While listening to Bobbi speak today at ILEAD U about the importance of access in transliteracy, it got me to thinking about information deserts. I am working on an article related to information deserts and thought I would share a few thoughts here:
How do we, LIS professionals, describe a locale in which access to unbiased information is difficult to obtain? Are there areas in this country in which people cannot obtain information because of the lack of access to the Internet, community computer centers or a public libraries? Are some people cut off from access to the sum of human knowledge, and all the benefits derived from such access?
An information desert exists where access to unbiased information is limited either through a digital divide or lack of access to public libraries. In urban areas, like Chicago or New York, an information desert exists where computer-based Internet penetration falls below 60% and distance to a public library or public computer center exceeds .5 miles. I come from the school of thought that does not think mobile Internet is a substitute for computer-based Internet or public libraries.