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How do Public Access Venues Meet Information Needs in Underserved Communities?

Copyright © 2012. 9 pages.
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DOI: 10.4018/978-1-60960-771-5.ch008
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MLA

Gould, Elizabeth, Ricardo Gomez and Kemly Camacho. "How do Public Access Venues Meet Information Needs in Underserved Communities?." Libraries, Telecentres, Cybercafes and Public Access to ICT: International Comparisons. IGI Global, 2012. 73-81. Web. 31 Jul. 2014. doi:10.4018/978-1-60960-771-5.ch008

APA

Gould, E., Gomez, R., & Camacho, K. (2012). How do Public Access Venues Meet Information Needs in Underserved Communities?. In R. Gomez (Ed.), Libraries, Telecentres, Cybercafes and Public Access to ICT: International Comparisons (pp. 73-81). Hershey, PA: Information Science Reference. doi:10.4018/978-1-60960-771-5.ch008

Chicago

Gould, Elizabeth, Ricardo Gomez and Kemly Camacho. "How do Public Access Venues Meet Information Needs in Underserved Communities?." In Libraries, Telecentres, Cybercafes and Public Access to ICT: International Comparisons, ed. Ricardo Gomez, 73-81 (2012), accessed July 31, 2014. doi:10.4018/978-1-60960-771-5.ch008

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Abstract

User information needs vary by geographic location as well as by economic and social standing, among other factors. These factors drive the format, content, currency, and language in which information is produced and presented. Information needs of users of ICT in public access venues are satisfied in a variety of manners. The question arises as to how public access venues determine information needs in a community, and how best to satisfy those needs. There is no lack of information. What needs to be established is where do people presently get information, and if ICT can help to service their needs in a better way. In this chapter, we consider what types of information users need, and what they seek when they go to public access venues to use ICT.
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Introduction

Information needs vary by geographic location as well as by economic and social standing, among other factors. These issues drive the format, content, currency, and language in which information is produced and presented. Information requirements of ICT users in public access venues are satisfied in a variety of manners. How do public access venues determine information needs in a community, and how are those needs satisfied? There is no lack of information: what needs to be established is where people presently get information, and if ICT can help to service their needs in a better way. In this chapter, we consider what types of information users need, and what they seek when they go to public access venues to use ICT.

The Landscape Study revealed three key factors that are important to consider when evaluating how user information needs can best be served. Most of the countries studied emphasized that user needs vary according to social, religious, gender, cultural, economic, educational, and geographic variables. (In addition to the country chapters in this volume, detailed country reports are publicly available online at http://cis.washington.edu/landscape/library/working-documents/; in this chapter, we refer to them by country name.)

One cannot generalize that all people within a particular environment require the same things, or that community and individual needs are the same, although there are recurring themes. We describe these themes below, with a primary focus directed towards content, followed by a discussion of user and operator capacity, concluding with a set of recommendations to help information venues develop and provide information that serves its users:

  • 1.

    Production of locally relevant content is essential for serving individual and community information needs, which includes up-to-date information.

  • 2.

    Information produced in local languages makes an enormous difference for access to underserved populations. It is also necessary to consider literacy levels, and to create content for illiterate users.

  • 3.

    ICT user capacity must be developed in order to provide underserved populations with access to ICT-driven information; ICT training for and by venue operators is also imperative.

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Production Of Locally Relevant Content

Content must be applicable to the users. As our Peru report states, “Each group or specific community would benefit from better public access to information, but such information should be appropriate, it means that it should be relevant, opportune, understandable, and usable.” Information venues such as libraries, telecenters, and cybercafés may provide access to information, but information must be geared towards the targeted audience. If indeed the goal is to provide information to underserved communities, then providers would do well to determine what type of information is needed, and supply that information in a manner that is accessible and approachable for all users.

Different cultures, regions, and sub-regions require variable content, as needs are based upon the users’ educational status, their vocational and entertainment requirements, cultural, sexual, and religious constraints or conditions, and technological and economic restraints. The political environment in which information is presented will also influence content, format, and access to certain types of information.

Several of countries that we studied (Sri Lanka, Honduras, Indonesia, Nepal, and Uganda) are primarily agriculturally based economies. In these environments, user-information needs focus on weather conditions, market prices, government support, improved production, etc. Other areas, where there are high emigration rates (Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Honduras), users require information about obtaining visas, passports, immigration requirements, etc. These particular needs also affect the information and communication needs of friends and relatives who are emigrating or who have emigrated. Those who are “left behind” are motivated to learn how to use ICTs in order to stay in touch with their loved ones.

