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Digital Divide: How Can Digital Libraries Bridge the Gap?

Digital Divide: How Can Digital Libraries Bridge the Gap?,10.1007/3-540-36227-4_43,Gobinda G. Chowdhury

Digital Divide: How Can Digital Libraries Bridge the Gap?   (Citations: 4)
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Recent developments in Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) have, while making our life easier, created a social divide that is known as the digital divide. Statistics show that there are significant disparities among the population in the developed and developing world in terms of the accessibility to, and use of, ICT. Research and development in digital libraries do not only require sophisticated ICT, they also call for huge investment in terms of money and intellectual resources. Developing countries are lagging behind in digital library research and development due to the digital divide, as well as due to the lack of appropriate resources required for research and development in digital libraries. As a result users in the developing world are being deprived of digital library services. This paper argues that some recent global digital library developments can be used by users in the developing countries, and thus digital libraries can play a significant role in bridging the gap. These developments include subject gateways, digital reference services, free access to e-journals and e- books in many areas, and e-print archives and free digital libraries. The paper ends with an action plan that may be used by library and information professionals in the developing countries, as well as developed countries, to exploit the benefits of these digital information resources and services, and thus to some extent can bridge the gap of digital divide.
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    • ...“The digital divide has become a popular phrase to describe the perceived disadvantages of those who are either unable, or who do not choose, to use the appropriate [technology] in their day-to-day activities, decision making, learning or pleasure” (Chowdhury, 2002)...

    David Baker. From Needles and Haystacks to Elephants and Fleas: Strategic Informati...

    • ...It has been suggested that the problems developing countries have had in acquiring digital library access could be counteracted by support for library collaboration and community building [5, 11]...

    Anne Adamset al. The unseen and unacceptable face of digital libraries

    • ...There is at present a wealth of globally available free resources that can be exploited in an environment that is content-poor and where funding is tightAs Chowdhury has presented in his paper on digital libraries and the digital divide, digital libraries can help to bridge the division by providing users with access to: “subject gateways, digital reference services, free access to e-journals and e-books in many areas, e-print archives and free digital libraries” (Chowdhury, 2002...

    Julia Grosset al. An academic library partnership in the Indian Ocean region

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