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Article
Publication date: 1 March 1995

Wendy P. Lougee

Libraries have generally made the conceptual shift from collections based on “ownership” to more expansive models which incorporate “accessto information. A new set of…

Abstract

Libraries have generally made the conceptual shift from collections based on “ownership” to more expansive models which incorporate “accessto information. A new set of challenges is emerging as the capabilities of information technology create new potentials for publishing and new models for access. Coupled with significant changes in the scholarly communication arena, research libraries are now challenged to reconceive the prevailing notions of collection development activity and the closely related strategies of providing access. Describes critical technical, cultural, and economic factors in the 1990s, and details an emerging series of tensions which build on the ownership‐access dichotomy of the past.

Details

Collection Building, vol. 14 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0160-4953

Keywords

Book part
Publication date: 10 November 2017

Claire Petri

This chapter analyzes the ways national, international, and library professional policies address Internet access as a human right. This includes documenting the ways…

Abstract

This chapter analyzes the ways national, international, and library professional policies address Internet access as a human right. This includes documenting the ways rural libraries fulfill their patrons’ human right to the Internet and demonstrating how Mathiesen’s (2014) framework can be used by library professionals and policymakers to ensure that people have physical, intellectual, and social access to the Web. The author’s intention is to help facilitate a more meaningful definition of access that goes beyond just providing hardware access to bridge the digital divide, but instead asserts the need for librarian assistance and technology training if we wish to allow all members of a society, without exception, to fully enjoy their human rights.

The author analyzes existing national and international policies pertaining to providing information and Internet access in rural and otherwise underserved areas, as well as precedents involving the deployment of previous information and communication technologies (ICTs) in rural areas. This segues into an analysis of barriers to rural Internet access using facets and determinants developed by Mathiesen, leading to the argument that rural librarians’ ability to help underserved populations use the Internet is essential to making Web access meaningful.

  • The United Nations (UN) has supported arguments that people have a right to information access and the technologies that support this, suggesting that Internet access is a human right.

  • The U.S. government has a history of facilitating access to ICTs in rural areas that dates back to 1934 and continues through the present.

  • Funding mechanisms that facilitate Web access in the United States focus primarily on making broadband connections, hardware, and software accessible, leaving out the essential training and assistance components that are essential to making many rural residents and other underserved persons able to actually use the Internet.

The United Nations (UN) has supported arguments that people have a right to information access and the technologies that support this, suggesting that Internet access is a human right.

The U.S. government has a history of facilitating access to ICTs in rural areas that dates back to 1934 and continues through the present.

Funding mechanisms that facilitate Web access in the United States focus primarily on making broadband connections, hardware, and software accessible, leaving out the essential training and assistance components that are essential to making many rural residents and other underserved persons able to actually use the Internet.

Scholarship on rural libraries, including some of the research in this volume, has argued that rural public libraries provide an invaluable service by offering both access to and guidance in using the Internet. While these publications commonly discuss the socioeconomic benefits of providing this access, they often treat the motivation for providing such services as self-evident. This chapter analyzes policies and legal precedents to argue that Internet access for rural residents, through public libraries and other means, is not merely a privilege that will benefit people if funded, but instead a human right that cannot be ignored.

Details

Rural and Small Public Libraries: Challenges and Opportunities
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78743-112-6

Keywords

Book part
Publication date: 20 April 2021

Conrad Pegues

Information is the most valuable commodity in the world, but everyone does not have equal access to information. Lack of equal digital access is an information access

Abstract

Information is the most valuable commodity in the world, but everyone does not have equal access to information. Lack of equal digital access is an information access desert. Libraries should be public spaces to meet the digital needs of the community. Due to socio-political neglect, urban and rural public libraries cannot always meet patron needs. There is a pattern where urban libraries are either closed or cannot meet the demands for digital access until gentrification when upper class people move in and demand new libraries with sufficient digital access. Rural libraries suffer a similar fate with insufficient digital access to meet the economic and educational needs of their communities. Information access deserts identify a crucial issue for equal access to all regardless of economic status.

