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Since the Mortenson Center for International Library Programs was founded in 1991, over 1,300 library professionals from 90 countries have participated in the Center's innovative programs. We also work with our librarian colleagues in countries around the world. 
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The Mortenson Center invites libraries and librarians around the world to take part in our International Peace Day initiative. Visit the Libraries for Peace webpage ( to learn about what   libraries are doing to promote peace,   how they can initiate their own efforts, and   where these actions are taking place to discuss and share ideas of libraries and peacebuilding and to serve as an information hub for an international library celebration and action day for peace. 

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13th Annual Mortenson Distinguished Lecture

Jesus LauJésus Lau

Information Competencies:
A Bridge to Narrow North-South Knowledge Gaps

September 23, 2003

Abstract: Knowledge is readily accessible through the Internet to some citizens of southern developing countries, and they have learned how to use it. However, many other citizens lack the information skills and competencies to access, use, and interpret such knowledge, even when it is produced by their own think tanks. Literacy was a paramount goal in most economically evolving countries years ago and many have now reached acceptable standards. But reading is no longer enough. Today, educated and involved citizens must be able to use technology intelligently. Information competencies are a must for evolving societies if they want to bridge the international knowledge gap and pursue speedier development.

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