VALA2006 Session 13 Schauder


Libraries, ICT policy, and Australian civil society: issues and prospects from a national consultation

VALA 2006 CONCURRENT SESSION 13: Information Literacy and the Digital Divide
Friday 10 February 2006, 10:45 – 11:15
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VALA Peer Reviewed PaperDon Schauder

Chair, Centre for Community Networking Research, Monash University

Graeme Johanson

Director, Centre for Community Networking Research, Monash University

Wal Taylor

Honorary Senior Research Fellow, Centre for Community Networking Research, Monash University, and Professor of Community Informatics and the Information Society, Cape Peninsula University of Technology, South Africa and

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The vision of Australia as a knowledge society underpinned by e-democracy was strongly articulated in national consultations towards an information economy strategy for Australian civil society in 2003 – 2005. The consultations had two purposes:

  • To assist with Australia’s contributions to the two UN/ITU World Summits on the Information Society (Geneva in 2003, Tunis in 2005),
  • To complement Australia’s Framework for the Information Economy 2004-2006, a major policy statement by the Australian government.

This paper gives an account of the research approach used for the consultations, reports on major findings from the consultative process, and offers comment on these from a library perspective. In the interests of spreading useful and reliable knowledge as widely as possible, improving engagement with their communities, and bettering their reputation worldwide, libraries should work harder to play a key role in the concerns enumerated by civil society.