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Stuart Hamilton - Day 1, Session 2

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  • Thanks to organisersTo begin, a very quick word about IFLA, and the position from which I am speaking to you todayIFLA hasFormal Associate Relations with UNESCO, and observer status with the United Nations and the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), amongst othersWe are primarily an international organisation, but: We have 644 European members including 67 associations active at a national levelWe have partnerships in Europe with our member organisationsinc. European Bureau of Library, Information and Documentation Associations (EBLIDA) and Association of European Research Libraries (LIBER)This means that in Europe IFLA’s members represent tens of thousands of library and information professionals, and a large percentage of the estimated one billion people on the planet who hold a library cardToday I have been asked to speak about advocacy, and how the library and information sector can create a compelling message that will influence policy makers at a European levelI’m going to do this by highlighting the ways IFLA seeks to influence policy makers, and the methods we are currently using to make our messages compelling. I’m also going to give some examples of what I think are successful or innovative efforts by IFLA’s members in Europe to reach across to their national governments and the European Commission to seek policies beneficial to libraries and their usersAt the outset, I would like to say that the user is who we really should be talking about here – at IFLA we don’t say that we are seeking to influence policy for the benefit of libraries and librarians, instead we try to keep our messages focused on the idea that what we really wish to do is increase the end benefits for the users of our services. I believe that it is in this way that libraries serve societyI will come back to the user focused narrative later on. But for now let us briefly consider the major issue around which IFLA’s advocacy takes place: Access
  • This is a picture of one of my favourite libraries, the British Library in Saint Pancras. I understand it’s also the busiest spot for public wi-fi access in London. But what are they accessing? And, perhaps more importantly, what are they not accessing, and why?For IFLA, this is the bottom line. Libraries are about providing their users with access to information, in all its forms. If library users are unable to access information, IFLA wishes to help library and information professionals around the world change this situation for the better, by providing better services, and working in support of better policies to support those services.As an organisation, IFLA focuses on the human rights aspects of access, like inclusion, and access to information regardless of race, creed, gender, sexuality, age or for any other reason. Our advocacy is based on the belief that the library is a key public access intermediary and essential for a flourishing community. We see tremendous value in the fact that libraries are sustainable civic institutions that have existing relationships with local governments and are founded in public policy frameworks.In terms of specific issues relevant at European level:IFLA focuses on advocating for public access to technology through libraries,recognising that in the 21st century access to digital information resources is crucial and that public libraries are the best places in the community that can deliver access to these resourcesWe advocate for copyright frameworks that promote, not restrict access to informationWe firmly support the concept of open access, as well as believing that access to information resources already paid for by the taxpayer should not be charged for again. We also believe that open access is not just an issue for academic and research libraries, it is a concept that must be embraced by public libraries too.These are meaty issues in their own right. So what I would like to do is to put aside an in-depth analysis of the issues for another time and instead, in this presentation, concentrate on some of the methods we use to construct a message to reach policymakers.
