Digital Literacy Centre

Cliff Missen, eGranary & Widernet

May 11th, 2009 · No Comments

Quote: Cliff Missen is Director of the WiderNet Project and an Instructor in the School of Library and Information Science at the University of Iowa. Following a year as a Senior Fulbright Scholar at the University of Jos (Nigeria) in 1999, he founded the University of Iowas WiderNet Project which has delivered technology training programs for over 4,000  African university administrators, librarians, and technicians. Missen oversees the development of the eGranary Digital Library, an innovative way to deliver the worlds knowledge to people and institutions with inadequate Internet access.

Quote: With installations in over 200 schools, universities, clinics, and hospitals in Africa, India, Bangladesh, and Haiti, the eGranary Digital Library provides lighting-fast access to educational materials — video, audio, books, journals, Web sites — even where no Internet access exists. Removing the barriers imposed by inadequate infrastructure and costly connectivity, the eGranary makes it possible to put immense libraries into the hands of the information-seekers everywhere. The current collection, which is both updatable and customizable, contains over 10 million documents. That includes over 1,000 Web sites like the Wikipedia, the World Health Organization, and the Gutenberg Project. Few people in the developing world have adequate connections to the Internet and those that do are spending enormous amounts for their connectivity. For those without an Internet connection, this library is a phenomenon. Even those with an Internet connection experience documents opening 3-5,000 times faster from the eGranary Digital Library while saving enormous bandwidth costs. Our objectives are to grow the application of this off-line technology to provide broader access to whole communities (leveraging local computers and networks), to work with partners to include more of their local content, and to develop social entrepreneurial franchises that will spread and maintain this low-cost innovation.
From: Stockholm Challenge

Cliff Missen talks about meeting the information needs of developing countries at the DLC Tuesday, May 26 @ 1 PM. Bonny Norton from  LLED is the discussant.  See our Events page for more details.

Tags: Digital Archive · Digital Literacy · Digital Resource · E-Learning

World Digital Library

April 22nd, 2009 · No Comments

The World Digital Library, operated by UNESCO & the American Library of Congress launched today with content from the span of continents. There is not a great deal of content, mind you – not yet, in any case. And what there is, is sometimes curious (for e.g. North America: USA: Arts & recreation: Music: … yields 4 pictures: Pow-Wow Princess Song [which is actually a video]; A scan of a letter from Linda Kelly, Sherry Bane, and Mickie Mattson to President Dwight D. Eisenhower Regarding Elvis Presley;  A photograph of two young Polynesian women, one playing the ukulele; and A photograph of Elvis Presley meeting with President Richard M. Nixon at the White House). The navigation is a bit of a puzzle (for instance, it’s not clear why the Heading under North America for Place: United States of America: subdivides into “Narrow Results” that list Cuba, Sierra Leone, Mexico, Canada, Russian Federation, Brazil, Spain, France, Bolivia, Bahamas … and then link to “more” – and following the paths displayed in the blue top box, does not make much sense). Nevertheless, its mission is an interesting one:

“to promote international and intercultural understanding, expand the volume and variety of cultural content on the Internet, provide resources for educators, scholars, and general audiences, and to build capacity in partner institutions to narrow the digital divide within and between countries.[1] It aims to expand non-English and non-Western content on the Internet, and contribute to scholarly research. The library intends to make available on the Internet, free of charge and in multilingual format, significant primary materials from cultures around the world, including manuscripts, maps, rare books, musical scores, recordings, films, prints, photographs, architectural drawings, and other significant cultural materials.[2][3][4]” – Quoted from Wikipedia

It is a project with great promise.

Tags: Digital Archive · Digital Literacy · Digital Resource · E-Learning