Details

Hope and a Future: Perspectives on the Impact that Librarians and Libraries Have on Our World
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-83867-642-1

Keywords

Abstract

Details

Beyond the Digital Divide: Contextualizing the Information Society
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78756-548-7

Article
Publication date: 11 October 2021

Patrick Mapulanga, Dorothy Doreen Eneya and Diston Store Chiweza

The purpose of this paper was to assess the similarities and differences between the Political Parties and the Access to Information Acts in Malawi. While political…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper was to assess the similarities and differences between the Political Parties and the Access to Information Acts in Malawi. While political parties are largely funded by donations that are frequently kept as a secret, the Access to Information Act does not include political party funding among the categories of non-disclosed information.

Design/methodology/approach

This paper is based on the qualitative content analysis of the legislation in Malawi. Content analysis of the two pieces of legislation was adopted. This paper is a review of the literature and an examination of Malawi's Political Parties and Access to Information Acts. The document study was supplemented by a review of related literature on the two legislations.

Findings

The Political Parties Act prohibits the government, ministries and departments from directly or indirectly funding political parties. The Access to Information Act to ensure information generated by Malawi government ministries, departments and agencies is readily made available by the citizens when needed or requested. The Access to Information Act does not exempt political parties from disclosing their funding sources. The two acts work in tandem to promote accountability and transparency in political party funding and sources.

Research limitations/implications

This study is limited to Malawi's Political Parties and Access to Information Acts. Only the South African related acts have informed the paper. However, several acts within developing countries would have greatly aided the paper.

Practical implications

The implementation of the two pieces of legislation has implications for the balance between disclosure and non-disclosure of political party funding. Oversight functions and credible human resource capacity are needed in both political parties and government enforcement institutions.

Social implications

Oversight functions by the Administrator-General through the Registrar of Political Parties and the Malawi Human Rights Commission are key to the implementation of Malawi's Political Parties and Access to Information Acts, respectively. Proper enforcement of the oversight functions is expected to result in an open, transparent and accountable Malawian society.

Originality/value

Various players are needed in the accountability chain to protect disclosure and non-disclosure of information. Very little information is known on the powers, functions and duties of office bearers capable of enforcing legislation to keep political parties' funding clean. Little is known on how the citizens can access information regarding political parties funding.

Details

Global Knowledge, Memory and Communication, vol. ahead-of-print no. ahead-of-print
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2514-9342

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 16 September 2021

Walter Matli and Mpho Ngoepe

The objective of this study is to present evidence regarding how young people, who are not in education, employment or training (NEET) in South Africa, lack literacy…

Abstract

Purpose

The objective of this study is to present evidence regarding how young people, who are not in education, employment or training (NEET) in South Africa, lack literacy skills and access to enabling resources to actively search and navigate information services systems that are primarily web-based. Information Poverty Theory is adopted to better understand the technological and social strata challenges experienced by young NEET people.

Design/methodology/approach

The study used semi-structured interviews for collecting data over two months in 2018, employing snowball sampling with 24 key participants, representing a diversity of educational backgrounds and previous experience of economic participation.

Findings

The findings of this study suggest that most interviewed young people, who are NEET, lack advanced information literacy and digital skills to access information services. The results also indicate that access to information services that are primed for online information is a challenge for most of these NEET young people residing in underserviced communities. The high cost of an Internet connection means that the Internet is out of reach for most low-income households. In communities that are underserviced with no adequate information and communication technology (ICT) infrastructure, people residing in such areas are subjected to living in circumstances where there is poverty and thus a lack of access to online information.

Research limitations/implications

This paper reports on data collected in 2018 using intense interviews, while acknowledging limitations in terms of the sample size. Hence, it is not fully representative of the whole population of young people, who are NEET, residing in the Gauteng Province of South Africa.

Practical implications

The findings illustrate the need for further collaboration among relevant stakeholders to strengthen existing programmes and for stronger partnerships. The arguments presented herein enhance knowledge and understanding concerning the digital literacy skills divide that exists among young people who are NEET. It includes a discussion to contribute to policy development.

Originality/value

This study focuses on challenges young people who are NEET experience when looking for work and developmental opportunities. This qualitative study adopts Information Poverty Theory and uses prior studies to link the undertaken survey and research. It is expected that this study may serve as a pilot for future studies and may also contribute to the ongoing discussions around the use of ICTs on their use and access, especially the effect on young people when searching for information related to jobs and other developmental opportunities using online services.

