Multicultural Access to Information in the Digital World: Latin America and the Caribbean:Can Libraries and Archives (Pu...

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Material Information

Multicultural Access to Information in the Digital World: Latin America and the Caribbean:Can Libraries and Archives (Public and Private) Provide What They Need?
Series Title:
Electronic Information Resources in the Caribbean: Trends and Issues - Proceedings of the ACURIL XXXIV Conference held in Trinidad and Tobago, May 23 - 29, 2004
Physical Description:
Conference proceedings, paper
Ingram, John
Place of Publication:
Trinidad and Tobago
Publication Date:


In the virtual world of access to information, geographical boundaries that traditionally marked the physical borders of nations lose that significance in meting out access to information; and hence, there is little real meaning to information boundaries on the Internet. Language barriers have also ceased to be a major factor in gaining access to some information, since there are a number of automated translation programs that can provide some access to material originally in a language not available to the information seeker. Additionally, both for-profit and non-profit providers of information are automatically providing several levels of access in languages other than the language of the provider. With physical borders and language barriers playing less meaningful roles in information access, are there yet other barriers that affect how information may be made available on an international, multi-national, or multicultural basis? Are these barriers imposed by national mandate; by license restrictions; by culture and tradition; by hardware and software; or by the user‘s imagination? Or does each of these factors play its own idiosyncratic role for a multicultural information seeker‘s success in securing access to information?The University of Florida (UF) – a comprehensive research university - is home to several thousand foreign students and faculty (and accompanying family members) for whom the library‘s mission is to provide improved access to library resources, not only via the traditional means of paper and microfilm/fiche, but also through innovative access to electronic materials. Contrary to popular opinion, all information is not available in full text for no charge on the Internet. The university libraries must therefore try to bridge the gap between access to information for free and for fee. Collection management librarians in consultation with faculty and students build the collections, provide expertise in using them, and work to insure their preservation. And nowhere are these efforts more evident than in the university‘s Latin American collections, which encompass all media of information, including electronic resources. The Latin American Collection (LAC) at UF is one of the major repositories for research materials in the area of Latin American Studies, and is possibly the world‘s premier collection for Caribbean library holdings.

Record Information

Source Institution:
University of Florida
Holding Location:
University of Florida
Rights Management:
Applicable rights remain with the author/creator.
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