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LIS-PUBLIB-RESEARCH  October 1999

LIS-PUBLIB-RESEARCH October 1999

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Subject:

Press Release from the Library and Information Commission

From:

[log in to unmask] (Henry Girling)

Reply-To:

[log in to unmask] (Henry Girling)

Date:

Fri, 29 Oct 1999 13:27:54 +0100

Content-Type:

text/plain

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          **Apologies for cross-posting**
     
     
     
     PRESS RELEASE
     Friday 29 October 1999
     For immediate use
     
     LIC TO RECEIVE MULTI-MILLION DOLLAR GIFT FROM BILL & MELINDA GATES 
     FOUNDATION 
     
     2.5 million to support information technology learning centres in UK 
     public libraries 
     
     The Library and Information Commission (LIC) announced today a gift of 
     over $4 million (2.5 million) from the Bill & Melinda Gates 
     Foundation for the provision of information technology learning 
     centres in public libraries in some of the most deprived communities 
     in the country.  The gift will be managed by the LIC's Chief Network 
     Adviser Chris Batt, and implementation and roll-out will be timed to 
     coincide with the completion of the People's Network in 2002.
     
     Under the plan, 47 central and regional libraries will each be given 
     11 public access computers, with supporting infrastructure made freely 
     available for library patrons to develop their information and 
     communication technology skills. A further 322 community libraries 
     will receive two computers and associated equipment to provide similar 
     facilities, and the finished project represents the outcome of over a 
     year's detailed planning in which the LIC and the Bill & Melinda Gates 
     Foundation have worked closely together.
     
     Said Matthew Evans, Chair of the Library and Information Commission, 
     "This is a fantastic chance for those communities most in need of 
     support to prepare for the Information Age to get 'fast track' help. 
     The revolution in access to information and ideas that networking and 
     the Internet are creating must be available to everyone within the 
     community, and this generous donation will speed on the Government's 
     explicit policy to connect all public libraries to the Information 
     Superhighway by the end of 2002 . Thanks to this gift, we will be 
     creating a genuine People's Network in places where it really 
     matters."
     
     Richard Akeroyd, Executive Director of the Gates Library Initiative, a 
     programme of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, responded  "We have 
     already been able to help needy communities in the United States and 
     Canada by providing hardware, software and training to nearly 2,300 
     public libraries.  We still have a lot of work to do, but have already 
     seen the myriad of ways that people, who otherwise would not have 
     access to computers, can improve their lives through access in the 
     public library.  We are delighted to be partnering with the Library 
     and Information Commission in their effort to ensure that anyone, 
     regardless of income, age, race, or education level, can have access 
     to the power of technology."
     
     Notes
     
     The Library and Information Commission was established in 1995 to be a 
     national focus of expertise in the field of library and information 
     services.  Its core objectives are to provide a single, coherent and 
     efficient source of advice to Government on all issues in the field, 
     to draw its attention to emerging trends and suggest appropriate 
     responses to them, and to provide all advice on the basis of as full a 
     process of consultation as possible.  In April 1999 it substantially 
     expanded its research role by assuming responsibility for the research 
     commissioning and funding activities formerly carried out by the 
     British Library.  It is due to be absorbed no later than 1 April 2000 
     into the new Museums, Libraries & Archives Council, under the 
     continuing Chairmanship of Matthew Evans.  Further information on the 
     LIC and the People's Network can be found on its web site: 
     http://www.lic.gov.uk.  
     
     The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation places a major focus on helping 
     to improve people's lives through global health and learning.  Led by 
     William H. Gates, Sr., and Patty Stonesifer as co-chairs, the 
     Foundation is based in Seattle.  Significant projects include the 
     Gates Millennium Scholars program, a $50 million annual commitment for 
     20 years to provide financial assistance to high achieving minority 
     students who are in severe financial need and would otherwise be 
     excluded from higher education; the Bill and Melinda Gates Children's 
     Vaccine Program, a $100 million commitment to speed the delivery of 
     lifesaving vaccines to children in developing countries; and the 
     Maternal Mortality Reduction program, a $50 million commitment to 
     prevent pregnancy-related deaths of women in developing countries. 
     Further information on the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation can be 
     found at http://www.gatesfoundation.org. 
     
     Press contact: Tim Owen, Library & Information Commission. 19-29 
     Woburn Place, London WC1H 0LU.
     Tel: 020 7273 8715. Fax: 020 7273 8701. E-mail: [log in to unmask]
     
     Or: Trevor Neilson, Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. Tel: 00 1 206 
     709 3112
     
     



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