Making the Net Work - Terry's Tour

Terry Grunwald, US community networker and author of 'Making the Net Work', visited the UK at the invitation of Partnerships Online from July 25 - August 8 1998.

The tour was part of the UK Making the Net Work initiative, which aims to promote the use of information and communication technologies for community benefit.

During the tour Terry made a number of presentations, available here. She will be keeping in touch on her return to the US, and exploring the scope for twinning UK and US initiatives.

A marriage made in heaven?

Public libraries and community networks

An audience of 40 librarians and community sector representatives heard Terry Grunwald, US pioneer of the use of ICTs in disadvantaged communities, urge the development of constructive partnerships between libraries and community networks. Her presentation was given at a meeting organised by Community Development Foundation and hosted by the Library and Information Commission in London on 28 July 1998.

Comparing the strengths of the libraries movement and the community networking movement, Terry Grunwald said: 'The strengths seem to be complementary. The differences do not amount to conflict.'

Showing a wealth of experience in helping community organisations exploit the technology, and an almost emotional commitment to the public library ethos, Terry pointed the way to c-net and library partnerships which could extend the benefits of the Information Age to all citizens and organisations. Her vision calls for the use of the technology to help develop socially-inclusive and sustainable communities. Equal access and the capacity to include all sections of the local community are part of that vision. Terry was emphatic about the innovation and strategic thinking of the UK community networking movement, arguing that in many ways it is leading the world.

Martin Dudley, chairing the meeting as a member of the Library and Information Commission Research Committee, said: 'Community networking is about sharing experiences and knowledge. In combination with a public library movement dedicated to the enrichment of individuals and their many communities of interest, we have a potentially powerful alliance to promote social inclusion and develop community identity.

'Creative synergies between the established and the new will help formulate practical models for the Information Society.'

The main outcome from the meeting will be the establishment of a new online discussion list on Libraries and social inclusion. The list will be facilitated by David Wilcox of
Partnerships Online, who was responsible for bringing Terry Grunwald to the UK for her present visit of talks and meetings.

Terry Grunwald is author of Making the net work: online strategies for community-based organisations, available from Partnerships Online - see below. She is currently Project Director of NCexChange, a project of the North Carolina Justice and Community Development Center, a multi-forum research and advocacy organisation serving low-income, working poor, and minority populations and communities in North Carolina. NCexChange promotes and supports electronic networking for nonprofit groups and low wealth communities in the state, and they have been working in this field since 1990.

Discussion list

In order to join a discussion list on libraries and community networking
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Making the Net Work - Terry's book

You can see an extract from Terry's book at and obtain a copy from

Partnerships Online
13 Pelham Square
Brighton BN1 4ET

Cheque with order to Partnership Books £11.50 inc post and packing. Queries