WiderNet Introduces New 2TB eGranary Digital Library

(February 1, 2010) After two years of development, the WiderNet Project has made its first shipment of the new 2 terabyte (2TB) eGranary.

eGranary Digital LibraryThe new and improved eGranary contains over 14 million educational resources and a host of new dynamic capabilities, including a revolutionary new feature sponsored by the Intel Corporation: the Community Information Platform.

The WiderNet Project has re-engineered the eGranary to include several new features. Users can now employ a storage element that allows them to save information on cartridges and then "snap out" and "snap in" whole collections to transfer them to other eGranary Digital Libraries.

“This attribute will allow a ministry group, for example,  transfer their information from their eGranary to other eGranaries across their country,” says Cliff Missen, the WiderNet Project Director, “so that their communities as a whole become more in-tune with their knowledge and resources.”

The WiderNet Project has also developed the Community Information Platform, called the CIP, sponsored by Intel’s World Ahead Program.

The previous edition of the eGranary only allowed users to view information that had been pre-installed.  With the addition of the Community Information Platform each eGranary Digital Library is interactive.

Users can now add, edit, catalog, and search local content, thereby allowing for personalization and community information sharing.

The addition of the Community Information Platform is vital because local information is critically important in any community -- a school, a neighborhood, a hospital, a town.

Whether it’s a directory of people, maps of the area, lists of health care providers, social networking, course materials, newsletters, or podcasts, every community has the need to convey information and stories to each other.

"It has been possible in the past for people to add content to eGranaries in the field, but only those with technical skills could do it," says Missen. "This improvement is something WiderNet has wanted to add for a long time".

The WiderNet Project is a service organization based at the University of Iowa's School of Library and Information Science in Iowa City, Iowa. The program was launched in 2000 in an attempt to disseminate digital information and materials to developing nations unable to access the Internet.

Through the development and utilization of innovative technology, the WiderNet Project continues to make tremendous progress towards bridging the digital divide and serving the information-poor.

WiderNet is currently seeking donations to help the University of Liberia.  For more information, visit www.egranary.org or www.widernet.org.