ERIC Number: ED331528
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1991-May
Reference Count: N/A
Information Technology and the Informed Citizen: New Challenges for Government and Libraries. ERIC Digest.
White, Charles S.
Arguing that the foundation of a free civilization is an informed citizenry, this ERIC digest discusses the new challenges faced by the government and libraries in the wake of the Information Age. As electronic technology has accelerated the production and transmission of information, it has become more difficult for the average citizen to access, locate, and interpret information. As a result, the role of libraries as gateways to information, most notably government depository libraries, has become even more essential. The growing availability of electronically based public information carries both benefits--i.e., more information can be tapped more rapidly--and costs. Some of these costs and issues are: the need for the formation of government information dissemination policies; the effects of the privatization of information sources; the lack of usability of government information by the user; and equity of access. Providing a gateway to networks of electronic information is only one of the challenges facing libraries: libraries must also act as guides and educators. It is concluded that libraries must interact effectively with the government, educational institutions, and the commercial sector to successfully meet the information needs of citizens in a 21st-century democracy. (9 references) (MAB)
Publication Type: ERIC Publications; Opinion Papers; ERIC Digests in Full Text
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: Office of Educational Research and Improvement (ED), Washington, DC.
Authoring Institution: ERIC Clearinghouse on Information Resources, Syracuse, NY.; ERIC Clearinghouse for Social Studies/Social Science Education, Bloomington, IN.