May 26, 2022

Numerous Library Organizations Urge WIPO Member States to Agree On Effective Treaty for Print Disabled People

From the IFLA (International Federation of Library Associations):

After many years of negotiations a WIPO Diplomatic Conference to conclude a treaty to facilitate access to published works by visually impaired persons and persons with print disabilities is taking place in Marrakesh, Morocco from the 17th to the 28th of June 2013.

IFLA has been closely involved in the process and strongly supports an effective treaty that will increase access to information for visually impaired people. IFLA and the world’s leading library organisations have published a joint statement stressing the importance of a treaty in order for libraries to fulfill their role in facilitating access to works for visually impaired persons and persons with print disabilities.

A treaty will need to provide an effective international legal framework in order to serve print disabled people, and libraries that serve them. By ‘effective’ we mean an international legal framework that print disabled people, and libraries that serve them, are confident will provide practical national legislative solutions. This means that the treaty:

  • Ensures efficient cross-border transfer of works
  • Upholds the right to read for the world’s print disabled people – regardless of format
  • Recognises the role of libraries in providing access to accessible format works
  • Promotes the public interest as central to the balance in copyright law

Read the Complete Statement (also embedded below)

Signatory Organisations

  • International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions (IFLA)
  • Electronic Information for Libraries (EIFL)
  • The Library Copyright Alliance (LCA)
  • Conference of Directors of National Libraries (CDNL)
  • The International Coalition of Library Consortia (ICOLC) 
  • The Conference of European National Librarians (CENL) 
  • The Special Libraries Association (SLA) 
  • The African Library and Information Associations and Institutions (AFLIA) 
  • The European Bureau of Library, Information and Documentation Associations (EBLIDA)
  • Ligue des Bibliothèques Européennes de Recherche – Association of European Research Libraries (LIBER)
  • Europeana

Joint Library Statement on a Treaty for Print Disabled People – June 2013

About Gary Price

Gary Price ( is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.