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(March 2004. 24 pp.) $20 (print)
In July 2002, city officials in Cape Town, South Africa, launched the Smart Cape Access Project to provide free Internet access in six public libraries in disadvantaged areas across the city. Within a month, patrons in these libraries had free Internet access for the first time. A year later, city officials received the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation Access to Learning Award 2003 for their innovative project.
Through interviews with librarians, users, and city officials, Cape Town reporter Susan Valentine describes the inspiration for the project, how it was implemented, and the enormous impact it has had on the lives of Cape Town residents. She also discusses the importance of private donations and partnerships to the project’s success.
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