Projects to Bridge the Knowledge and Digital Divide
The projects target a wide-ranging culturally marginalized class such as the disabled and the elderly, who have little accessibility in rural and remote areas lacking in cultural infrastructure. They also target welfare facilities and multicultural families facing social barriers. The projects aim to reduce a gap in the sharing, enjoyment, and acquisition of knowledge and information as a right of the culturally marginalized class.
While various projects are being implemented to bridge the knowledge and digital divide, what is most noticeable is that some of these projects utilize the digital technology of Korea and that the enjoyment of knowledge is viewed as an important theme in expanding cultural diversity and pursuing cultural rights. Related projects include support for knowledge and information activities for low-income areas and the revitalization of programmes such as Small Library, Library in My Hand, and Audio Book Sharing.
- The Knowledge and Information Activity Support Project for Low-Income Areas aims to disseminate academic and literary books to small libraries and local children’s centers in rural and remote areas with little access to information and culture.
- The Small Library Revitalization project creates resident-oriented, cultural spaces for daily life, which replace library services in areas where public library service is not available. It aims to expand small libraries, which are set up in existing spaces such as community centers, welfare centers, religious facilities, and underused spaces within apartment complexes.
- The Library in My Hand project allows people to use the library wherever they are by using digital technology. Its mobile web service (http://m.nl.go.kr) was piloted in May 2010 followed by full service on July 1, 2010. It consists of menu bar that can be accessed easily by any smart phone user. The “Search” button at the top of each page enables users to access any book in possession from their smart phones.
- The Audio Book Sharing project encourages publishers and authors to donate text files in order to convert them into braille and audio versions and posts them on a website so that people with disabilities can read and listen to them freely. These digital contents will be provided through the Dibrary Portal (www.dibrary.net).