News and Events: Archive:

Digital Divides & Learning Divides - Focus on Africa;
A panel discussion on Wed. March 7th

The Rutgers University Libraries
invite you to
a panel discussion on:

Digital Divides and Learning Divides - Focus on Africa

Wednesday March 7th
4:00 - 5:30 pm
Remegio U. Pane Room, 1st floor
Alexander Library
With a reception to follow the program

With ubiquitous access to the Internet and the proliferation of cellphones, particularly in Africa, many ask: Is there still a digital divide? Unfortunately, the answer is yes. Not all of Africa is equal. There are many poor countries with inadequate electricity, water, and food, particularly in rural communities, that also lack access to basic education, have high rates of illiteracy and have poor information resources on agriculture, health, and social services.

A panel of faculty and experts in the field, hosted by Rutgers librarian Marty Kesselman, will discuss the current situation in Africa and how Rutgers is collaborating with the University of Liberia and Cuttington University to advance libraries and education in agriculture and engineering and foster opportunities for sustainability. These programs will serve as models that can be replicated in other developing countries around the world.

After Mr. Kesselman's introduction to the theme, our speakers will be:

  • Dr. Rodolfo Juliani, Research Professor in the Department of Plant Sciences, who will speak about the multifaceted US AID funded project, EHELD (Enhancing Higher Education for Liberian Development);
  • Connie Wu, Rutgers' Engineering Librarian, and Laura Palumbo, MSLIS Student, who will talk about an Engineering Information Funded project, the EAKO System (Engineering Access to Knowledge Offline) and the unique use of California Digital Library's xtf software to develop subject repositories in any subject that can be accessed without the use of the Internet;
  • Dr. Richard Rowe, Founder and CEO of the Open Learning Exchange (, that has been very successful in Ghana and Rwanda, will talk about his experience in the creation of school and community learning libraries, known as BeLL (Basic e-Learning Library), that can work without electricity via a solar panel or car battery.

Refreshments and a lively discussion to follow!

This event is co-sponsored by the Rutgers Centers for Global Advancement and International Affairs and the Rutgers University Libraries, as part of the "Technologies Without Borders: Technologies Across Borders" program series.

For more information on this event, please contact Laura Bowering Mullen at

Posted February 23, 2012