Digital Inclusion in Peru: Conectándonos Peru

Earlier this year, Rosa Yataco from the National Library of Peru attended the Conectándonos Peru conference in Cusco with support from the Beyond Access Outreach Fund. Below, she describes her experience at the conference. 

Peru-Beyond-Access-Rosa-Yataco

Conectándonos Peru began when an international community of bloggers, Global Voices Online, called for youth and young users of social networking and citizen media tools to connect with underrepresented communities throughout Peru.

The central idea of the conference was to strengthen networks and boost exchange among young people using digital media for social change. Participants committed to sharing their experiences and knowledge with others. Their goal was to help develop leaders within communities that are underrepresented online. The conference also deepened the conversation about the need for greater diversity and representation in Peru’s digital space.

Digital Tools and Peru’s National Library System

Although librarians already handle many of the topics covered at the conference, the event also highlighted the benefits of a digital approach to maximize the impact of libraries in their communities.

In Peru’s National Library System, we particularly need to maximize the resources libraries offer so we can work to reduce the digital divide in communities. In particular, library professionals and library users should be trained in ICTs.

The event also covered several free digital tools that I find useful and that I plan to apply in Peru’s National Library System.

  • Podcast production: Podcasts are especially helpful to promote library services on local radio and websites, especially blogs. It would be a useful tool for library staff to reach out to their communities and to become more popular.
  • Google maps: This application allows users to create their own maps. They can add markers, draw lines, and integrate information, such as text, photos and video. This feature turns Google Maps into a useful community tool. The Seeds for Development map is one example of how this application can be used.
  • Audio recording and editing: Audacity is a free, easy-to-use and multilingual audio editor for Windows, Mac OS X and other operating systems. It can be used to record and edit live audio and to splice and mix existing audio. In the Room for the Blind of the National Library of Peru, we use Audacity to produce and edit our own audio books. It could also be used for outreach efforts, especially to edit audio for radio or web broadcasts so libraries can better promote their services throughout their communities.