IFLA World Report 2010

The International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions has released the IFLA World Report 2010.

Here's an excerpt from the "Analysis and Conclusions" section of the report:

Open Access to information resources can contribute to reduce the impact of the digital divide. The fact that respondents that provided data for the specific questions indicated that nearly 90% of library associations are in favour of Open Access and that there are Open Access initiatives in about 76% of countries, is a very positive development. According to respondents copyright laws exist in 110 countries and in 72 countries the copyright laws include limitations or exceptions for libraries; 85 respondents reported that their countries have legislation that guarantees freedom of access to information and freedom of expression. These are all very positive aspects. Library associations and library communities across the world should endeavour to increase these numbers and to ensure that the principles underlying the questions are implemented and safeguarded in their countries.

Violations of freedom of expression and freedom of access to information are still very prevalent in many countries in all regions of the world. Interestingly enough very few respondents have reported on such incidents in their countries and most of the information comes from third-party sources—only 21 respondents have highlighted any issues, whereas the consulted third-party sources have listed issues in at least 109 countries (compared to 19 and 82 respectively in 2007). The fact that only a few respondents have reported incidents is worrisome, regardless of the reason for this. On the other hand, the fact that there are so many countries in which such incidents take place, should be a matter of grave concern to IFLA and the library community in general.

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