Magazine article Information Today

Cooperation Erupts All around the World

Magazine article Information Today

Cooperation Erupts All around the World

Article excerpt

The National Libraries of China, National Diet Library of Japan, and National Library of Korea signed an agreement to share their digital libraries and make them accessible to the people of their countries in their local languages. Leaders of the three national libraries signed the Planning Agreement on Digital Libraries of China, Japan, and Korea on Aug. 10 at a ceremony at the 76th IFLA General Conference in Gothenburg, Sweden. [See the related Report From the Field on IFLA, which appears on page 30.--Ed.] The trilateral cooperation was first discussed at the 2007 IFLA General Conference in South Africa.

The partners agreed to establish a closer relationship, share experiences and information, and promote the cooperation and development of metadata standardization, information service integration, and long-term preservation and utilization of digital resources. By sharing their digital collections on the internet, the people of China, Japan, and Korea will better understand their mutual cultures and scientific achievements, and academic research will be stimulated by greater access to abundant and diverse cultural information. The three libraries have now amassed more than 1.3 million digitized books.

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"By sharing information and knowledge, the three countries in Northeast Asia are laying a founding stone to overcome differing views of history and share their cultural and historic riches," Mo Chul-min, director of the National Library of Korea, told the Yonhap News Agency.

Declaration on Regional Cooperation

Elsewhere in Asia, ministers from five nations agreed on Aug. 5 to develop regional cooperation on digital inclusion in a declaration signed at an ITU (International Telecommunication Union) Forum in the Maldives. The declaration commits the governments of Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, the Maldives, and Nepal to stimulate broadband access, ensure cyber-security, minimize climate change, and build emergency communications capacity.

The declaration also resolves to establish national broadband policies, to enable regulatory environments, and to strengthen national advanced ICT (information and communications technology) training capabilities. It also encourages service providers to expand broadband access using the full potential of wireless broadband to deliver innovative solutions in rural and remote areas, while encouraging establishment of local Broadband Community Centers that are capable of offering online applications, including egovernance, elearning, e-health, and epublications using local content.

Satellites Provide Regional Connectivity

Regional cooperation took a step forward in Africa and the Middle East on Aug. 5 with the launch of two new communications satellites that will provide pan-regional connectivity to advanced ICT services. RASCOM-QAF1R and NILESAT 201 were successfully deployed by an Ariane 5 vehicle, launched from Kourou Spaceport in French Guiana.

"The launch of stateof-the-art satellite systems has been a long and much-cherished dream for the region and its people," according to Hamadoun Toure, ITU secretary-general, speaking from Kourou, where he attended the launch. This launch represents another milestone in getting the region's communities better connected. In addition to providing low-cost international connections between African countries and connecting isolated villages via low-cost terminals, the RASCOM-QAF1R will provide direct TV and radio broadcasting services, internet access, and value-added broadband services. For its part, NILESAT will bring subscribers instantaneous access to news, information, and entertainment, as well as the high-speed data that is the cornerstone of modern life. The launch of these two systems represents another "huge step forward in bridging the digital divide, and reinforces the importance of making new technologies like broadband accessible to all the world's people. …

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