  • So I will do this by looking at the following areas that IFLA believes libraries need to pay attention to if they are to construct a compelling message to policy makers:Alliances – inside and outside of the library sectorWhat I will call working the channels – and I mean how to convey a message in a Forum like WIPO, or in a process such as a national or European level consultationEvidence – which is crucial if messages are to be taken seriouslyCapacity Building for advocacy – within library organisations such as associations
  • I’ll start with alliances within the library sector.EXPLAIN SLIDEOrganizations involvedAim of activity – to bring high-level library representatives together to discuss copyright issues. To invite representatives from the Moldovan copyright office to attend, and to hear about the problems libraries were facing.Outcome – librarians invited to participate in revision process for Moldovan copyright law: they were outside the process beforeLesson is a simple one: together we are stronger. The presence of national and regional library organisations at this event, and in the follow-up process, proved compelling to the Moldovan government, and showed that the issue of library involvement in copyright reform was one that they had to take seriouslyANOTHER EXAMPLEAlso involves copyright, but this time at the level of the European CommissionOver the past six months IFLA, LIBER, EBLIDA, the Conference of European National Librarians all participated in a recent stakeholder dialogue regarding the availability of works that were in copyright but is no longer commercially availableA solution to this problem is essential if mass digitisation programmes in Europe are to be successfulAn agreement has now been reached on this issue, but only after library groups consistently engaged in the dialogue with publishers, authors and collecting societies. In this case, libraries were able to come to an agreement because they had stuck to their principles regarding access to worksFrom IFLA’s perspective I would say the lesson here is that library groups need to be present at these tables to be invited to further tables. If that sounds like a simple conclusion, it would be worth comparing this attempt to solve the problem with another European Commission dialogue that fewer library groups participated in from 2006, where there was far less lasting successPut simply: for a compelling message we need to have staying power, and resources, both in terms of time and expertise, to engage properly with the issues and be taken seriously. IFLA, LIBER and EBLIDA have this capacity, and the models we have developed for engagement can be reproduced at a national level, where the same things apply
  • Library groups are good at talking to each other, too good perhaps. We can be much more effective at achieving our advocacy goals if we create compelling alliances of like-minded stakeholders.EXPLAIN SLIDEC4C is an initiative calling on European decision-makers to ensure that copyright in the EU best supports creation, innovation, competition and the public interest. The idea is that at a time when copyright policy tends to focus exclusively on increased protection and enforcement, the C4C initiative is meant to support a constructive policy agenda to adapt copyright limitations and exceptions to support European creativity, innovation and competitiveness. The C4C initiative is a great example of the way that our issues are not just ‘library issues’. Take a look at the stakeholders involved:
  • Library groups, but also ISPs, computer industry groups, consumer representatives groups, advocates of free software and also, quite crucially, representatives of artists and creators.The C4C initiative levers all of these groups to create a compelling message to policy makers – this coalition makes a major contribution to Europe’s economy and believes it can only continue to do so if policy frameworks are balanced to support innovation and the public interest.It levers the groups by being able to show how the problem of copyright affects various sectors – libraries, education, creation by artists and musicians. For example, the initiative has held two events this year, one at the British library and the other here in Brussels, where C4C representatives engaged with MEPs and members of the European Commission in an informal environment to present their issues. At the British Library, the participants were given a tour of the institution’s treasures and facilities to give them a clearer idea of what libraries actually do – something I am afraid to say policy makers often have little idea of, often because we have not succeeded in communicating to them.All of us would agree that access to information is crucial for the scientists and creators of tomorrow. Libraries are the institutions that provide access for individuals and therefore we must together with the groups that benefit from our resources to demonstrate our value and make our voices louder in policy forums. Scientific researchers, small and medium businesses, technology companies, creators and even pharmaceutical and bioengineering companies should be our allies when we are seeking to construct and communicate our messages.
