digital inclusion: June 2009 Archives
Well, there is no doubt that internet has turned information sharing into a fast process without boundaries; however, a new category of information users has arisen: the digitally excluded. South American librarians are aware of that a good percentage of the population in their countries faces obstacles to reach the expanded capabilities and potential that Web can provide, and these librarians understand their role in bringing this topic into discussions in conferences and seminars to instigate and contribute to positive movements. More than digital inclusion, these discussions are related to cultural inclusion. The South American libraries hold the most relevant information related to the local culture and history, and are searching for paths to make this information visible and available to users at point of need. With information migrating to the digital format, more people can be reached at levels and speed never imagined before. Thus, improving the accessibility of information through digital inclusion projects has become primordial. The socio-economic aspects involved in the process are undeniable because underserved communities are then woven into the Web while libraries accomplish the goal of providing intellectual resources that can lead to the growth of these nations.
Libraries benefit from the large inclusion of users to the digital world. On the other hand digital inclusion challenges libraries and librarians to extend their activities to a broader range of services in order to support digital inclusion projects. Some examples are:
Biblioteca Latino-americana Victor Civita (Memorial da América Latina) in Brazil offers a space for the digital inclusion project Acessa Sao Paulo and occasionally launches a series of workshops where users not only have access to a computer and internet but learn how to better take advantage of the available tools.
Bibliotecas Virtuales de Aragua, in Venezuela, provides internet access and workshops to teach how to use the computer and the Web tools.
BiblioRedes, in Chile, is a successful project with several activities related to computer literacy and inclusion to the digital world which is covering the entire country.
South American libraries are moving from discussions to action to serve their purpose as contributors to this movement. One can't deny that it's challenging to bring technology no only to the large cities in the continent but to the small villages as well. The road is long, the work is hard, and the obstacles are many. However, some projects are proving that there's light at the end of the tunnel.
More examples of digital inclusion projects in South America:
Projeto Inclusão Digital (Brazil)
Inclusão digital (Brazil)
Programa Nacional para la Sociedad de la Información (Argentina)
Agenda de la Conectividad (Colombia)
Agencia para el Desarrollo de la Sociedad de la Información en Bolivia
La inclusión digital en Sudamérica.pdf (Espanol)
Inclusão digital na América do Sul.pdf (Portugues)