Publikace: Narrowing the gap of the digital divide: how NSTL contributes
In China, a digital divide results from geographical conditions, unbalanced economic development, individual differences, and other factors. To bridge this gap and to weaken the polarisation between the “information wealthy” and the “information poor,” a federal, Internet-based library, the National Science and Technology Library (NSTL), has been founded. This paper will introduce what NSTL is and how NSTL contributes to narrowing the gaps in order to reduce differences between the two groups in access to science and technology information and resources. NSTL consists of 9 library members, all of which are national authoritative libraries in different disciplines, respectively covering the natural sciences, engineering, agriculture, medicine, standards, and other fields. First, to narrow the gap caused by geographical conditions, NSTL has built 40 service stations covering 29 provinces, thus forming a nationwide information service network with the help of local and industrial scientific information institutions. This action not only guarantees resource sharing to the whole country, but also improves the service abilities of local providers. Second, to narrow the gap caused by unbalanced economic development, approximately 25,000 types of print resources that are state-funded can be unconditionally supplied to the public at reasonable prices, especially with low prices for remote and poor areas. Document delivery services are ordered over 400,000 times every year. Nearly 4,000 kinds of electronic journals are free for all domestic welfare and educational group users via Internet protocol address permissions. Third, to narrow the gap caused by individual differences, NSTL provides an integrated discovery system on the basis of unified cataloguing so that everyone can search literature easily. NSTL also organises trainings and seminars across the country, introducing and promoting resources to all communities. In addition, NSTL strives to explore approaches to international information access and to foster cooperation opportunities in order to close the gaps between countries.