Access to Information in the English-speaking Caribbean



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Considers the state of computerized information access in the Caribbean nations, with emphasis on cooperative developments. Fifteen databases that serve the region are described, from the early Caribben Information System for Economic and Social Planning (CARISPLAN; 1979) to the new Cultural Information System for Latin American and the Caribbean (SECLAC; 1994). UNESCO’s Computer Database Systems/Integrated Set of Information Services (CDS/ISIS) is in wide use, but MARC has not been generally adopted. Most special libraries in the area are automated, but other types of libraries are not, except for use of CD–ROMs. As in other regions, a fundamental question has to be faced: whether to invest limited resources in electronic files (difficult for many users) or hardcopy files (more costly). Another question is how to deal with inaccuracies and access problems of the Internet. All indicators point to a growing, rather than a lesser, role for librarians in the emerging information age.


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Caribbean, Libraries, Information, Internet, Access


Renwick, Shamin. 1996. Access to Information in the English-speaking Caribbean. Third World Libraries 6 (2): 21- 28.