  • The next thing I would like to tackle is how to engage with policy channels. I’ll first look at forums where policy is made, and then I’ll look at engagement with process.EXPLAIN SLIDEThe Issue: IFLA is advocating for updated copyright exceptions and limitations for libraries and archivesThe Problem: A lack of knowledge on behalf of policy makersTranslating a complex issue into a digestible and persuasive messageOvercoming opposition to our positionThe solutions we have tried to employ:Understand the institution – the structure, who is whoEngage with the programme – hold side events, take advantage of other meetings on the calendar, maintain a presence at meetingsDevelop documentation – short, snappy leaflets that explain our position – very difficultDevelop case studies and examples - Saying that we need to preserve information for the future is one thing, but it is more compelling when it is made personal – when communicating with the Thai delegation, for example, we were able to discuss how their current copyright framework made it extremely difficult to preserve the one remaining film of the Thai King’s coronation in 1950Be able to give the elevator speechLearn from our strategic partners and stay engaged – the VIP are also advocating for their issuesLever our national associations in support of our work – it is WIPO’s Member States who dictate the agenda there, and it they who must be persuaded of our cause, not the secretariat. Our national members are well-placed to advocate at a national level
  • Three examples of what I am calling process engagement now. The first is the UK library community’s engagement with the recent Independent Review of Intellectual Property and Growth, also known as the Hargreaves ReportEXPLAIN SLIDE:Hargreaves report was the result of an extended consultation process into the future of intellectual property in the UKFrom the perspective of libraries, engagement with the review process was successful – the government was encouraged to legislate to enable the licensing of orphan works, and there were other recommendations in the area of text and data mining, and developing the IP System so that it is driven as far as possible by objective evidenceWhy were libraries listened to during the process?Timely and consistent engagement, with detailed evidence-based submissions that specifically addressed the questions at the heart of the reviewThis may sound simple, but the concentration on evidence is crucial. The British library in particular has been consistently strong in developing evidence to back up its positions (more on this in a moment)The Slide shows that partnership is present – this time libraries and archivesBut elsewhere in the process the libraries also partnered with educational institutions, technology firms, startups, ISPs, creators, consumer groups – a similar approach to the C4C initiative, but this time on a national level
  • Second Example: Advocacy around the UK’s Digital Economy ActA complex interesting issue relating to so-called three strikes laws – get caught file-sharing three times on the internet and, following warnings, you’ll get your connection slowed down or even cut offConfusion in the drafting of the Act meant that libraries, as providers of public wi-fi, were not clearly classified. If they were classified as an ISP, they would be responsible for monitoring their networks to prevent copyright infringement, if they were classified as subscribers they could in theory be held liable for any copyright infringement by their users, and have their connections cut backUnlike the Hargreaves report, there was no extensive and collaborative consultation process regarding this issue. Instead, one had to be actively following the passage of the act into law to understand how libraries could be affected. Thanks to its resources, the British Library was able to mobilise around the issue to communicate the potential problems to the government. Again, partnerships were used. But this time IFLA was contacted to make a submission from an international perspective, and we wrote letters to both the European Commission and the UK Government. The way that the Digital Economy Act will eventually be implemented regarding libraries is still, unfortunately unclear, but we can learn from the experience regardless. Library groups need to develop and have access to expertswho understand and are able to reach across both national and European levels of legislation to talk to the right people – expertise is key to constructing the message, but understanding the process is crucial to communicating it
  • The final example of process is the ongoing consultation at the European Commission on Scientific Information in the Digital Age. This consultation will contribute to the actions that the Commission intends to take on open access to publications and data in the context of research projects funded by the European Union budget. As IFLA supports open access we clearly have an interest in this topic, and so do our members.
  • What I wanted to mention briefly here is the value that clear policy from organisations such as IFLA, LIBER and EBLIDA can bring to organisations who wish to respond to calls such as this. In April, IFLA published a new statement which clarifies our position and strategy on Open Access. This document is useful because other organisations can quote us, or reference the document in their own submissions. IFLA members have found this approach useful in the past, particularly in the case of other policy documents like IFLA’s Public Library Manifesto or The Public Library Service IFLA/UNESCO Guidelines for Development. In just the same way as having UNESCO’s endorsement makes IFLA’s positions stronger, endorsed policy from international library organisations can sometimes lend weight to the communication of a message.
  • NEXT: EVIDENCEI’ve mentioned evidence a couple of times throughout the presentation, but I wanted to go back and emphasize how important it is to the construction of a really compelling message.To be convincing when advocating for libraries, it is important to have the facts at hand – how many libraries are there in your country? How many people use them? Does it cost to access the Internet in libraries?IFLA has developed the World Report to help its’ members better understand how their library communities compare to other countries’, in many areas including access to the Internet through libraries, access to information for disabled and minorities, or the extent to which local content is available online, and in which languages.
