A Library Manifesto for Europe

Libraries matter for Europe. And in turn, Europe matters for libraries.
That is why we, organisations representing libraries across Europe, encourage you to read and support this manifesto.

Libraries matter for Europe – they are key venues for learning and civic engagement, windows for all to culture and heritage, and drivers of research and innovation.

And in turn, Europe matters for libraries.
To be able to build stronger, smarter and fairer societies, our institutions depend on the decisions taken in Brussels, Strasbourg and Luxembourg. We are looking for a Europe that helps us achieve our mission.

That is why we, organisations representing libraries across Europe, encourage you to read and support this manifesto.

We want a Europe that:

Guarantees that everyone, at any time in their lives, is able to learn, read, and develop through libraries

Europe should deliver an information promise – everyone should be able to access the information they need to improve their lives. Equity across Europe is key. To achieve this, it should help realise the potential of libraries to ensure that everyone has access to initiatives and projects that promote reading, literacy and learning for all, and develop appropriate metrics.

Legislative frameworks, funding programmes and associated regulations should be designed in a way that facilitates the participation of libraries, notably in developing digital skills and media and information literacy. Europe should strengthen libraries’ impact through education and training programmes that build capacity.

Places access at the heart of its action on culture, science and innovation

Europe should be a world leader in promoting open science. It should deliver on the promise to make all publicly funded research publications open access by 2020, and use its resources to promote the necessary systemic change to make openness the default for science and innovation, allowing libraries to fulfil their missions.

Europe should ensure that its programmes deliver access for all, in particular to literary works, notably through supporting libraries, as the guardians of Europe’s documentary heritage, to digitalise and share their collections. It should ensure implementation of relevant legislation – in particular the Directive on Copyright in the Digital Single Market, as well as the Orphan Works Directive and provisions implementing the Marrakesh Treaty – in a way which supports these goals.

Commits fully to delivering the UN Sustainable Development Goals and promotes access to information in its accession and development initiatives

Europe should deliver a comprehensive plan for inclusive sustainable development at the regional level, recognising the importance of access to information, including through libraries, as a social investment and an essential factor for success. It should engage strongly at the United Nations in support of the SDGs, and urge others to commit meaningfully.

EU accession and development funding should promote access to information and skills through enabling libraries to deliver on their potential. In order to support the conditions for growth and access to information beyond its own members, the EU should take a more constructive position in discussions at the World Intellectual Property Organisation on global limitations and exceptions to copyright.