Information society and libraries
The article deals with the role of libraries in the information society, both theoretically and in the real-life politics of the European Union and Estonia.
The conclusions present the results of a survey on correspondence of the current Estonian information politics to the needs of the society, the role of libraries in the information society and on the quality of Estonian research library services in particular. According to the respondents:
- The most important criteria for an information society are both technological development and information itself.
- An aim of the information politics of the government should be supporting the creation of technological and information infrastructure.
- Coordinating the creation and maintenance of the national information resource is an important task of the government
- The national information resource consists of all information carriers – digital, printed, audiovisual, and the rest.
Libraries remain in an important position in the information infrastructure of information society and the expectations of the respondents regarding libraries are very high. Despite the fast development of the Internet, libraries are seen as the most important information centres, with the ability to offer professional information services and free access points for everyone. Respondents indicate that services offered by the Estonian research libraries do not fully correspond to their needs. The main deficiency lies in the collections, especially of periodicals and new literature, and in the limited selection of online databases.