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Telematics for Libraries - Projects


Updated: 22 NOV 99
Project Number and Title
5660 - Distance Education in Rural Areas via Libraries
Programme/Action line Call Topic(s) Start End Project Duration
in Months
FP 4/ C 12 May 1998

Keywords : distance learning; public libraries; World Wide Web

blue bullet Additional information is available from the DERAL website .

Action Line

Action line C: Library services for access to networked information resources

Call Topic(s)

Call topic 12: Integrating library services with distance learning

Project description

DERAL aims to encourage public libraries to play an increasingly important part in transferring information, knowledge and education to users who have difficulty in following normal courses of study. This often applies to those living in rural areas, to the unemployed and to elderly or disabled people who cannot normally attend university, college or high school. Guidelines for librarians and tools will be developed (based on Internet technology and video-conferencing) so that libraries can act as brokers between providers of distance learning courses and users. The ultimate aim is to raise the level of education in rural areas, to help people to remain and work in their places of residence.

Technical approach

DERAL will provide a gateway to distance learning resources on the Web. Guidelines will be prepared for librarians and library users.

Content to be delivered includes:

  • multimedia learning resources geared to national curricula
  • self-training packages for core skills
  • networked encyclopaedic databases
  • specialist resources on topics for leisure and learning
  • e-mail
  • networked electronic journals
  • digitised collections of images, film, video and sound recordings.

Services to be provided include:

  • support for accessing and searching global resources
  • guidance on database reliability
  • access to special-interest Internet communities
  • access to specialist libraries and collections
  • virtual visits to exhibitions
  • information and guidance on learning opportunities
  • interactive communications with educational institutions
  • access to local education authorities and information on finance for learning
  • online application facilities
  • access to the library network and networked resources
  • understanding the relationship between all of these and access to the general facilities of a public library.

Delivery of services will be via the Internet and, where possible, access via TV-screen will also be tested.

Key issues

In exploiting new technologies through the networked library, priority must be given to:

  • Enhancing education and lifelong-learning opportunities for children and adults.
  • Supporting training, employment and business, to foster economic prosperity.
  • Nurturing social cohesion by fostering a politically and culturally informed society.

Impact and expected results

Citizens in remote areas will benefit from improved mediated access to distance learning resources via their public libraries. Ready access to educational materials will not only improve the quality of living in general, but will assist in creating new jobs and new participation in the evolving information society.

DERAL will serve as a prototype in four, widely differing regions of Europe and, if successful could become a model for Europe-wide access to distance learning through public libraries


The main project deliverables, not all of which are for public release, are:

  • State-of-the-art reports
  • User requirements (European dimension)
  • Inventory of Web-based learning resources
  • Gateway design and prototype
  • Trial and evaluation report
  • Report on existing practice for copyright in digital learning
  • Recommended Code of Practice (taking into account the work of ECUP)
  • Training module for libraries using the Internet
  • Modules for video-conferencing
  • Annual and Final project reports.

Additional information is available from the contact below and from the project web site:
DERAL website .


Name of Institution/Organisation Postal Code / City Country
Kalmar Läns Bibliotek S-39129 Kalmar SE
Title, First Name, Name Dr Brigitte Kühne Address: Tullslätten 4, P O Box 963
E-mail 1: (email removed) E-mail 2:

Other Partners

Name of Institution/Organisation Country Role
Büchereiverband Österreichs AT P
Ayuntamiento de Huesca - Biblioteca Publica Digital ES P
University of Ulster UK P
Dublin Corporation - Libraries IRL P .

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