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Helping People to Manage and Share Their Digital Information: A Role for Public Libraries

From: Library Trends
Volume 59, Number 4, Spring 2011
pp. 637-649 | 10.1353/lib.2011.0016



As a cultural institution, the public library is charged with providing resources and services that fit the needs of a particular community and, if space and budgets allow, of serving as a resource and repository of the community's past. To fulfill its mission to the public, the library must attract that public by offering materials and providing opportunities for them to pursue their unique and varied interests and discover new things. By engaging individuals in the identification and preservation of their own personal, digital objects, it may be possible to increase awareness in, and commitment to, community repositories that reflect a community's diversity and that will serve all. A user education program that focuses on the importance of identifying and preserving the information and artifacts that are important, that addresses the technical aspects of preservation, and that creates awareness of the benefits and challenges associated with sharing personal information can result in a community repository that ultimately has more value for both the individual and the community.

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