Libraries are increasingly the cornerstones for service salivery (could this be providing services) in local authorities. Libraries - and librarians - have a potentially important role to play in today's knowledge society. However the labor-intensive in-out procedures for books results in repetitive and uninspiring work for librarians, limited opening hours, error-prone procedures and no added value. In may 2006 the book traffic in the library in Avelgem was completely automated and linked to electronic identity cards.
Many people whose first language is not English or have problems reading could still benefit from information on the internet. There are text readers but these are still a bit impersonal. The newsfast services - funded from the Norfolk Open Link applications competition - gets over this problem by having a virtual character read news, weather and sport by taking these from RSS feeds and putting them into words and gestures. It is now being developed to support other languages for migrant worker communities. It is available on http://new.edp24.co.uk/content/videoconsole/Newscast.aspx .
As a result of a discussion with the Shaping the Future and Norfolk Ambition partnerships, it was clear that a big boost to support the cultural and creative sectors in Norfolk would be a comprehensive events database. These sectors - together with the Tourism sector - make up more than a third of all employment in Norfolk. At present the marketing of their services is fragmented.
The idea for the European Media and Broadband Center has been developed within the BIRD project. The aim is to support the learning process of students in the ICT and Media sector by working closely together with companies in these sectors. Students are confronted with ‘real-life’ tasks and have to come up with results in interdisciplinary teams. The companies have the opportunity to find the talents they need.
Artogather is an educational project set up by Noorderpoort College together with the Groningen Museum and the Biblionet, a consortium of libraries in the North Netherlands region. Artogather has been designed especially for students with a low-grade education, who have never really been in contact with the arts and therefore need a special approach to arouse their interest. Broadband facilities make it possible for these students to take their first steps into art education.