Body of Knowledge

UNESCO World Communication and Information Report 1999-2000 - Information services, libraries and archives
by Ole Harbo

The overall picture of institutions in this area is varied. Archives and libraries are usually owned and run "“or at least strongly supported"“ by federal, state or local authorities. Information services, defined here as separate enterprises or as parts of a large organization, are usually privately owned. Some, however, may be public or semi-public organizations working under market conditions. There are also great variations in size, ranging from enterprises owned and run by one person, to small local, public and school libraries with tiny collections and a part-time staff member, to large multinational producers and vendors of information services and massive national archives and libraries with millions of documents and hundreds of specialized staff. Geographic and economic factors also add to the variations among institutions. These widely differing situations clearly have an impact on progress in the use of modern information and communication technologies (ICTs). This chapter will examine different aspects of ICT "“ use in archives, libraries and information services sectors, where it is already well implanted. Such an approach allows for the study of problems already present in many institutions and likely to become problems for a much larger number of institutions in the near future. Professional and institutional rather than technical issues will be examined. The aim is to focus on the impact on professional principles and practices in a large majority of institutions, providing information services, and on their users.

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Publication Type: Article / Chapter / Essay: 12 pages
Publisher: UNESCO (1999)
Location: Paris, France
Language: English
ISBN: 92-3-103611-4

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