e-Inclusion and Public Libraries: A Literature Review
Purpose – The aim of this paper is to review how the e-Inclusion concept has been explored through the public libraries in the last two decades. The author also chose to focus on some examples of the European and Estonian projects which have reflect digital inclusion in public libraries. In addition, the paper includes some selected portions from the literature review chapter of the author’s Master Thesis. (Unpublished).
Design/methodology/approach - Peer reviewed articles have been selected mostly from EBSCOhost databases, Emerald, Google scholar, Mendeley and European Commission Catalogues (ECLAS) using a simple search technique, in both full text search and keyword search using Boolean operators. More than 35 sources were reviewed. Basically, the terms and phrases such as “e-Inclusion”, “digital inclusion” and "public libraries" were applied during the search. Relevant articles in English and Spanish languages have been selected and reviewed. In addition, books, book chapters, organizational websites, official reports, and blogs were also used for this review.
Research limitations/implications – To conduct this research, the author faced the difficulties of language problems, as some of the relevant information/data was found in several documents that were written in Estonian. In addition, as the mother tongue of the author in not English, expert reviewers may find some language grammatical errors in the writing. The time factor has been decisive as well, because the author consumed much time writing and looking for the clearest possible way to express his approaches and statements.
Originality/value – This literature review was made based on a number of previous searches, but the researcher believes that it will have a value in raising awareness of the public library managers and decision makers about the importance of access to electronic information for everyone, and create policies that address e-Inclusion issues, in order to provide access to the most vulnerable populations in our information society.