The challenge of bridging the digital divide

In a recently published article by the German newspaper Die Zeit, the challenges of bridging the digital divide and how librarians at this year’s IFLA World Library and Information Congress in Columbus, Ohio addressed this, is discussed.

The article (“Die leeren Seiten der Weltbibliothek”) highlights the disproportionate amount of digital content available from the US and Europe—through participation in mass digitization projects with Google—in comparison to digital content available from Africa, Latin America, and Asia. A counter to this is the World Digital Library (WDL) which aims to help close the gap by making freely available on the Internet significant primary materials (books, sound recordings, maps, films, etc.) from all countries and cultures.  WDL is a project of the U.S. Library of Congress and is supported by UNESCO.

IFLA and WLIC 2016 addressed the digital divide through a number of the sessions and meetings held at the congress this year and librarians world-wide are actively working on raising awareness and proposing solutions for bridging the digital divide.

In addition, the article also stressed the need for net neutrality, an issue which is currently high on IFLA’s agenda.

Read the full article (in German)