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African digital library

An announcement of interest, esp. as it involves netLibrary.com

The Moderators

---------- Forwarded message ----------
Date: Tue, 16 Nov 1999 13:50:08 -0800
From: cisler <cisler@POBOX.COM>
Subject: African digital library

African Digital Library On-Line (Africa)

Centre for Lifelong Learning

November 8, 1999

A digital library for the benefit of users throughout Africa, went
on-line today, 3 November 1999. In response to the need for library
books in Africa, Technikon SA (TSA) has provided an initial
sponsorship of R1m to set up the African Digital Library.

The library is being established by TSA and the Association of
African Universities in collaboration with netLibrary, a private
American company. It will provide Internet access to African users
throughout the continent to a library of full-text books at no cost
to the user.

Over 60 publishers will provide full-text books. Encryption will
ensure that only one user will access a book at any one time, and
loan periods will be a few hours as users work with the books.

"The cost of establishing physical infrastructure, purchase and
maintenance of books makes the provision of an acceptable level of
support a daunting task. The cost of joining virtual libraries is
out of reach for many African institutions. Accordingly, the COLISA
(Confederation of Open Learning Institutions of South Africa)
partners are coming in to provide support. TSA's Centre for Lifelong
Learning is approaching private and public sector institutions," says
Paul West, the Centre's Director.

Sponsorships will be on a per-book basis, and sponsors will be able
to advertise by means of banners per book sponsored.

As far as use is concerned, persons in any Africa country with a
server having an African domain, will be able to access the library
via http://www.AfricaEducation.org/adl/. Servers such as those with
a .com suffix which cannot be identified as African should provide
the Director of the Centre for Lifelong Learning with their IP
address range so that the service can become accessible free of
charge to their subscribers also . Users will then be able to open an
account with the library free of charge.

The library will be made available to people using the Internet in
Africa only. As Internet access expands in Africa, the e-book
collection will grow and accommodate user needs.

"At this point the library contains 3000 books, and the collection
will be built as fast as funds permit," said West. "The African
Digital Library is yet another venture initiated by TSA's Centre for
Lifelong Learning to bring learner support to learners in Africa. It
is an exciting step which will open doors for many who would
previously have had limited access to resource material. Technikon
SA has great hopes for development of this service for the benefit of
the peoples of Africa."

For further information, contact Paul West, Director CLL at
Technikon SA at e-mail address LibraryAdmin@AfricaEducation.org