Digital divide refers to the gap between people with effective access to digital and information technology, and those with very limited or no access at all. A total of 161 countries were examined over the 1999-2001 period to identify the determinants of cross-countries disparities in personal computers and internet penetration. Basically digital divide exist because of socio economic factors, geographical factors, educational, attitudinal and generational factors. A further gap between the developed and underdeveloped world in the uptake of technology is evident within the global community, and may be of even greater significance.
Digital divide is classified under four (4) successive types of access: Motivational, physical, skills and usage is observed. A shift of attention from physical access to skill and usage is observed. In terms of physical the divide seems to be closing in most developed countries, concerning digital skills and the use of applications the divide persists.
Developing countries are lagging behind in digital library research and development, due to the digital divide as well as the lack of appropriate resources required for search and development.
As a result users in developing world are being deprived of digital library services. Global library development can be used by users in developing countries: subject gateways, digital reference services, free access to e-journals and e-books in many areas, also educating individuals about digital divide and also the internet. Having disconnected areas be connected to the network and distributing free useful devices e.g. laptops, phones etc to be up to date.
[->0] – http://www.emeraldinsight.com/journal.htm?articled=867166&show=abstract