21 August 2006

AGLINET, AGORA and world agricultural information

At the recent IFLA meeting in Korea, Jane Wu and Mary Ochs discussed AGLINET and AGORA in the context of recent global library, information and communications technologies, best practices and future trends.

The authors conclude that "AGORA is very much a modern outcome of the information society, one which provides substantive and meaningful content to developing countries and which fosters capacity building through ICTs to bridge the digital divide."

"AGLINET, however, while achieving the noble aims of networking, collaboration, cooperation and resource rationalization and sharing, appears to be missing some ICT-related opportunities now presented by the post-WSIS climate ... The wide disparity of ICTs between the rich and poor AGLINET partners points to possibilities for extending the network to encompass collaboration in all other areas of library work ... Most AGLINET libraries now have electronic catalogues and electronic document repositories and these are listed in a linear manner on the AGLINET web pages ... If the de facto global agricultural library, which in fact already exists through AGLINET members, could be optimized through the use of information and communications technologies, it would ... provide access to the information the world is lacking to grow the food needed to save lives."

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