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Complete Chapter List

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Table of Contents
Preface
Ricardo Gomez
Chapter 1
Melody Clark, Ricardo Gomez
In order to understand the implications of this study, it is important to understand the context in which it was conducted. Consequently, this book... Sample PDF
Libraries, Telecenters and Cybercafés: A Comparison of Different Types of Public Access Venues
$37.50
Chapter 2
Ricardo Gomez, Kemly Camacho
Who are the customers of public access venues, where do they come from, and what are their needs? In order to better understand the situation –... Sample PDF
Who Uses Public Access Venues?
$37.50
Chapter 3
Elizabeth Gould, Ricardo Gomez
Building capacity for collecting content and enabling access to information by community members means training staff as well building their digital... Sample PDF
Infomediaries and Community Engagement are Key
$37.50
Chapter 4
Ricardo Gomez, Elizabeth Gould
In this study, the authors found that trust is a key factor that drives people to actually make use of ICT in public access venues. Several factors... Sample PDF
Perceptions of Trust: Safety, Credibility, and “Cool”
$37.50
Chapter 5
Melody Clark, Ricardo Gomez
To help frame their findings and discussion, the authors begin with a review of the existing published literature on user fees and other barriers to... Sample PDF
“Free” Service or “Good” Service: What Attracts Users To Public Access Computing Venues?
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Chapter 6
Allison Terry, Ricardo Gomez
Studies show that due to systemic gender biases in the use of and access to ICTs and their applications, as well as socio-cultural norms that... Sample PDF
Gender and Public Access ICT
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Chapter 7
Elizabeth Gould, Ricardo Gomez
Libraries play a central role as venues that offer public access to information. Increasingly, libraries in developing countries are offering access... Sample PDF
Challenges for Libraries in the Information Age
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Chapter 8
Elizabeth Gould, Ricardo Gomez, Kemly Camacho
User information needs vary by geographic location as well as by economic and social standing, among other factors. These factors drive the format... Sample PDF
How do Public Access Venues Meet Information Needs in Underserved Communities?
$37.50
Chapter 9
Ricardo Gomez
Throughout this book, we have detailed the profile of a public access venue user, discussed the role of venue staff in public access venues... Sample PDF
Success Factors for Public Access Computing: Beyond Anecdotes of Success
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Chapter 10
Ricardo Gomez, Kemly Camacho, Elizabeth Gould
This chapter describes how the global Landscape Study was designed and carried out. The Landscape Study informs all the findings and results... Sample PDF
Behind the Scenes: Research Methodology and Analytical Framework
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Chapter 11
Adrián Rozengardt, Susana Finquelievich
Public Access ICT in Argentina
$37.50
Chapter 12
Marta Voelcker, Gabriel Novais
Public Access ICT in Brazil
$37.50
Chapter 13
Adriana Sánchez, Kemly Camacho
Public Access ICT in Costa Rica
$37.50
Chapter 14
Luis Fernando Barón, Mónica Valdés
Public Access ICT in Colombia
$37.50
Chapter 15
Francia Alfaro, José Pablo Molina, Kemly Camacho
Public Access ICT in Dominican Republic
$37.50
Chapter 16
Katia Sotomayor, Juan Fernando Bossio
Public Access ICT in Ecuador
$37.50
Chapter 17
Melissa Arias, Kemly Camacho
Public Access ICT in Honduras
$37.50
Chapter 18
Public Access ICT in Peru  (pages 228-248)
Juan Fernando Bossio, Katia Sotomayor, Erick Iriarte
Public Access ICT in Peru
$37.50
Chapter 19
Ananya Raihan
Public Access ICT in Bangladesh
$37.50
Chapter 20
Rohit Kumar Nepali, Bibhusan Bista
Public Access ICT in Nepal
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Chapter 21
IDEACORP, Maria Juanita R. Macapagal, Mina Lyn C. Peralta
Public Access ICT in Philippines
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Chapter 22
Ibrahim Kushchu
Public Access ICT in Malaysia
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Chapter 23
Ibrahim Kushchu
Public Access ICT in Indonesia
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Chapter 24
Andrew P. Beklemishev
Public Access ICT in Kazakhstan
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Chapter 25
Tracey Naughton, Lkhagvasuren Ariunaa
Public Access ICT in Kyrgyzstan
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Chapter 26
Tracey Naughton, Ondine Ullman
Public Access ICT in Mongolia
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Chapter 27
UNKNOWN UNKNOWN
Public Access ICT in Moldova
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Chapter 28
UNKNOWN UNKNOWN
Public Access ICT in Georgia
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Chapter 29
Leelangi Wanasundera
Public Access ICT in Sri Lanka
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Chapter 30
Tina James, Alan Finlay, Michael Jensen, Mark Neville, Rasagee Pillay
Public Access ICT in South Africa
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Chapter 31
Tina James, Milton Louw
Public Access ICT in Namibia
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Chapter 32
Ndaula Sulah
Public Access ICT in Uganda
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Chapter 33
Yahia Bakelli
Public Access ICT in Algeria
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Chapter 34
Nayer Wanas
Public Access ICT in Egypt
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Chapter 35
Ibrahim Kushchu
Public Access ICT in Turkey
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