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How Public Libraries Connect People to ICT for Development

By Wayan Vota on November 1, 2013

Public libraries play a critical role in extending the benefits of information and communication technologies (ICTs) to a diverse range of people worldwide. However, their ability to contribute to development agendas has come into question in recent times.

libraries-impact-study
The Global Impact Study was designed to address this debate by generating evidence about the scale, character, and impacts of public access ICTs in multiple countries across different venue types.

Using data from Botswana, Chile, and the Philippines, Public libraries connecting people for development: Findings from the Global Impact Study summarizes the study’s key findings with a focus on libraries, situating these venues in the context of national development, discussing some disputed issues, and providing recommendations for policymakers, library practitioners, and researchers.

The results show that a central impact of public libraries is promoting digital inclusion, information access, and development of ICT skills through technology provision, particularly for marginalized populations and those who face challenges using and benefiting from computers and the internet.

The data also suggest a number of library characteristics that are important to users and provide a unique public value, with both users and non-users reporting positive impacts and a willingness to pay to maintain the existence of public libraries.

Filed Under: Thought Leadership
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Written by
Wayan Vota co-founded ICTworks and is the Digital Health Director at IntraHealth International. He also co-founded Technology Salon, MERL Tech, ICTforAg, ICT4Djobs, ICT4Drinks, JadedAid, Kurante, OLPC News and a few other things. Opinions expressed here are his own and do not reflect the position of IntraHealth International or other ICTWorks sponsors.
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