World Telecommunication and Information Society Day

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May 17th was World Telecommunication and Information Society Day, held in Shanghai China this year. From their website at  --"The purpose of the WTISD is to help raise awareness of the possibilities of that the use of the Internet and other information and communication technologies (ICT) can bring to societies and economies, as well as of ways to bridge the digital divide.

One of WTISD's Calls for Action in 2010 was:

  • Connect all institutions, in particular schools, in urban areas. Schools are community hubs, a place of learning and accessibility. By connecting schools we connect youth as well as others in the community to knowledge and information, leading to employment and social and economic development. Connected schools can serve as a point of service for underserved groups in the community, including women, persons with disabilities and aboriginal peoples.

    Call for action: ITU Member States, Sector Members and partners are urged to help connect all schools by 2015:
  • Make connecting schools a priority or formal requirement in the disbursement of Universal Service Funds.
  • Include school connectivity requirements directly in Universal Service Obligations.
  • Allocate radio-frequency spectrum for school connectivity and reduce or eliminate spectrum fees for schools.
  • Include school connectivity a condition to obtain operator licenses to ensure that a given percentage of schools are connected by a specific date.
  • Provide incentives for operators to connect schools and to offer special tariffs for schools, such as reduced Universal Service Funds, contribution levies and tax breaks.

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It is interesting that libraries aren't mentioned as part of schools. When I was at LOEX there was an interesting talk entitled, "The I-Society: Challenges and Opportunities for Librarians in the E-World" by Dr. Hermina G.B. Anghelescu, an Associate Professor at the School of Library and Information Science, Wayne State University, Detroit, Michigan. She talked about the idea of the "I-Society" as in "Information-Society."

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