IFLA is following the implementation of the Manifesto through the bi-annual IFLA/FAIFE World Report. To achieve the aims of the Internet Manifesto, IFLA decided to prepare a set of guidelines that are specific to Internet access programmes in libraries, and concern service policies and procedures that will lead to the implementation of the Internet Manifesto's values in everyday library work.

IFLA UNESCO Internet Manifesto Guidelines

The guidelines offer guidance to library and information professionals, policymakers, and politicians in drawing up policies concerning public access to networked information in libraries. They provide a framework for implementation of policies guaranteeing freedom of access to information and freedom of expression on the Internet as well as access to information held by cultural institutions such as libraries, and will hopefully be of practical help when objectives, priorities and services in relation to national and local community needs be defined. For the Guidelines to be relevant to all members of the international library community, efforts have been made to ensure that the specific needs and challenges of the developing world are addressed. Consultative workshops have been held in Africa (June 2004), Eastern Europe (March 2005), Central America and the Caribbean (November 2005) and Latin America (January 2006); followed by a meeting for senior library and information professionals in London (March 2006). Likewise helpful input to the development process has been provided by individual library professionals from all over the world, including members of the IFLA/FAIFE Committee.

Future initiatives

IFLA/FAIFE's work on freedom of access to Internet accessible information began in 2001 and has concentrated on advocacy through policy development and implementation; and on research through the data collection process for the World Report and a PhD research project entitled "To what extent can libraries ensure free, equal and unhampered access to Internet-accessible resources from a global perspective?" and completed by Dr Stuart Hamilton in 2005. The guidelines will be translated and published in print versions; and cooperating with IFLA/ALP and IFLA's Regional Offices, FAIFE will continue its focus on freedom of access to Internet accessible information through workshops aimed at the implementation of the IFLA Internet Manifesto and the IFLA UNESCO Internet Manifesto Guidelines; thus contributing to the advocacy work of IFLA and UNESCO to promote the Internet Manifesto world-wide.