Digital divide: how can digital libraries bridge the gap?

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution book

10 Citations (Scopus)


Recent developments in Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) have, while making our life easier, created a social divide known as the digital divide. Statistics show that there are significant disparities among the populations in the developed and developing world in terms of accessibility to, and use of, ICT. Research and development in digital libraries do not only require sophisticated ICT, they also call for huge investments in terms of money and intellectual resources. Developing countries are lagging behind in digital library research and development, due to the digital divide as well as the lack of appropriate resources required for research and development. As a result, users in the developing world are being deprived of digital library services. This paper argues that some recent global digital library developments can be used by users in the developing countries: subject gateways, digital reference services, free access to e-journals and e-books in many areas, e-print archives and free digital libraries. The paper ends with an action plan that may be used by library and information professionals in both developing and developed countries to exploit the benefits of these digital information resources and services. This will to some extent help to bridge the digital divide.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationICADL 2002
Subtitle of host publicationDigital Libraries: People, Knowledge, and Technology
EditorsEe-Peng Lim, Schubert Foo, Chris Khoo, Hsinchun Chen, Edward Fox, Shalini Urs, Thanos Costantino
Place of PublicationBerlin
Number of pages13
ISBN (Print)3540002618, 9783540002611
Publication statusPublished - 16 Dec 2002
Event5th International Conference on Asian Digital Libraries, ICADL 2002 - Singapore, Singapore
Duration: 11 Dec 200214 Dec 2002

Publication series

NameLecture Notes in Computer Science (including subseries Lecture Notes in Artificial Intelligence and Lecture Notes in Bioinformatics)
ISSN (Print)0302-9743
ISSN (Electronic)1611-3349


Conference5th International Conference on Asian Digital Libraries, ICADL 2002


  • digital library
  • digital divide
  • digital literacy
  • information professional
  • digital library systems
  • information and communication technologies (ICT)


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