A somewhat oversimplified view of global development divides the world into three large segments: roughly a billion people living in highly developed economies such as the US, Europe, and Japan; roughly four billion people living in developing economies (half of those in China and India alone), and a bottom billion living in abject poverty with little hope for development. Unsurprisingly, the highly developed economies are the focus of much of our research. Access to information is a critical enabler for the rest of the world as well, of course, but often under very different conditions. Let us consider one of the popular modern modalities of communication to elaborate on this point. Well over half the population has regular access to a networked digital device, but for more than 80% of those people the device is not a networked PC but rather a cell phone with no graphical display capabilities. On the user-end, we know that educational attainment varies markedly between the developed and developing world, and this factor has important consequences for both needs and opportunities associated with identifying effective means of information access.
In this workshop, we will take a broad approach in defining the various applications of digital libraries, with an equally broad view of developmental goals (for example, educational, health, and economical impacts would all receive attention).
A key goal for the workshop is to bring together researchers who have thought deeply about the use of Information and Communication Technologies for Development (ICTD) with those who have thought deeply about the design and evaluation of digital libraries in an effort to spark new work in this important intersection.