Never Waste a Crisis: Digital Inclusion for Sustainable Development in the Context of the COVID Pandemic
In responding to United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals in 2030, the International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions recently launched the mutual commitment of Library Pledge for Digital Inclusion and its Call to Action along with other international organizations. Domestic and foreign library leaders and well-known experts and scholars discuss the theme of Library and Digital Inclusion. Rao Quan points out that with the development of modern technology, the digital divide has become a growing problem. The National Library of China has put forward an idea of building a “National Smart Library System”, to lead public libraries to realize smart transformation and to play a more active role in promoting digital inclusion; Christina McKenzie explains that the purpose of this article is to describe the work of the International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions (IFLA) in supporting the United Nations 2030 Agenda and the Sustainable Development Goals and in particular Goal 16: ‘Achieve peaceful and inclusive societies, access to justice for all, and effective and capable institutions’, emphasizing how governments and libraries must become active promoters of digital inclusion; Gerald Leitner points out that, any effort to promote digital inclusion needs to consider all three aspects — connectivity, content and competence. Without them, it is impossible to fully realize digital inclusion. Through their role as public spaces in the heart of communities, as storehouses and portals to content, and as experienced educators of information literacy, library has a unique role to play in any wider government strategy in the field; Chen Chao points out that both history and reality, theory and practice, have long taught us that public libraries should shoulder the inescapable mission of promoting human society’s inclusive development of human society. Public libraries must take on the responsibility of “bridging the digital divide and promoting digital inclusion”, providing everyone with the opportunity to go online and enabling everyone with equal access to information and knowledge; Wu Jianzhong argues that we should actively participate in LFLA’s appeals and initiatives and make a strong voice on behalf of the library community at home. First, we should vigorously publicize our country’s policies and measures to protect citizens’ rights to obtain basic public cultural services. Second, we should actively promote the application of the Internet and digital technologies in libraries. Third, we should continue to improve the quality of media and information literacy services; Reflecting on the complexity of the digital divide from the perspective of the individual’s information world concept proposed, Yu Liangzhi sees social inclusion and digital inclusion as mutually conditioning and argues that public libraries have greater potentials for contributing to digital inclusion in this context than hitherto realized and recognized; Xiao Long argues that, while supporting the statement on digital inclusion issued by IFLA, Chinese academic libraries should be aware of the great information gap in a society and strive to reduce the regional information gap, thus protecting the information rights and interests of different groups and promoting the intensive development of higher education; Amanda Reed and Kim M.Thompson suggest that when crisis, changes, and challenges arise, it is also time to take a step forward. Her essay provides examples from a US library to demonstrate how public libraries can meet local needs and support sustainable development of communities toward a more digitally inclusive society in face of the COVID-19 crisis; Jin Wugang thinks that the library should strengthen the function of popularization of science, actively participate in the development of new media products, integrate into the public media communication platform, help the public distinguish the authenticity of online information, inquire and obtain correct information, and solve the deeper issues in digital inclusion; Based on the current technological changes, Wu Dan and Liu Jing focus on the interaction between human and technology . They extend the connotation of digital inclusion through two paths. One is “technology→human” and the other is “human→technology” and they also put forward the development strategies for the field of LIS.
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Published in Library Journal, Volume 40, Issue 2, 2021, pages 14-16.
© Library Journal, 2021
Reed, A., & Thompson, K. (2021). Never waste a crisis: Digital inclusion for sustainable development in the context of the COVID pandemic. Library Journal, 40(2), 14-16. https://doi.org/10.13663/j.cnki.lj.2021.02.001