View the PDF document Digital library futuristics: Developing countries, universal access, and information for all

Witten, I. H. (2004) Proc International Conference on Digital Libraries, 2, New Delhi, 962-968.

Digital libraries are large, organized collections of information objects. Well-designed digital library software has the potential to enable non-specialist people to conceive, assemble, build, and disseminate new information collections. This has great social import because, by democratizing information dissemination, it provides a counterbalance to disturbing commercialization initiatives in the information and entertainment industries. This talk reviews trends in today’s information environment, introduces digital library technology, and explores applications of digital librariesu2014including their use for disseminating humanitarian information in developing countries. We illustrate how currently available technology empowers users to build and publish information collections. Making digital libraries open to all, as conventional public libraries are, presents interesting challenges of universal access.