Anybody with a minimum of knowledge in ICTs and their application in the LIS field will agree that the future is digital. This does not mean that the printed book will totally disappear from libraries. We do not subscribe to the view that the “paperless society” is for the near future. However, the trend is clear: more and more publications are released in electronic media and much more documents are “born digital”. Even the publishing industry has been reshaped on new business models and changes are constantly being driven by digital technologies.
In Mauritius libraries and cultural institutions having a preservation role of materials in their holdings have yet to develop a coherent strategy to preserve for posterity the national heritage of the country, be it in print or multimedia. Lack of technical expertise in digitization and inadequate funds to support and sustain digitization projects are serious challenges for librarians. Open source software and cooperation among enthusiastic program developers have helped to certain extent find a workable solution. However, the digital divide among rich and poor nations still persists and is affecting the long-term preservation of human culture in all its varied and diverse forms or expressions. Developing countries have for long been conceived as producers of information while less developed countries have been happy in their passive role of information consumers.
Modern digital technologies may contribute to change this classic scenario of information producers and information consumers. Open source software and cheap digitization equipment can turn even the smallest library into a producer of information. A very cheap equipment for digitization of books, promised to be around US $350.00 (inclusive of two installed cameras) can effectively be used to promote local content. Library personnel wishing to convert their indigenous print collection to digital format for preservation and making them accessible globally, surely have an interest in such equipments. To learn more about the equipment termed “BookLiberator” , just click on the link below http://bkrpr.org/doku.php