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IFLA recommendations on Libraries and Artificial Intelligence

IFLA makes the following recommendations to governments, libraries and library associations:

Governments (and intergovernmental organisations, where appropriate) should:

  • Include Text and Data Mining exceptions in copyright frameworks
  • Ensure that libraries or library networks have the required infrastructure and technologies to be able to adopt and make use of AI technologies.
  • Ensure that any regulation of AI protects privacy or equity principles, while also enabling efforts that support innovation and public interest goals.
  • Ensure that libraries are included in development and implementation of crosssectoral AI programs and strategies.

Library associations and library training providers should:

  • Support library professionals to understand the impact of AI as well as its intersections with privacy and ethical principles. Library training providers should ensure that librarians are able to develop relevant digital skills and competencies.
  • Advocate for libraries to play a bigger role in changing education systems as they adapt to the labour market changes which AI might bring.
  • Engage with AI researchers and developers to create applications for library use, which meet ethical and privacy standards and respond specifically to the needs of libraries and library patrons.
  • Act as forums for exchanging best practices on ethical use of AI technologies in libraries.

Libraries should, where possible and appropriate:

  • Help their patrons develop digital literacies that include an understanding of how AI and algorithms work, and corresponding privacy and ethics questions.
  • Continue to focus their efforts to enable lifelong learning and, where possible, provide services for the unemployed.
  • Ensure that any use of AI technologies in libraries should be subject to clear ethical standards and safeguard the rights of their users.
  • Procure technologies that adhere to legal and ethical privacy and accessibility requirements.


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