2012 45th Hawaii International Conference on System Sciences (2012)
Maui, Hawaii USA
Jan. 4, 2012 to Jan. 7, 2012
Of all the benefits public access computers (PAC) offer users, one stands apart: stronger personal connections with friends and family. A closer look at the results of a qualitative study among users of libraries, telecenters, and cybercafes in Colombia, South America, shows that social media and personal relationships can also have an important community and sociopolitical dimension. By fostering a sense of belonging and connectedness to community and to a larger world, PAC usage often leads to feelings of empowerment and development of social capital, two intangible factors that are critical for community development. This study used a mixed-methods approach, combining surveys and interviews in five regions of the country, to uncover the benefits of PAC for underserved communities. Its findings contribute new insight about the impact of information and communication technologies (ICT) on community development and social inclusion.
libraries, telecenters, cybercafes, development, ICTD, public access, Colombia
R. Gomez and L. F. Baron, "Perceptions of Connectedness: Public Access Computing and Social Inclusion in Colombia," 2012 45th Hawaii International Conference on System Sciences(HICSS), Maui, Hawaii USA, 2012, pp. 1737-1746.