Librarians and Internet Governance: The case of Botswana

LEBELE, Ayanda Agnes (2017) Librarians and Internet Governance: The case of Botswana. Paper presented at: IFLA WLIC 2017 – Wrocław, Poland – Libraries. Solidarity. Society. in Session S12 - Satellite Meeting: Reference and Information Services. In: Reference as service and place, 11-13 August, Gaborone, Botswana.

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Language: English (Original)
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Abstract

Librarians and Internet Governance: The case of Botswana

As libraries advocate for digital inclusion and public access to internet, it is important to take cognizance of the fact internet, like all other resource has to be governed so as to enable fair usage. Although Internet is more of a public good or commodity, it mostly operates within an infrastructure or backbone that is privately owned (trans-continental or even local area networks) (Kurbalija 2004:18). Internet Governance is also inevitable because, despite the fact that internet is made up of heterogeneous networks, they share a common technological foundation of Internet protocol (IP) (Drake 2004). This paper discusses some IG thematic areas that are relevant to especially libraries in Botswana. The main contention is that as librarians call for open access and inclusiveness of all into the information society, they have to acknowledge that there are some restrictions. Reference librarians have to be knowledgeable on IG issues that promote or hinder access and usage of internet services offered. The paper also calls for librarians’ active participation as stakeholders IG in Botswana. The main research objective is to assess the role that librarians can play in IG. This evokes to sub questions of :(i) who are the IG stake holders in Botswana? (ii) What role can libraries play in IG in Botswana? Qualitative data will be gathered through interviews of stakeholders in IG and librarians at country level. Literature will also be reviewed to help in especially building an understanding of the concept of IG as it relates to Botswana.

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