The objective is to establish and develop exemplary regional information services (RIS) in three diverse European regions.
Relying on a combination of technical and human resources, 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.
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. The sites will also address presentation and access by incorporating facilities such as localised searching, filters and security features.
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 development of the regional information services will build on lessons from the North of England demonstrator already established. Demonstrators will be Web-based and fully integrated into the mediation services provided by public libraries. Mediation will take various forms including enquiry handling through electronic mail. It will also entail interface enhancement to organise and aggregate links, develop local search facilities, access filters, secure transactions and multimedia functions.
The main issues to be explored are
enhanced capacity for the distribution of information via public libraries and WWW;
participation in the information society through an increased telematics awareness;
new models of public service provision;
economic benefits through regional development.
Impact and expected results
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.
Régime de financementCSC - Cost-sharing contracts