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New publication: Public libraries connecting people for development

by , August 13, 2013

Category: Featured, News, Publications

Last month, the final report of the Global Impact Study of Public Access ICTs, Connecting people for development: Why public access ICTs matter, was released. In addition to the overall analysis presented in the final report, TASCHA researchers also conducted analysis specifically related to ICT access in public libraries in Botswana, Chile, and the Philippines.

The report based on this analysis, Public libraries connecting people for development: Findings from the Global Impact Study, is now available for download. Using data from Botswana, Chile, and the Philippines, the report summarizes the study’s key findings with a focus on libraries, situating these venues in the context of national development, discussing some disputed issues, and providing recommendations for policymakers, library practitioners, and researchers.

The results show that a central impact of public libraries is promoting digital inclusion, information access, and development of ICT skills through technology provision, particularly for marginalized populations and those who face challenges using and benefiting from computers and the internet. The data also suggest a number of library characteristics that are important to users and provide a unique public value, with both users and non-users reporting positive impacts and a willingness to pay to maintain the existence of public libraries.

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Full Report
Executive Summary

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About the author

Melody Clark is the Research Coordinator for TASCHA's Global Impact Study. Her most recent work includes working as the Graduate Research Assistant for the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation Global Libraries Initiative. In her academic and professional endeavors, Melody’s areas of focus include impact measurement and evaluation and how it affects public access program sustainability, the intersection of information, communication, and technologies (ICT) and public libraries, and program evaluation. She is also interested in how research is communicated and disseminated to non-academic audiences. Previous research experience includes case study and field work, in addition to working as a Research Analyst, for the U.S. Public Libraries Impact Study, in collaboration with the Institute of Museum and Library Services and the Gates Foundation U.S. Libraries program. Melody holds a Masters of Library and Information Sciences degree from the University of Washington.

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  1. […] in Bangladesh, Brazil, Chile, Ghana, and the Philippines know this: almost all public library users (94%) have a mobile phone — yet they still go to the library to use computers and the internet. Finland and Denmark — two […]

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