EU - Egyptian Seminar
Public Libraries and the Information Society
Cairo, Egypt, 7 - 9 December 1998
Created: 04 NOV 98
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Session V Information Technology and Co-operation
PubliCA - The Pan-European Platform for Public Libraries: Does co-operation make a difference?
The idea for
, a support action for public libraries, originated in Fall 1995, as a direct result of the European Commissionâs Libraries Programme. Although they constitute 50% of all libraries throughout the European Union, hardly 10% of the libaries represented in successful projects were public libraries. One of the main reasons for this disappointing participation was the lack of a European human network for public libraries.
PubliCA is intended to fill this gap.
The consortium set out on January 1997 to:
- create a long-term forum for public libraries
- provide a framework for the organisation of activities and projects
- act as a consultative body for matching and monitoring these activities
- influence action by national and European policy makers.
Tangible achievements of PubliCA are:
- the PubliCA web site
on the role of public libraries in society
- a training programme for public library managers
- an extension to countries in Central and Eastern Europe.
Earlier this year, PubliCA carried out a survey on
Internet-based public library networks
. There were two focuses: a) networked services to users and b) co-operation between libraries.
From an assessment of the current situation, the following typology of organisational approaches emerges:
: centralised, i.e. government or related authority initiated development
collaborative, pragmatic and often voluntary-based development
mixture of partnership arrangements between public libraries and local/national authorities.
Jan Van Vaerenbergh
chief librarian Leuven City Library, Belgium
DG Information Society
Cultural Heritage Applications Unit
Contact: Concha Fernandez de la Puente