February 2: Perceptions of libraries as development partners: Preliminary research results

TASCHA Talk: Chris Coward and Michelle Fellows

February 2,  2012

Public libraries play vastly different roles in providing Internet access and information services around the world. In some countries they are active players and have adopted new technologies to help people meet their information needs. In other countries, libraries are routinely overlooked when new information access initiatives are deployed. TASCHA’s new perceptions of libraries as development partners study aims to understand the opportunities and challenges for libraries to become more prominent actors in ICT and development initiatives. The research involves stakeholder interviews with library leaders, ministry officials with library oversight, ministry officials with ICT and/or digital inclusion oversight, representatives of national public access initiatives, and representatives of international development organizations. The sample is comprised of 12 countries at differing levels of development and public library penetration. In this talk, Chris and Michelle shared the research design and results of the first set of interviews.

About the presenters

Chris is co-founder, Principal Research Scientist, and Director of the Technology & Social Change Group.  Chris specializes in designing research programs that improve policy and practice. His work focuses on examining the social and economic impacts of information and communication technologies (ICTs), with particular attention to the role of libraries and nonprofit organizations in developing countries.

Michelle is a Research Analyst at TASCHA. She holds degrees in Public Administration (MPA) and Library and Information Science (MLIS) from the University of Washington and Geography (BA) from the University of California, Berkeley.

Download the presentation.

TASCHA Talks are bi-weekly sessions to share, discuss, and advance new ideas around topics related to technology and social change. Learn more at tascha.uw.edu/taschatalks.