13th Annual Mortenson Distinguished Lecture

Jesus Lau

Jésus 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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Jésus Lau received a PhD in information studies from the University of Sheffield in England, a master’s degree in library science from the University of Denver, and a law degree from the University of Sinaloa in Mexico.

Dr. Lau has held leadership positions such as director of libraries, dean of academic affairs,and information services and accreditation dean in Mexican institutions at the Veracruzana University, Juarez University and the Technological Institutes of Monterrey and Durango. He is currently the university librarian at the Veracruzana University, Veracruz Campus, and coordinator of the Virtual Library Project.

He has authored four monographs, edited nine books, and written more than 100 articles and conference papers in Mexico and other countries, received the National Researcher Award in Mexico,and the Librarian of the Year Award of the Border Regional Library Association from Texas.

He is a member of the Special Libraries Association Board of Directors, chair of the OCLC Advisory Committee on College and University Libraries, chair of the IFLA Information Literacy Section, member of the IFLA University Libraries and Other General Research Libraries Standing Committee, member of the board of the Trejo-Foster Foundation for Hispanic Library Education, and chair of the Mexican Library Association International Relations Committee.