An online library is giving Latin American universities free access to more than 1,000 documents in a project created by a group of professors at the University of Malaga, who see the Internet as a way to bring learning to poor, isolated areas.
On the Web site – http://www.eumed.net/ – these educators have made available to cybernauts college-level publications in both Spanish and Portuguese on Social Sciences, Economics and Law through a collection of 774 electronic books, 143 doctoral theses and 155 classical texts.
Most of the documents correspond to work by Latin American university professors and professionals who cannot publish paper versions of their books on the market because “there they would be very expensive and not very profitable,” Eumed project founder Juan Carlos Martinez Coll told Efe.
Users of the virtual library are mostly Latin Americans, since of the 35 million hits registered in the last 12 months, 31 percent originated in Mexico, 13.7 percent in Colombia, and 12 percent in Spain.
With these figures, the professor of applied economics at the University of Malaga showed that the Internet “reaches everywhere, including villages lost in the midst of the Amazon jungle,” where libraries are virtually nonexistent.
The texts posted on the Web site are provided free by the authors because “there are many people in the world who write books, not to make money, but to get their work known,” Martinez Coll said.
The only financing the project receives is from the advertising included on the Web site, which pays for the administrative and computer personnel required to run it.
The initiative began 15 years ago, when Martinez Coll posted a manual of applied economics on the Internet for her students in Malaga, in southern Spain, and realized that “people in Latin America were visiting the site,” so she began increasing the content. Besides other professors at the University of Malaga, the project has won the participation of educators from the University of the Basque Region in the northern part of the country and of Britain’s Open University, as well as members of the Malaga bar association.
Fonte: Herald Tribune
+ Biblioteca virtual abre el conocimiento a Latinoamérica