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Updated: 08 MARCH 2000

Public Libraries
information, projects and services


In connection with the PubliCA concerted action in support of the development and enhancement of public library services throughout the European Union, we have collected a number of links for those who wish to research background material or simply examine more closely what Telematics for Libraries has been doing in area:

Studies and support actions

  • Something for everyone: Public Libraries and the Information Society. First Pan-European Conference on Public Libraries in the Information Age, 4-15 October 1999, Copenhagen. Organised by PubliCA: the European Commission's Concerted Action for Public Libraries.
  • Concertation Meeting on Public Libraries : Luxembourg, 8 March 1999. A report of this meeting is available from: /ist/ka3/digicult/en/activity/concrep.html .
  • Conference on "Public Libraries in a New Europe ", Budapest, Hungary, 25-27 September 1997. Some of the papers given at this conference are available on the web.
  • Seminar on Public Libraries in the Information Society - Proceedings of a workshop on know-how transfer of EC initiatives for public libraries to Central and Eastern European countries held in Bad Münstereifel, Germany, 9-11 April 1997.
  • Public libraries and the information society - Key background reading. A new series of documents based on a recently completed study and workshop.
  • Knowledge Models for Library Services - Report by the NBBI ( Project Bureau for Information Management ) in which special consideration is given to the networked public library as a knowledge resource in the Internet environment.
  • Open Distance Learning in Public Libraries - Study report prepared for Telematics for Libraries by the University of Central Lancashire highlighting the need for libraries to become gateways for lifelong learning.

European Projects involving public libraries

  • CHILIAS , Children in Libraries: improving multimedia virtual library access and information skills.
  • DERAL , Distance Education in Rural Areas via Libraries - Emphasing the mediating role of librarians in public libraries.
  • ILIERS , Integrated Library Information Education and Retrieval System With special emphasis on local information services and on access by various groups of users including children.
  • HERCULE , Heritage and Culture through Libraries in Europe.
  • LIBERATOR , Libraries in European Regions - Access to Telematics and Other Resources.
  • LISTED , Libraries Integrated System for Telematics-based Education. Follows on from the work done by PLAIL - see below.
  • MOBILE, Extending European Information Access through Mobile Libraries. Innovative mobile library services using mobile phones, CD-ROM and video.
  • MUMLIB , Multimedia Technology in Libraries. A CD-ROM presenting 45 modern authors from Denmark, Ireland and Portugal.
  • PLAIL , Public Libraries and Independent Learners. Recommendations on training public librarians to give proper assistance to adult independent learners.
  • REACTIVE TELECOM , Residential Access to Information via Everyday Telecommunications Tools. Use of the telephone and the television to provide home access to information.
  • SPRINTEL , Speedy Retrieval of Information on the Telephone. Use of voice technology to improve user access to library services.
  • VERITY, Virtual and electronic sources for information skills training

Public library information and projects

  • ARIADNE article - Sarah Ormes presents an extensive report on Public Libraries in the Information Society
  • Ask a Librarian - An effective new service under the UK's EARL project
  • Bibnet - The Flemish public libraries network in Belgium
  • BINE - Coordinated by Bremen Public Library, the project is designed to provide free access to the Internet in conjunction with current public library services
  • EARL homepage - UK initiative for connecting public libraries to the network
  • Finnish list of public libraries - Finland is making rapid progress in networked services
  • Folkbiblioteken på nätet - Forum för debatt, information och frågor. Swedish public libraries site
  • LibraryNet helps to encourage Canadian libraries to connect to the information highway and to one another in support of community devleopment, electronic information services and lifelong learning.
  • Net Notions for Librarians - Bright ideas and resources for public libraries interested in making the most of their WWW services
  • Public Libraries of Europe - An excellent site from Sheila and Robert Harden providing comprehensive access to public libraries on a country-by-country basis
  • Public libraries in Denmark - Jubii has a good library page with links to public libraries
  • Public libraries in the Netherlands - A comprehensive list maintained by Koninklijke Bibliotheek
  • Public Libraries Pages - Interesting data from UKOLN
  • Public Libraries with Internet Services - Site maintained by St Joseph County public library
  • Road Ahead programme - A Microsoft initiative, providing software, Web access, training and support to libraries and schools in disadvantaged areas of Europe on the basis of considerable U.S. experience of public library needs
  • Spanish State Public Libraries - public library catalogues are accessable from this central location
  • Stories From the Web: Development of a children's library Internet service model
  • Wisconsin Public Library Resource List - A well presented series of links of relevance to libraries, education and technology

Individual public libraries - some interesting sites

  • Ballerup children's library - A site specially for children, now in Danish but soon to be in English too
  • BPI - The Bibliothèque Publique de l'Information at the Pompidou Centre in Paris
  • Cologne - One of the most enterprising German sites
  • Databiblioteket - Copenhagen's computer library offering access to the Internet and guidance in its use.
  • Dublin - The first Irish public library on the Web
  • Fredrika - A Finnish site in Swedish
  • Helsinki - The oldest European public library on the Web and a good example of Finnish expertise.
  • Husavik - An interesting site in Iceland - in pure Icelandic.
  • London - An excellent starting point to investigate the libraries of London and their services.
  • Maastricht - An attractive site from the Netherlands
  • New York Public Library - An enterprising US public library site
  • Oslo - A good Norwegian site with a number of interesting links, some in English
  • Ronneby - A Swedish site with a range of features
  • Silkeborg - A Danish site with English-language information including a case study of the library
  • St. Joseph County Public Library Home Page - In South Bend, Indiana, the first public library on the Web
  • Turin - This well-designed Italian site includes a virtual visit around the library.

Other documents maintained at this site of interest to public libraries

  • European Libraries enter the Internet - Progress report on recent developments with many pertinent links to the public library sphere
  • National strategies - Links to national programmes and initiatives on libraries in the Information Society. Contains many national policy documents covering the role of public libraries

Policy support

  • EBLIDA's declaration on the European Parliament's resolution on the role of libraries in modern society.
  • The Leuven Communiqué highlighting four key roles for public libraries in the Information Society:
  • Regional Information Services - a Role for Public Libraries in Europe : Keynote report from the Liberator project

Task force on educational multimedia

  • Report from the European Comission's Task Force on Educational Software and Multimedia which includes a recommendation that all public libraries should offer free access to multimedia resources so that citizens can benefit from information services, arts and cultural activities and education and training facilities.

Other public library reports

  • National Survey of Public Libraries and the Internet : Progress and Issues: 1997 report from the US National Commission on Libraries and Information Sciences
  • Centre for the Public Library in the Information Society - An initiative of the Department of Information Studies at the University of Sheffield
  • Virtually New - Creating the Digital Collection - A ground clearing report from the UK, reviewing digitisation projects in local authority libraries and archives and calling for an agency to be established to coordinate public library digitisation.

European Commission

DG Information Society
Cultural Heritage Applications Unit
Contact: Digicult
e-mail: (email removed)

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