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Public libraries and the Information Society

A study on the role of public libraries in the Information Society has been conducted by a group of independent experts on behalf of the European Commission. The study, carried out within the framework of the Telematics Applications programme ("Libraries" sector), sets out a s...
A study on the role of public libraries in the Information Society has been conducted by a group of independent experts on behalf of the European Commission. The study, carried out within the framework of the Telematics Applications programme ("Libraries" sector), sets out a strategy aimed at assisting public libraries in facing the challenges of the Information Society.

The transformation of society into an Information or Knowledge Society will have a profound impact on the life styles and, in consequence, information needs of European citizens. Public libraries - numbering some 40,000 in the European Union - have a key role to play as a gateway to resources of interest to their users.

Many public libraries, however, still face a number of obstacles to change: budget pressures, lack of facilities for networking and a low level of technological skills among staff. In addition, many operate without a supportive national policy framework or a professional vision, and often in isolation.

This research study set out to accelerate the process of change on different levels, by developing a visionary strategy and defining models and scenarios for the public library community on how to deal with the challenges of the Information Society.

Source: European Commission, DG XIII

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