Dynamic Coalition on Public Access in Libraries

07 December 2016 - A Dynamic Coalition on Guadalajara,Mexico


Public access to the Internet is having a moment. 

In the past year, we’ve seen a number of reports and processes suggest that there’s no way to get everyone online without supporting public access to the Internet. The Global Commission on Internet Governance, the Alliance for Affordable Internet and the Global Connect Initiative are all calling out public access as a great tool for increasing connectivity. The IGF’s Policy Options for Connecting the Next Billion (2016) emphasizes the value of public access for getting people online, and last year’s Stanford Deliberative Polling Exercise identified public Internet access in libraries as the top-rated solution to the digital divide.   

Why Libraries? Libraries not only provide connectivity, they also help people overcome the more significant barriers – lack of awareness of the internet’s value, lack of skills, and lack of cultural and social acceptance.  The ITU stated in its annual report last month that access is not enough. Policy-makers must address broader socio-economic inequalities and help people acquire the necessary skills to take full advantage of the internet.  Public libraries - trusted institutions, staffed by skilled information professionals - are uniquely placed to overcome these challenges by providing public access to the internet for individuals who might otherwise not have it, helping people to understand the internet’s value, training people to get online, and building trust and familiarity with online services.

The Dynamic Coalition on Public Access in Libraries is meeting in Guadalajara to talk about how we can harness the momentum around public access. Join speakers from IFLA, EIFL, Gigabit Libraries Network, Google, IEEE and People Centred Internet to talk all things public access.



  • Welcomes and introductions (Chair: Stuart Hamilton, IFLA)
  • Recap of PAL-DC-related activity since the last IGF:
    • Reports from the regional IGFs
      • Guest reporter: Mandiaye Ndiaye (Cheikh Anta Diop University)
    • Principles of Public Access in Libraries
    • The Human Rights Principles for Connectivity and Development
  • Reflections on the Stanford Deliberative Poll and other library musings
    • Vint Cerf, Google
  • DISCUSSION: The role of public access in the SDGS, the Global Connect Initiative, and other initiatives to bring the next billion online:
    • Don Means (Gigabit Libraries Network)
    • Janet Sawaya (Electronic Information for Libraries)
    • Jane Coffin (ISOC)
    • Karen McCabe (IEEE)
    • Mei Lin Fung (People Centered Internet)
  • Wrap-up and close