Conference and handbook: How to bridge the digital gap
The research project CAPE is coming to an end. CAPE will mark the occasion with a conference on 7 December and the publication of a handbook on how libraries and government institutions can support citizens struggling to use digital services.
Since 2021 researchers from Finland, Sweden, and Denmark have collected and analyzed experiences from the public libraries who offer support to citizens who find themselves on the wrong side of the digital divide. The researchers will publish the handbook, LIBRARIES BRIDGING THE DIGITAL DIVIDE - a handbook for library innovation, which aims to help libraries, public authorities, and IT companies in supporting the many citizens who struggle with digital applications needed, for instance, to communicate with GPs, manage finances, or find bus schedules.
“The bumpy MitID roll-out illustrates why user involvement is important. For the citizens who have struggled to use public services, the consequences can be harsh and it’s not fair that the tax payers, who paid for these IT systems, who depend on them, find them challenging to use," says associate professor at the IT University of Copenhagen, Jörn Christiansson. Christiansson is principal investigator of the research project CAPE which is financed by Nordforsk – an organisation under the Nordic Council.
CAPE and the Handbook
The aim of CAPE has been to investigate how to involve citizens in the development of digital services. This investigation has been based on experiences from public libraries in Finland, Sweden, and Denmark.
While the research group has produced and published several research papers for their peers, Jörn Christiansson is also pleased to present a handbook targeting practitioners as an outcome of the project.
“I hope the handbook will serve as tool for the public authorities and IT companies who are responsible for designing or improving the public digital services. This may potentially reduce the number of public service platforms that exclude many citizens. Another target group are the public libraries where the staff are in daily contact with the citizens who struggle to use digital services. The handbook suggests ways to transfer knowledge from the public libraries to the public institutions and IT companies," he says.
The handbook will be presented at CAPE’s final conference on Thursday, 7 December, from 9:00 AM to 12:00 PM at ScrollBar, located at IT University in Copenhagen. At the conference, the project’s key results will be presented and there will be a panel debate where “libraries, democracy, and digitalization” will be discussed.
Jari Kickbusch, phone 7218 5304, email email@example.com