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Telematics for Libraries - Projects


Created: 30 OCT 98 

Project Number and Title 
5604 - Heritage and Culture through Libraries in Europe
Programme/Action line Call Topic(s) Start End Project Duration 
in Months
FP 4/ C 8-9-10bis January 1999 24
Services for schoolchildren; public library services; multimedia; World Wide Web

Action Line
Action line C: Library services for access to networked information resources
Call Topic(s)
8-9-10bis: Adding value to networked information services delivered through libraries
Project description
HERCULE  will develop the concept of young European citizens as information consumers and producers in the emerging Information Society.  It will produce a web site for European schoolchildren as library users. The site will contain signposts to leaning resources linked to school curricula and validated by teachers and mapped by librarians.  The web site will also be a place for the viewing and exchange of multimedia cultural material produced by children and supported by Arts workers.
The project will thus provide opportunities for schoolchildren to share the local culture and heritage of their area with students from other European countries and to explore how this is being affected by current issues concerning the environment and sustainable development.  An electronic newsgroups will be set up to allow HERCULE users to discuss, comment on and question the many exciting aspects of the HERCULE site.
Technical approach
The technical facilities available through the World Wide Web will be used to develop wide-ranging resources for knowledge, information and learning which can be accessed through standard PC interfaces in the library, the school or from home.
Seeking, exploiting and manipulating information on the Web needs particular IT skills.  If the correct learning environment is put in place with trained staff, IT skills can be taught quickly and effectively.
Tools and supporting methodologies will be developed allowing library staff to become expert mediators in guiding, signposting and assisting young library users in accessing networked information resources.
Care will be taken to ensure that interfaces can be customised to reflect the linguistic and cultural requirement of the participating countries and service as a model for wider replication.
Key issues
In developing web resources for schoolchildren, priority will be given to:
  • Enhancing the role of public libraries as skilled intermediaries for organising and retrieving information resources;
  • The software facilities developed should improve the information skills of young people whatever their background ;
  • Attention will be given to the development of a cost-effective model, capable of replication in any library or cultural institution.

Experience developed through the HERCULE project will serve as a guide for public library staff throughout Europe interested in supporting the needs of schoolchildren wishing to use library services for assistance in their learning requirements and related information searching.

Impact and expected results
The overall benefit will be that schoolchildren will have improved mediated access to learning resources via their public libraries. This will not only improve the quality of their education but will assist in creating new IT skills as a basis for increased participation in the evolving information society.

HERCULE will serve as a prototype in widely differing regions of Europe and, if successful, will become a model for Europe-wide access to services for schoolchildren through public libraries.



Name of Institution/Organisation Postal Code / City Country
Walsall Public Libraries WS1 1TR Walsall UK
Title, First Name, Name Ian Everall Address: Central Library, Lichfield Street, Walsall
Tel: +44 / 1922 653130 Fax: +44 / 1922 722687
E-mail 1: E-mail 2:

Other Partners

Name of Institution/Organisation Country Role
Dublin Corporation Libraries IE P
Camara Municipal de Oeiras PT P
Quest Business Technology Centre UK P

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