Thursday, September 16, 2010

Writing Competition for Library and Information Week

Few months backs, CQUniversity held a writing competition for National Library and Information Week. The theme for the competition was libraries or access to information and they were to choose 3 best entries to be published in the Sydney Library Website. I thought I should give it a go and hence wrote a short essay which was selected to be published in the Library Website. Today, I want to share that piece of writing with you guys and here it goes:

Access to information: Right or a Privilege? by Romu Shrestha

What is life without curiosity? Take a minute and think of a person who has had no questions in his mind all his life. I am sure a person with no questions doesn’t exist. Curiosity is a human nature and such human nature of questioning everything led us to the world of information technology today. We really don’t think about it in that deep manner when we are reading an article on the Internet or when we are watching news on our big HD plasma screen TV and are thinking about something happening in some other part of the world which probably has got nothing to do with us. We kind of don’t realize these days that we can be really hungry about information. This is probably because any information that we need is easily accessible. We can click on and bingo we get everything that we need right there. With such convenient access to information, life has definitely got better and easier.

If we look back in our past and see, we didn’t have resources to access information easily, we had no Internet, no mobile phone to check tomorrow’s weather, no magazines with Britney spears new found love story (many more such interesting gossips), no satellite TV channels with live reporting, no YouTube with videos on just about anything & everything and so on. We had all the questions and no answers. But today, things have changed and we have pretty much found answers to all our questions with easy access to information.

We, who live in well developed countries like Australia, believe that it’s a human right to have access to information and education. However; it’s time we need to ask ourselves a question and that is what about those people who live in underdeveloped countries where there is not enough food, water resources, electricity , education etc which are basic human needs or rights, forget about the Internet, TV channels, well equipped libraries and other resources to access information. Don’t these people have right to access the information like us or do they have to be privileged in order to do so? In that case, is access to information is really a right or it is just another privilege for certain number of people like us? Somebody wise has said, “If you have a question, you will definitely find an answer”. Hence we need to think about those fellow human beings who are under privileged and do something to make global advancement more successful and more meaningful.

I still wonder if access to information is a right or a privilege. Do you have an answer???


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