Re-defining “telecentre”

I’m writing a brief for Beyond Access: Libraries Powering Development — on innovation spaces.

In it, I start by defining a range of innovation spaces: telecentre, hackerspace, coworking, fablab. (I’m working open: see and comment on messy work process.)

The definition of a telecentre wasn’t working for me. It missed some crucial aspects:

You can go look up the old definition on Wikipedia. Here’s my update:

“Telecentre” is catch-all term for a public place where people can access digital technologies and the Internet, information, and support and services that enable them to create, learn, play, and work — while building skills and connecting with others. Telecentres go by many different names (community multimedia/knowledge/ technology centre, public Internet access point, etc.), operate under a range of business models, and are sometimes embedded into existing institutions, including libraries, community organizations, nonprofits, and businesses. The common denominator is a commitment to advance well-being and development — of individuals and communities — which often includes efforts to support groups facing social and economic challenges, including youth, the elderly, people with disabilities, immigrants, and displaced workers.

I expect it will change a bit. The last part is still clunky. But you get the idea.

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