2008-01-19Konferenzveröffentlichung DOI: 10.18452/1306
The Role of Public Libraries in e-Inclusion
Despite of many actions taken to speed-up the diffusion and adoption of ICT, Lithuania is still the not satisfactory situation. The annual report 2007 of European Union i2010 Strategy has stated that “from a low background Lithuania has moved into being a mid-level performer in some regards, but is still low in most indicators”. The aim of the paper is to answer the question why the efforts were not effective enough and how libraries could help to improve the situation and assure the equal access to ICT for all. The paper is defending a hypothesis that many efforts are put to the supply side but too little attention is given to the side of demand. The process of the adoption of ICT is analyzed from the perspective of the ICT domestication theory. The methodology used in the study is based on the literature analyzes and case studies. The paper presents several projects as examples of fostering ICT demand: Rural Internet Access Points project, “Window to the Future” initiative, etc. As a complex solution for considerably better use of the possibilities of information technologies among Lithuanian population currently developed libraries’ public access computing project “Libraries for Innovation” is presented. It is expected that the project, funded by Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, will significantly increase possibilities for using free computers and the Internet, especially in rural areas; librarians will become active promoters of local communities and assistants in mastering possibilities of information technologies; a lot of people will be encouraged and trained to use computers and the Internet. Expanding access to information, Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation is planning to support more European countries for provision of no-cost access to computers and the Internet in public libraries, so the experience of Lithuania might be useful to the academic community as well as to the patricians of librarianship and information fields.
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