Does public access to computers and the Internet make a difference in people’s lives? Do public access venues contribute to development? A brief based on some of the emerging findings of the Global Impact Study, Public access and development: The impact of public access venues and the benefits of libraries, has just been released. This two-page brief describes findings about the impact of public access venues on development, including the unique benefits successful public libraries offer. This brief is based on data from the surveys of over 5,000 public access venue users in five developing countries.
Public access to information and communication technologies (ICTs) can play an important role in development. Communities benefit when people can access information and communicate with experts and people in their social networks to learn about health, jobs, education, leisure activities, or whatever inspires them. When access to ICTs is public and available to everyone in the community, such as in public libraries, telecenters, and cybercafés, it can be an effective tool for those that need it most. The findings in the brief are evident at all venues in the public access landscape, including libraries. However, in some instances, libraries may offer users unique benefits.
Two-page brief: Public access and development: The impact of public access venues and the benefits of libraries
Clark, M., Sey, A., & Sullivan, J. (2012). Public access and development: The impact of public access venues and the benefits of libraries. Seattle: Technology &
Social Change Group, University of Washington Information School.