Given the several problems faced by developing countries on their struggle to access print-based publications, digital libraries are seen as the great hope as they enable access to a vast panoply of resources, anytime and anywhere. However, building such libraries in developing countries is a real challenge since these countries usually face several difficulties, such as low computer and Internet penetration rates, poor ICT infrastructures, lack of qualified human resources, lack of financial resources, etc. Thus, it is imperative finding alternative mechanisms of building and accessing digital libraries that best fit the specificities of these countries. It is also important to understand how digital libraries are used in these contexts. This paper features the process used for building a digital library in a developing country, characterized by scarce access to print-based publications and serious difficulties in accessing ICT resources. The challenges, the solutions and the adopted methodological framework are highlighted and can be useful for other digital library projects in the developing world. The paper also presents a comparative study on the usage of the created digital library when compared with a traditional library with the same content, and introduces a user study on the possibility of using mobile phones for accessing digital libraries in this context.
Isaias Barreto da Rosa,
David Ribeiro Lamas,
Building and Using Digital Libraries in the Developing World, Education Journal.
Vol. 2, No. 5,
2013, pp. 192-202.
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