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61st IFLA General Conference - Conference Proceedings - August 20-25, 1995

Will the Global Information Infrastructure be the Library of the Future? - Central and Eastern Europe as a Case Example

Christine L. Borgman, BA, MLS, PhD, Professor
University of California


The United States was the first to initiate policy and funding proposals for a National Information Infrastructure, followed quickly by similar proposals from the European Union and from individual c ountries. Already, the Group of Seven (G-7) leading industrialized countries have agreed to collaborate on constructing a Global Information Infrastructure “to realize their common vision of the Glo bal Information Society,” based on the following principles (G-7 Ministerial Conference on the Information Society, 1995, p 1-2):


These principles will apply to the Global Information Infrastructure by means of:

The G-7 GII statements are concerned with technical capabilities, guarantees of access to provide network services, guarantees of access to utilize network services, a means of funding network develo pment, a means of regulating various aspects of its development and use, protection and diversity of information content. By addressing the need to monitor the social implications of the information society, they ensure further discussion of technical and policy aspects of the GII, such as the role of libraries. The Global Information Infrastructure (GII) offers the technical capabilities and a policy framework to achieve the long-sought library goals of “universal bibliographic control” and “universal acces s to publications” on a global basis -- efforts in which IFLA has played a central role.