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IFLA Statement on Copyright Education and Copyright Literacy

Dr Jane Secker, Chair of the CILIP Information Literacy Group and Senior Lecturer in Educational Development at City, University of London, comments on interesting developments at the recent World Library and Information Congress (WLIC) in Kuala Lumpur,

At WLIC a statement on Copyright Education and Copyright Literacy was released by IFLA – the International Federation of Library Associations. This is exciting news as this demonstrates the value of copyright literacy at the highest international level in the library community has been recognised.

The statement says:

“To be copyright literate is to have sufficient copyright knowledge to be able to take well informed decisions on how to use copyrighted materials. It includes understanding the structure, functioning and implications of the copyright system, as laws, practices, and user expectations evolve. Copyright education is the process of developing and updating copyright literacy.”

and it goes on to say:

“Many librarians’ work involves regularly dealing with copyright. From public libraries, to specialized and research libraries, questions arise around lending, the legal deposit, accessibility, preservation and many more activities. Furthermore, librarians are increasingly becoming a reference point for library users, faculty members and many others seeking for clarification on copyright-related matters.”

There are recommendations in the document about the importance of copyright literacy for libraries, for library associations and for library educators. As with other IFLA documents, the statement is also available in languages other than English.

The statement came following last year’s IFLA off-site meeting on copyright education and information literacy and builds on the work of the international copyright literacy survey, which Chris Morrison and Jane (the UK Copyright Literacy team) ran in the UK back in 2015.

The statement on Copyright Education and Copyright Literacy can be downloaded in pdf format.

You can read more of Jane’s thoughts on the copyright literacy blog.

It would be great to hear from anyone who attended WLIC.


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