Over the course of the action, we will develop a toolkit of resources, based on experience, of how libraries can play an active role in transformational local development. This will include focus on regeneration, security (working with CERLALC), a culture of lifelong learning (working with UNESCO Institute for Lifelong Learning), democratic engagement and decision-making, and wellbeing. The toolkit will include both higher level reference texts, such as the freshly renewed IFLA-UNESCO Public Library Manifesto, case studies and checklists.
The logic behind the action is that libraries, including their collections, spaces and staff, have a unique contribution to make through allowing people to engage with and use information more skillfully and effectively. This is a precondition for better decision-making, as well as engagement in economic, social, political and cultural life. The immediate impact, we hope, will be to encourage a new level of activism among libraries and those responsible for them within local and regional governments in favour of mobilising the field to realise its potential to drive change. We also hope that it can act as a reminder to broader local and regional governments that in libraries, they have a valuable, pre-existing resource which can be engaged in order to achieve policy goals.
The longer term outcome, we hope, is that libraries are more systematically mobilised in order to support the achievement of wider policy goals, thereby supporting positive community transformation in the context of sustainable urbanisation.