  • But library organisations may not always have the resources to fund major research reports, and therefore library advocates have to be able to utilise reports from other sectors. In an environment like WIPO or the European Commission this is especially important, and reports like this one are crucial. This is a study which sets out the economic contribution of EU industries that rely on exceptions and limitations to copyright – hugely useful for library organisations wishing to promote the contributions of exceptions and limitations and, very importantly, thoroughly researched and credible. If more policies are to be formed according to the recommendations of Professor Hargreaves in the UK i.e. they are formed according to evidence, then libraries must do more in the field of research to support their messages. One recent development which is encouraging, although still not fully formed, is the expansion of return of investment studies that look at libraries. The British Library estimates that for every pound invested in it, it returns 4.4 pounds to the economy. A Norwegian meta-analysis of 38 studies (32 of which were public libraries) from 2009 suggests that for each dollar invested in public libraries they return, on average, approximately four times more. As the authors put it, “this is a strong message with policy implications.”British Library Study: http://pressandpolicy.bl.uk/imagelibrary/downloadMedia.ashx?MediaDetailsID=561Norwegian Meta-Study: https://oda.hio.no/jspui/bitstream/10642/336/2/475260.pdf
  • This report seems to go to the very crux of the matter. How much do libraries contribute to the global economy? Well, as you can see, if you have $895 you can buy this Outsell report and find out.(the answer is $23.8 billion, not too bad I think you will agree)
  • It’s not only hard facts and figures that help though - there is also a need for a story that convinces, that features real people and situations and that resonates as ‘real’ to its intended audience. The Global Libraries program of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation is a good example of an organisation working hard in this area, particularly their projects which are implemented by IREX. In these projects a large amount of effort is spent examining and communicating the impact of their work, and then repackaging this information into informative videos or other resources which can be used to inform policy makers about the value of investing in libraries.This slide shows just one story from the last twelve months – how an unemployed school teacher started a business with the help of her local library. A human story PLUS job creation in the economy…
  • I want to finish by talking a bit about how libraries can develop their capacity to construct compelling messages at an EU level. IFLA sees a number of wayI think that a pitfall that has to be avoided with our messaging is that of the vacuum. IFLA has itself been guilty of issuing press releases on topics and failing to follow-up about whether or not they were received by their target audience. Or, we have sent our messages to other members of the library community – reaching out to the converted as it were.We therefore need to understand the Commission better – what is the relationship between DG Infosoc, DG Internal Market, DG Culture? We cannot make the excuse that it’s difficult, it needs to be understood. I think that we have already made good headway in this area this afternoon and I hope that we are all now ready to go away and cultivate friends in the parliament. However, don’t just find the ones who are interested in libraries – find the ones who want to understand and support education, research and digital issues, and, very importantly, innovation.
  • This can be a two way process. We can go to Brussels to meet with our representatives and members of the Commission, but we should also bring them to us, and make more use of our annual conferences, meetings and forums. In April, IFLA held its Presidential Meeting in The Hague on the theme of ‘Libraries Driving Access to Knowledge For Europe’. We launched two new policy statements in the company of Commission representatives and parliamentarians. We hadn’t attempted an event like this before and we learned a lot. It is possible to create a strong line up on your own terms, and to use the occasion to get people to understand more about advocacy and the communication of messages.
  • As you can see, we didn’t manage to get Nellie Kroes this time, but we will try again until we succeed. We did, however, bring the Assistant Director General of WIPO as a plenary speaker to the IFLA Conference in Puerto Rico last month. As I mentioned with WIPO, a startling number of policy makers don’t understand what libraries do, so we should be doing more to invite them to see for themselves. The C4C initiative understands this. The Finnish and Danish library associations understand this and have gone one step further – they have a policy of recruiting politicians and public figures for their association Presidents – a practice which means they have supporters in parliament, and people who are able to explain libraries and their issues to other MPs.To continue on the theme of supporters, we need to do more to involve our users in the issues. Libraries often talk about how important community is and library and information professionals see it every day. Libraries and their representatives should be a great conduit for getting grassroots user opinion up the chain and many libraries are already involved in provided information on local government, elections etc.However, somewhere in the conversation with policy makers it gets lost.I personally see it all the time, at places like WIPO (I’ve never seen a user represented there), IGF, WSIS – there seems to be no input from people who actually use the technology. And remember, as I said, these are not just our issues – they cross over into science, technology and education. Engage people using library resources to work in these fields, and our network of supporters grows larger. We are in a better position if we focus on the benefits that stronger libraries can bring to the citizens of the European Union – better access to information contributes to better standards of health, education and wealth.
