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Information Technology and the Public Library As a Local Institution |

Gurnam Singh, Dr. G. Devarajan, in Journal of Advances in Science and Technology | Science & Technology


- The publiclibrary is a local institution that plays a part in these discussions Publiclibraries have been community places in addition to fulfilling their basicroles as providers and repositories of information to the local community. Itcould be argued that in accordance with its nature, a public library withphysical space should be encouraged to offer access to network information inorder to fill the gap between information "haves" and"have-nots." An example of such an opinion was expressed by Hardy R. Franklin, President of theAmerican Library Association: "if we are to remain a vibrant democracy, wemust ensure that all people living in this country have equal informationopportunity, that libraries serve as the public access point, or the public 'onramp' to the information highway."' Michael Dertouzos, Professor atthe Laboratory for Computer Science at MIT, concurs that there is a need" help the poor access and use the new technology. This can be donethrough various assistance programs, some already established much appreciated,provided that they are supplied and staffed to take care of the many people whowill flow toward them."2