Declaration on role of libraries

Subject: Declaration on role of libraries
From: Barbara Schleihagen (
Date: pe 27 marras 1998 - 13:44:17 EET

Der list subscribers

the following declaration is sent to all MEPs, the European Commission's
officials and the representatives of the Member States (and to all EBLIDA
members by mail for further distribution):

EBLIDA declaration on the European Parliament’s resolution
on the role of libraries in modern society

On 23 October 1998 in Strasbourg, the European Parliament adopted almost
unanimously Ms Mirja Ryynänen’s report on “The role of libraries in modern
society”. The report calls on the European Commission and the EU Member
States to take the necessary steps in support of libraries as one of the
most important systems organising access to knowledge. The European
Commission announced that work would now begin on a Communication
addressing a number of specific issues facing libraries today including
lifelong learning, copyright, literacy, regional information services and
public library collaboration on access to knowledge. The Communication
would also lead to more focus on activities involving libraries under the
Fifth Framework Programme for Research and Technological Development.

EBLIDA functions as the umbrella association for library, information,
archive and documentation associations and all kinds of libraries
throughout Europe. The organisation was founded in 1992 and has established
itself as a vital link between the European institutions and information
professionals. At the moment EBLIDA represents over 95.000 libraries
throughout Europe.

EBLIDA welcomes very much the comprehensive report by Ms Ryynänen, and is
pleased about the thorough debate held at the European Parliament session
prior to the adoption of the report.

EBLIDA notes with satisfaction the announcement made by the European
Commission to start now work on a Communication addressing many of the
urgent challenges that libraries and their users have to meet.

EBLIDA recommends that especially the following actions are taken in
support of libraries in Europe:

1. Member States

· to provide all types of library with modern equipment, particularly
Internet connections, and adequate funding to enable libraries to continue
to meet the challenges facing citizens of the information society and also
to take into account the costs arising from licence payments for digital

· to adapt their training and further training systems for library staff
better to developments in the information society

· to provide national funding for digitisation and conservation programmes
for their own material in order to preserve this cultural heritage for
future generations

· to consider whether European information points at libraries could be set
up, as experience of providing information about Europe at libraries has
been positive

2. The European Commission, DG XIII, Telematics for Libraries Programme

· to study the possibilities of setting up a European Union focal point for
libraries with a remit both to coordinate library affairs and research and
to provide training courses for library staff

· to continue to support the networking of European libraries in the 5th
Framework Programme of Research and Technological Development

· to initiate studies on the principles of operation of licensing systems
for the use of electronic documents, the costs of such systems and their
impact on libraries

3. The European Commission, DG X, Information, Communication, Culture and
Audiovisual Policy

· to devote a larger part of its cultural programmes and information budget
to the cultural work of libraries, and to do so more unequivocally than

· to consider whether European information points at libraries could be set
up in more Member States, as experience of providing information about
Europe at libraries has been positive

4. The European Commission, DG XV, Copyright Unit

· to take account of libraries and their role as an information source for
members of the public when resolving copyright issues

EBLIDA, The Hague, 3 November 1998

Best wishes,
Barbara Schleihagen

Barbara Schleihagen, Director
Heidi Hogan, EU Policy Officer
P.O. Box 43300
NL-2504 AH The Hague
Tel: +31-70-309 06 08
Fax: +31-70-309 07 08

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