Access to Internet

By Dianne Lewis

Internet provides the opportunity to be part of a global information exchange, providing electronic access to experts in every field of endeavour, information sources such as ASKERIC (which provides information for educators) and the ability to browse the catalogues of the major libraries of the world. Almost everywhere I turn lately, I read another article or hear another lecture about the marvels of this international, el ectronic superhighway of information.

It is an information source that is readily accessed by the tertiary education sector in Australia at reasonable cost via AARNET. Schools in the USA and Europe have easy access, but here in Australia, together with public libraries, we are a disadvantaged group. While access for schools to electronic mail is possible via the K-12 network or services such as Nexus, full Internet access is not.

Bill Linklater, president of ALIA, has pledged to push for "the democratization of access to national and international electronic networks" Uncite 4 March 1994, p 4). He notes the importance for school librarians, in particular, of developing an awareness of the value of the data on these networks and of equality of access.

Is anyone out there interested in lobbying for access for schools?

Dianne Lewis