Towards the People's Network: UK Developments and the Work of the EARL Consortium

Towards the People's Network: UK Developments and the Work of the EARL Consortium

Helen Baigent (EARL Consortium, London, UK) and Chris Moore (EARL Consortium, London, UK)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-878289-66-7.ch009
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Abstract

This chapter explores Web-based public library networking developments within the context of the United Kingdom. The political context in recent years has led to plans to deliver a national Public Library Network, promising innovative new services to combat social exclusion and facilitate lifelong learning. The road to realizing the vision of a People’s Network is still far from a reality and many of the issues currently facing the sector demand enormous amounts of coordination and cooperation in order to ensure that public libraries remain at the heart of the political agenda. It is suggested that the work of the EARL Consortium, its achievements and approach to library networking present an important model to shape the roll-out of the national network. Once delivered, the United Kingdom will arguably hold a place amongst the world leaders in the global information society.

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