  • In conclusion, library and information professionals need to consider advocacy an essential part of their job. We need to do more to encourage members of our community to reach out to policy makers, but to do that we need to help them develop their ability to do so. IFLA has created the Building Strong Library Associations to build capacity at national associations so that they become stronger and more effective when working on behalf of their users. This programme has five core modules, including one on Partnerships and Fundraising, and another on Advocacy. We are currently working in Peru, Lebanon, Cameroon on national programmes, and have partnered with the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation to deliver the programme in Botswana, Ukraine and Lithuania. All the modules are available for free online at www.ifla.org and I would encourage anyone interested to check them out as they contain more information
  • I’ll start with alliances within the library sector.EXPLAIN SLIDEOrganizations involvedAim of activity – to bring high-level library representatives together to discuss copyright issues. To invite representatives from the Moldovan copyright office to attend, and to hear about the problems libraries were facing.Outcome – librarians invited to participate in revision process for Moldovan copyright law: they were outside the process beforeLesson is a simple one: together we are stronger. The presence of national and regional library organisations at this event, and in the follow-up process, proved compelling to the Moldovan government, and showed that the issue of library involvement in copyright reform was one that they had to take seriouslyANOTHER EXAMPLEAlso involves copyright, but this time at the level of the European CommissionOver the past six months IFLA, LIBER, EBLIDA, the Conference of European National Librarians all participated in a recent stakeholder dialogue regarding the availability of works that were in copyright but is no longer commercially availableA solution to this problem is essential if mass digitisation programmes in Europe are to be successfulAn agreement has now been reached on this issue, but only after library groups consistently engaged in the dialogue with publishers, authors and collecting societies. In this case, libraries were able to come to an agreement because they had stuck to their principles regarding access to worksFrom IFLA’s perspective I would say the lesson here is that library groups need to be present at these tables to be invited to further tables. If that sounds like a simple conclusion, it would be worth comparing this attempt to solve the problem with another European Commission dialogue that fewer library groups participated in from 2006, where there was far less lasting successPut simply: for a compelling message we need to have staying power, and resources, both in terms of time and expertise, to engage properly with the issues and be taken seriously. IFLA, LIBER and EBLIDA have this capacity, and the models we have developed for engagement can be reproduced at a national level, where the same things apply
  • Transcript

    • 1. Lessons for the Library Sector Stuart Hamilton, IFLA Senior Policy Advisor
    • 2. IFLA is:
      International NGO based in The Hague. Active since 1927
      • Memberbased - Over 1500 Members in 151 countries
      • 3. 644 Members in Europe
      • 4. The leading international body representing the interests of library and information services and their users.
      Purpose:
      • Promote high standards of provision and delivery of library and information services
      • 5. Encourage widespread understanding of the value of good library & information services
      • 6. Represent the interests of our members throughout the world
    • The British Library Reading Rooms
    • 7. How to Construct a Compelling Message?
      Alliances
      Working the Channels
      In a Forum
      In a Process
      Evidence
      Capacity Building
    • 8. Copyright Advocacy Event, Moldova
    • 9.
    • 10. Signatories of the Copyright for Creativity (C4C) Declaration
      AI Asociaciónde Internatutas
      AIB AssociazioneItalianaBiblioteche (Italian Library Association)
      BEUC The European Consumers' Organisation
      BLIA Bulgarian Library and Information Association
      CCIA Computer and Communications Industry Association
      DINI Deutsche Initiative fürNetzwerkinformation e. V.
      EBLIDA European Bureau of Library, Information, and Documentation Associations
      EDRi European Digital Rights
      EFF Electronic Frontier Foundation
      ENCES European Network for Copyright in support of Education and Science
      EXGAE EXGAE
      eIFL Electronic Information for Libraries
      EuroISPA European ISP Association
      FCForum Free Culture Forum of Barcelona
      FOBID Netherlands Library Association
      FSFE Free Software Foundation Europe
      GLA German Library Association
      IFLA International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions
      IMMF International Music Managers' Forum
      IPJusticeIPJustice
      KEI Knowledge Ecology International
      LIBER Association of European Research Libraries
      ORG Open Rights Group
      RLUK Research Libraries UK
      SLA Special Libraries Association
    • 11. The Corridors of WIPO
    • 12.
    • 13.
    • 14.
    • 15.
    • 16.
    • 17.
    • 18.
    • 19.
    • 20. Capacity Building
      Develop Understanding – of the Commission and of Parliament
      Create Forums to Communicate
      Develop Supporters – at National and European levels
      Develop Library Leadership
      Build Strong Library Associations
    • 21.
    • 22.
    • 23.
    • 24. Users entering the new library in Almere, Netherlands

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