Providing services for the underserved in public libraries through an understanding of information poverty and access

Research output: Book chapter/Published conference paperChapter (peer-reviewed)peer-review

Abstract

Information poverty is an issue discussed by journalists, government and non-governmental organizations, and academics from various social science disciplines. Terms such as "information inequality," "information barrier," "information gap," "knowledge gap," "information disadvantage," "cyberpoor," · "digital divide," and "virtual inequality" are also used in the literature to describe a worrisome gap that sometimes exists between people and the information they need. Literature from communication, library and information science political science, economics, sociology, social anthropology, psychology, education and other social science fields contrtbute to the body of literature information poverty. The concept of information poverty was coined in the early 1970s, not long the United States declared "war against poverty" (Johnson, 1964a, p. 375). lnfoJrraation and library scientists, among others, began exanlining the effects of economic poverty on information access within the context of what we now consider to be the early days of the information age. This chapter provides back~nm1t1d on how both econom.ic and information poverty have been conceptualized and measured in the United States using similar lenses.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationPublic libraries and the Internet
Subtitle of host publicationRoles, perspectives, and implications
EditorsJohn Carlo Bertot, Paul T. Jaeger, Charles R. McClure
Place of PublicationSanta Barbara, California
PublisherGreenwood Publishing Group
Chapter8
Pages131-144
Number of pages14
ISBN (Electronic)9781591587774
ISBN (Print)9781591587767
Publication statusPublished - 2011

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