Details

Higher Education, Skills and Work-Based Learning, vol. 12 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2042-3896

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 1 February 2000

V. Sreenivasulu

Stresses that the multimedia nature of the next generation of digital libraries requires the digital librarians (DL) to be essentially a type of specialist librarian who…

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Abstract

Stresses that the multimedia nature of the next generation of digital libraries requires the digital librarians (DL) to be essentially a type of specialist librarian who has to manage and organize the digital library, handle the specialized tasks of massive digitization, storage, access, digital knowledge mining, digital reference services, electronic information services, search co‐ordination, and manage the archive and its access. The digital librarian acts as guardian of the information superhighway/the universal digital library or the global digital library and acts as a symbiotic human‐machine guru. This article also highlights the roles and functions of a DL in information retrieval, content delivery, navigation, and browsing. It envisages the professional education and training for digital librarians in the management of digital information systems. It denotes the DL’s interface functions, roles, skills and competencies for the management of digital information systems in the important areas of imaging technologies, optical character recognition, markup languages, cataloguing, metadata, multimedia indexing and database technology, user interface design, programming, and Web technology. This paper finally advocates and targets the task of creating a new job title – digital librarian – to take care of digital libraries and to manage the digital information system.

Details

The Electronic Library, vol. 18 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0264-0473

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 1 September 2002

Christine E. Myhill

Providing access to information for all users, irrespective of their physical disabilities, is a requirement for all libraries and ICT can be used to assist this. The case…

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Abstract

Providing access to information for all users, irrespective of their physical disabilities, is a requirement for all libraries and ICT can be used to assist this. The case study describes a range of projects and services that have been developed by Gateshead Libraries using ICT to enable disabled people gain access to information. These projects range from AIRS (which started with the production of a talking newspaper in 1987), to MISSISSIPPI (which uses videotelephony for sign language communication for deaf people) to the Web accessibility guidelines used for the Gateshead Grid for Learning.

Details

Program, vol. 36 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0033-0337

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 1 February 1992

Wayne P. Kelley

The United Stales Government Printing Office (GPO) intends to transform itself from an ink on paper printer to a multimedia disseminator of government information products…

Abstract

The United Stales Government Printing Office (GPO) intends to transform itself from an ink on paper printer to a multimedia disseminator of government information products and services. Although the existing federal information policy system is confused and at times contradictory, the GPO has statutory responsibilities to insure the public's access to government information. The approaches, underlying principles, and strategies upon which the GPO will rely for the forthcoming years to transform itself are described. An essential ingredient for successful dissemination of government electronic information will be cooperation among the various stakeholder groups concerned with access to government information.

Details

Internet Research, vol. 2 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1066-2243

Article
Publication date: 21 September 2012

Dan Wu and Daqing He

This paper seeks to examine the further integration of machine translation technologies with cross language information access in providing web users the capabilities of…

Abstract

Purpose

This paper seeks to examine the further integration of machine translation technologies with cross language information access in providing web users the capabilities of accessing information beyond language barriers. Machine translation and cross language information access are related technologies, and yet they have their own unique contributions in handling information in multiple languages. This paper aims to demonstrate that there are many opportunities to further integrate machine translation with cross language information access, and the combination can greatly empower web users in their information access.

Design/methodology/approach

Using English and Chinese as the language pair for studying, this paper looks at machine translation in query translation‐based cross language information access at multiple important aspects, which include query translation, relevance feedback, interactive cross language information access, out‐of‐vocabulary term translation, and data fusion. The goal is to obtain more insights about the wide range usages of machine translation in cross language information access, and to help the community to identify promising future directions for both machine translation and cross language access.

Findings

Machine translation can be applied effectively in many places in the whole cross language information access process. Queries translated by a machine translation system are high quality and are more robust in handling potential untranslated terms. Translation enhancement, a relevance feedback method using machine translation generated returned documents, is not only a valid technique by itself, but also helps to generate more robust cross language information access performance when combined with other relevance feedback techniques. Machine translation is also found to play a significant role in resolving untranslated terms and in data fusion.

Originality/value

This set of comparative empirical studies on integrating machine translation and cross language information access was performed on a common evaluation framework, and examined integration at multiple points of the cross language access process. The experimental results demonstrate the value of further integrating machine translation in cross language information access, and identify interesting future directions for both machine translation and cross language information access research.

1 – 10 of over 184000