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Telematics for Libraries - Projects


Updated: 22 NOV 99
Project Number and Title
4086 - Children in Libraries: improving multimedia virtual library access and information skills
Programme/Action line Call Topic(s) Start End Project Duration
in Months
FP 4/ A 2 April 1996 October 1998 30

Keywords : children's libraries; information skills; multimedia; public library services; World Wide Web
Related projects : HELEN; REACTIVE TELECOM

Action Line

Action line A: Network-oriented internal library systems

Call Topic(s)

Call topic 2: Tools and methods for the creation and use of library material in electronic form

Project description

CHILIAS developed a new concept for future European children's libraries, providing a stimulating environment for innovative learning and creative use of multimedia and networked technology with links to traditional library services. The project aimed to enhance the competence of children using interactive multimedia and networked information and communication systems, and to improve their information seeking skills in new learning environments.

Technical approach

The project developed four complementary and integrated applications, in a WWW environment, named InfoPlanet , comprising:

  • A Virtual Library module .
  • Storybuilder - an interactive application for creative input from children.
  • Guestbook - a structured discussion and feedback tool for use by children.
  • Infoton - an information skills tool.

These were developed in six languages, one for each of the participating countries.

Key issues

The main technical issues to be explored in CHILIAS were:

  • Design of a virtual children's library and concepts for its representation.
  • Development of interfaces and user-access to multimedia and networked technology for use by children.
  • Creation and conversion of materials to digital form.
  • Presentation of digital materials.
  • A prototyping skills package supporting information seeking and library navigation tasks.


The main public deliverables were:

  • Report "Children, Libraries and Information Technology: results of user need analyses", by K. Tuominen (published by Association of Finnish Local and Regional Authorities).
  • Prototype InfoPlanet system, (software and documentation)
  • Validation report
  • Dissemination report
  • Annual edited report
  • Project final report

Impact and expected results

On completion of the project, InfoPlanet operational implementations existed at six principal test sites, serving variously children's libraries within public library services and school libraries. Four of the test sites have links to large regional library and school user-bases.

Project results included:

  • Creation of virtual children's libraries of multimedia materials, established in different countries.
  • Integration of communications and media creation applications in the demonstrator.
  • A prototype and demonstrator of tools for different information skills.
  • Evaluations of usage of the tools and applications by children, teachers and librarians.

InfoPlanet was fully endorsed by all project reviewers, who recommended that it should be widely promoted and supported throughout the EU.


Name of Institution/Organisation Postal Code / City Country
Stadtb├╝cherei Stuttgart D - 70173 STUTTGART DE
Title, First Name, Name Mrs Ingrid BUSSMANN Address: Konrad-Adenauer Str. 2
E-mail 1: (email removed) E-mail 2:

Other Partners

Name of Institution/Organisation Country Role
Gateshead Libraries and Arts Services UK P
Athens College Library GR P
Diputaci├│ de Barcelona ES P
University of Helsinki, IT Centre for Schools FI P
Vantaa City Library FI P
University of Sunderland UK A
Costeas Gitonas School GR A
Akateeminen Tietopalvelu ATP Oy FI A
Association of Finish Local Authorities FI A
University of Turku, Centre for Learning Research FI A
IBM Deutschland DE X
Ravensburger Interactive Media DE X
essential. Awareness about electronic copyright helps to fight piracy, which is

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