CILIPS Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals in Scotland
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IFLA Library Map of the World

The International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions (IFLA) has developed a Library Map of the World. We believe this is a valuable tool that you can use to gather evidence to demonstrate the importance and value of libraries in the UK and worldwide.

The Map allows you to see such things as how many libraries a country has, how many of these offer internet access, how many registered library patrons there are in the country, and how many visits they receive/books they loan out per year. Did you know that in 2018 in the UK, there were 8.2 million registered public library users and that public libraries received 243.4 million physical visits?! Gathering evidence such as this from the Library Map can be a good and clear way to demonstrate how well-used libraries are in a quantitative way. This data can then be used in letters to council, petitions, and presentations.

As well as this, there is a lot of qualitative evidence showing how libraries worldwide are supporting the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDG). This is the SDG Stories part of the map, and so far there are 18 stories from 13 different countries outlining the amazing initiatives that libraries engage with to support the Goals, which include ‘Good Health and Well-Being’, ‘Quality Education’, ‘Gender Equality’, and ‘Sustainable Cities and Communities’. Qualitative evidence and case studies such as the SDG Stories can be extremely powerful and inspiring, particularly when used to complement quantitative data. As yet, there are no SDG Stories from the UK, but the map is always growing and in the meantime, there is no reason why you cannot use evidence from other countries to show the amazing value of libraries.