Linking library information Facilitating information exchange between libraries
Libraries are one of the institutions that serve as depositories of knowledge and information, and in this task they also play an important role in disseminating information and organizing activities that provide public education, and create awareness and understanding of important concerns.
In 1990, United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) set up the UNESCO Network of Associated Libraries (UNAL). The aim is to bring together and support a number of libraries from all regions of the world which will work in association with UNESCO to promote dialogue between different cultures, encourage multicultural initiatives, foster public awareness of international issues and spread knowledge of the Organization's main activities. According to UNESCO, libraries and books have proved effective tools in doing so.
The Encyclopedia of World Problems and Human Potential is a collaboration between UIA and Mankind 2000, started in 1972. It is the result of an ambitious effort to collect and present information on the problems with which humanity is confronted, as well as the challenges such problems pose to concept formation, values and development strategies. ¬†Problems included are those identified in international periodicals but especially in the documents of some 60,000 international non-profit organizations, profiled in the¬†Yearbook of International Organizations.
The¬†Encyclopedia¬†includes problems which such groups choose to perceive and act upon, whether or not their existence is denied by others claiming greater expertise. Indeed such claims and counter-claims figure in many of the problem descriptions in order to reflect the often paralyzing dynamics of international debate. In the light of the interdependence demonstrated among world problems in every sector, emphasis is placed on the need for approaches which are sufficiently complex to encompass the factions, conflicts and rival worldviews that undermine collective initiative towards a promising future.
Non-profit, apolitical, independent, and non-governmental in nature, the UIA has been a pioneer in the research, monitoring and provision of information on international¬†organizations, international associations and their global challenges since 1907.