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Telematics for Libraries - Projects


Updated: 22 NOV 99
Project Number and Title
5646 - Libraries in European Regions - Access to Telematics and Other Resources
Programme/Action line Call Topic(s) Start End Project Duration
in Months
FP 4/ C 8 to 10 bis and 11 January 1998

Keywords : public library services; regional information services; World Wide Web

blue bullet Additional information is available at the LIBERATOR Web site . (

Action Line

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

Call Topic(s)

Call Topic 8 to 10 bis: Adding value to networked information services delivered through libraries
Call Topic 11. User applications supporting unified access to combined networked information and library-based resources

Project description

LIBERATOR aims to establish and develop exemplary regional information services (RIS) in three diverse European regions. Networked public library services will be developed to provide independent and mediated information for the user. The project will set up new partnerships between information producers, mediators and end users and different kinds of libraries - academic, specialist and public. Critical legal and regulatory issues will be addressed such as copyright and the implications of electronic commerce.

Technical approach

Development of the regional information services builds on lessons from the North of England demonstrator already established.

  • Web-based demonstrators will be fully integrated into the mediation services provided by public libraries.
  • Mediation will take various forms, including enquiry handling through electronic mail.
  • An enhanced interface will organise and aggregate links, develop local search facilities, access filters, secure transactions and multimedia functions.
  • A major element in RIS will be regional sites coordinating all Web activity relevant to the needs of the participating regions.
    • Sites will be multifunctional offering mediated gateways to the Internet for citizens, virtual shop windows to stimulate regional economies and new retrieval tools for information mediators.
    • Sites will address presentation and access by incorporating facilities such as localised searching, filters and security features

Key issues

The main issues to be explored are:

  • Enhanced capacity for distribution of information via public libraries and WWW.
  • Participation in the global information society through an increased telematics awareness.
  • New models of public service provision.
  • Economic benefits through regional development.


The project will achieve its goals through a high-profile and energetic process of dissemination and exploitation activities. Charging mechanisms for certain information services will be considered with a view to generating income.

The project will ensure that the services developed in the participating regions can be sustained over the medium term and that other regions are attracted to the model. Other key results include:

  • spread of information society benefits to a wider base of European citizens within the participating regions and beyond,
  • reduction in disparities across European regions in the area of ICT,
  • enhancement in the role and status of public libraries.

The project has already been successful in widening the partnership to include the Aquitaine region of France. It will strive to encourage other regions to adopt the model under development.


The main deliverables, not all of which are public, include:

  • Keynote report on North of England RIS (NoE-RIS) demonstrator
  • Guidelines report combining specifications for NoE-RIS demonstrator with two other regions.
  • Validation report for demonstration
  • Prototype RIS in four states
  • Technical developments report
  • Technical enhancements to RIS prototypes report
  • Evaluation report on demonstration trials
  • Exploitation plan
  • Annual and Final Project reports

Documentation is available from the contact below and from the Web at: LIBERATOR Web site .


Name of Institution/Organisation Postal Code / City Country
Gateshead Metropolitan Borough Council Libraries and Arts Services - Central Library UK-Gateshead NE8 4LN UK
Title, First Name, Name Mr Ian Hunter Address: Prince Consort Road
Tel: + 44 191 477 3478 Fax: + 44 191 477 7454
E-mail 1: (email removed) E-mail 2:

Other Partners

Name of Institution/Organisation Country Role
ISEGI, Lisbon PT P
Provincie Vlaams-Brabant, Leuven BE P
Danmarks Biblioteksskole, Copenhagen DK P
Centre Européen de la Communication (CEC) FR P

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