The Association of Library Directors strengthens democracy in the digital age with “Algorithms, Data, and Democracy”

The Association of Library Directors (BCF) is proud to be a partner in the "Algorithms, Data, and Democracy" (ADD) project.

We see it as a natural extension of our mission to ensure citizens’ access to knowledge and the ability to navigate an increasingly digitized society. Henning Schmidt, who is the library director in the association, writes this in the following partner article.

As key players within public libraries, we are ideally positioned to contribute to the project’s goals. Our libraries function as hubs for information and learning, and we have a strong commitment to promoting digital literacy and a critical and informed citizenship.

At a time when important decisions are increasingly based on artificial intelligence and algorithms, it is crucial that citizens understand how these technologies affect them. We want to help demystify and disseminate knowledge about these processes, thereby strengthening the democratic foundation in our society.

BCF’s unique perspectives and strong networks contribute to the ADD project. We have a solid foundation in national and international library development, and we are in ongoing dialogue with partners across sectors. Through our activities and professional platforms, we will promote a broad understanding and debate about the technologies shaping our society.

We look forward to working with other partners in the project to:

  • Promote a deeper societal understanding of the influence of algorithms and data
  • Develop robust strategies to ensure the responsible use of these technologies
  • Ensure that algorithms and data are used in a way that strengthens democracy and protects citizens’ interests

With libraries’ role as democratic institutions, we will work to ensure:

  • A transparent, fair, and inclusive digital landscape
  • That all citizens have access to essential knowledge and the necessary tools to engage meaningfully in the technology-driven world

BCF’s participation in the ADD project is an exciting development in our commitment to the future of libraries and democracy. We look forward to contributing to, and learning from, the many aspects of the project, thereby continuing our mission to enrich society through knowledge, information, and cultural understanding.

Together, we can ensure that all citizens have the necessary prerequisites to navigate the digital age and actively participate in a strong democracy.