Dynamic Coalition on Public Access in Libraries
Round Table - U-shape - 90 Min
A people-centred digital environment – one where connectivity and digital technologies are well-aligned with users’ needs – requires democratic, open and inclusive internet governance. This in turn requires that the voices, experiences and insights of users and communities be heard. As internet governance policy dialogues continue to push for more collaborative processes, what approaches are there which help amplify users’ voices? On this point, some useful insights and good practices can be drawn from the work of libraries and similar anchor organisations to engage their communities in internet governance discussions. These practices build on their leading roles in community information policy and lifelong learning. At the same time, such organisations are often already engaged in practical digital inclusion work – by providing access to the Internet, ICTs, content, and digital skills learning opportunities This session will explore lessons learned from the work of libraries and similar organisations to engage communities in decision-making to shape the digital environment around them: - Engaging users in co-design, testing and rollout of digital services, especially e-government applications - Tools and capacity-building to help users grasp, navigate and feed into public policy dialogues around internet governance - Facilitating the dialogue between users and other key internet governance stakeholders at the local level - Building community capacity to create bottom-up solutions for digital inclusion and robust, crisis-resilient connectivity
The session will be led by a mix of on-site and online speakers and facilitators, to ensure that participants can fully engage in the discussion and get the same experience regardless of their location. The first part of the session will be a structured set of interventions, presenting several case studies of bottom-up internet governance initiatives, followed by an open discussion. During the second half of the session, the speakers and participants will build on this discission to explore replicable good practices, lessons, and flag additional considerations and questions. The session will also encourage on-the-spot interventions from session participants and members of the DC network, to put forward more relevant practical examples from their own work. A call for rapid interventions can be distributed through the DC-PAL networks ahead of the session. The session will also use the chat and Q&A functions to maintain engagement with the participants throughout the session.
Don Means, Gigabit Libraries Network, Director (Technical Community/USA/WEOG) Ramune Petuchovaite, Electronic Information for Libraries, Public Library Innovation Programme Manager (Civil Society/Lithuania/Eastern European Group) Stephen Wyber, International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions, Director, Policy and Advocacy (Civil Society/The Netherlands/WEOG) Stuart Hamilton, Head of Libraries Development, Local Government Management Agency, (Government/Ireland/WEOG)
Peter Balaba, Nakaseke Telecenter and Community Library, Civil Society, Africa Mahmoud Khalifa, Cybrarians Journal, Civil Society, Middle East Antoine Vergne, Missions Publiques & We The Internet, Civil Society, WEOG Ab. Velasco & Fiona O’Connor, Toronto Public Library, Government, WEOG Catharina Isberg, Helsingborg City Libraries, Government, WEOG
Targets: The session explores the ways public access in libraries and similar anchor institutions (linked to, inter alia, SDG 9.c) helps foster community engagement in participatory decision-making around the digital environment (e.g. SDGs 16.7, 16.10).