Period/duration: The initiative launched in the 2020/21 period, from the official website we have information that it has been renewed for the 2022/23 biennium as well
AIB – Associazioni Italiana Biblioteche [Italian Libraries Associations]
The Manifesto available via the official website provides for clear and well-defined guiding pillars orienteering their scale and scope.
Digital libraries are presented as a digital ecosystem of narrations and exchanges aimed at increasing and enhancing:
• Free circulation of knowledge
• Transfer of cultural heritage
• New opportunities available for all for Lifelong learning development and Open Education
Digital libraries promote the social and cultural sustainability of local communities and communities that are tackled by the national networks of hubs.
In the official Manifesto it is written that digital libraries design, develop and implement their local and national-centered actions in compliance with the United Nation’ Agenda 2030, with specific reference to each of the 17 long-term goals envisioned by UN.
Not only that, but digital libraries are posed to be core social development centers for the local communities in which they are established: a place free from judgments and stereotypes in which free knowledge can circulate promoted by the action of free minds and critical thinkers.
Digital libraries interact with local communities and provide for tailored-made education and training opportunities to which everyone can access and benefit from.
All – with no restriction whatsoever to the accessibility of the content available
As we read from the official manifesto, digital libraries define themselves as “conversations”, meaning: a systemic narration of co-developed experiences expressed in a common language. Indeed, each digital library belongs to a national network of cultural hubs to which everyone can participate and contribute to. The national network of digital libraries includes socio-economic actors of different disciplinary, territorial or institutional nature, and which provides for data and services to users, also favoring the reuse of the same data for the development of third-party services (Open Data). The initiative has been recognized by Repubblica Digitale [Digital Republic, the strategic action promoted by the Ministry of Innovation and digital transition] among the 290 “success” initiatives to operationalize capacity building programmes for digital literacy of citizens.
The metrics for the evaluation of this initiative are represented by:
• Numbers of training courses deployed throughout the year
• Participation of educators to “train-the-trainers” activities
Despite the granularity of data, we have sources proving for the great increase in digital consumption of cultural media.
The AIB report from 2021, quotes the statistics reported by MediaLibrary Online, the largest digital library server currently in Italy:
• Access to the platform: +111,56 %
• Number of “unique users” (users that interacted at least once with the platform): +114,77 %
• Number of books borrowed digitally: +122,4 % for eBooks and + 127,22% for all other media
Further examples of positive quantitative results are available here: https://www.aib.it/wp-content/uploads/2022/02/Estratto-con-indice-e-pagine-iniziali.pdf, page 10, 11
The Digital Library Manifesto, from AIB website: https://www.aib.it/struttura/commissioni-e-gruppi/gruppo-di-lavoro-biblioteche-digitali/2020/82764-nuovo-manifesto-per-le-biblioteche-digitali/
Repubblica Digitale, Le biblioteche per il welfare digitale e informativo: https://repubblicadigitale.innovazione.gov.it/iniziativa/aib---associazione-italiana-biblioteche_le-biblioteche-per-il-welfare-digitale-e-informativo/#metriche