Libraries & the Global Digital Compact
EIFL organizes webinar to discuss the power of public libraries to contribute to the UN’s Global Digital Compact

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Event Date: 19 Jul 2023

EIFL webinar to discuss the power of public libraries to contribute to digital cooperation under the Global Digital Compact, the United Nations’ agenda to harness technology benefits for the future of humanity. 

A panel of guest speakers will share experiences of public access to computers and the internet in libraries and lead discussion on how libraries with public access ICT contribute to a shared vision of an open, free, secure and human-centred digital future.

  • Date and time: 19 July 2023. 15:00 - 16:30 EEST (UTC + 3).
  • To register: You can register here

The following questions will guide discussion: 

  • What roles do libraries play in national broadband ecosystems? 
  • What are the key lessons learnt and challenges faced in providing public access to ICT in libraries?   
  • How has the use of public access technology in libraries changed over the years?
  • How does public access to ICT change library services?
  • Who are the users of public access technology in libraries? 
  • How do people use public access technology in libraries?
  • What are the impacts of public access to ICT in libraries and how to measure them? 

On the panel are - 

James Beronda, Head of Technical Services, Uganda Communications Commission (UCC), will speak about the development of public access infrastructure in libraries. The UCC, a government agency, collaborates with the National Library of Uganda on a project to connect public and community libraries to the internet. 

Alex Ombongi, Head of IT at Kenya National Library Services (KNLS), will speak about the power of nation-wide public access to ICT through libraries. KNLS is a state institution in charge of 64 public libraries, all providing public access to digital technology since 2016.

Maria Elisa Holguin, Director of Foundation Bibliotec, will present a case study of public access infrastructure development and deployment in Cali, Colombia. Foundation Bibliotec is a non-profit organization that has successfully established a network of public access centres in public libraries in Cali Municipality, in collaboration with the Mayor’s office. 

Dr Stuart Hamilton, Head of Libraries Development for the Local Government Management Agency (LGMA) in Ireland, will speak about ICT infrastructure in Irish libraries and the role of libraries in the national broadband ecosystem. LMGA is a state agency that supports and advises local governments on development of public libraries, including strategies for public library ICT and digital services 

Dr Ugne Lipeikaite, EIFL Public Library Innovation Programme (EIFL-PLIP) Impact Manager, will speak about the impact of public access to computers and the internet in libraries, and impact assessment methodologies, referring to two reports prepared by EIFL and IFLA under the Dynamic Coalition for Public Access in Libraries (DC-PAL): The Role of Libraries in National Broadband Plans and Policies (October 2021) and Impacts of Public Access to Computers and the Internet in libraries (November 2022).