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Title:Community Engagement & Infomediaries: challenges facing libraries, telecentres and cybercafés in developing countries
Author(s):Gould, Elizabeth A.; Gomez, Ricardo
public access computing
community engagement
Abstract:Effective infomediaries and community engagement can produce a successful environment to service information needs for underserved populations. This paper analyzes data from libraries, telecentres and cybercafés in 25 developing countries, to assess how infomediaries and community engagement help support the social mission of venues that offer public access to information and communication technologies (ICT). Our results show that while infomediaries and community engagement are critical to facilitate access to information for underserved communities, cybercafés are thriving as public access venues without very strong infomediaries or community engagement, and yet they are perceived as being well staffed and serving community needs. Telecentres and, in particular, libraries, face a particular challenge to fulfill their social mission in the face of the proliferation of cybercafés: they must provide access to ICT, train their staff to be digitally literate and able to support the ICT needs of their communities, and ensure that their community engagement activities include ICT as part of their tools and services.
Issue Date:2010-02-03
Genre:Conference Paper / Presentation
Date Available in IDEALS:2010-02-22

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