E-government was born at the border of three different fields: public administration, information and communication technologies as well as business management. However, the content of the term is far from being precisely defined. According to one of the most generally accepted definitions, e-government ensures the efficient access to and use of services and information sources provided by the government, or in a broader sense, by the state and local government administration. Thus e-government provides an alternative to paper-based or personal communication, offering new ways of interaction between the administrative offices and the citizens. Besides provision of quality government services, effective e-government encourages the active participation of citizens in decision making and democratic practices. Public libraries could play an important role in this process. Nevertheless, as it can be revealed from related articles in LIS literature, this role is mostly limited to ensuring access to and use of e-government services, collecting useful links, as well as improving the ICT skills of citizens through training. Governments need to adopt a new approach, empowering libraries to become active participants of e-government initiatives. This paper presents the challenges of introducing e-government services in library environment with a focus on US examples, including the related activities of the Information Institute at Florida State University and the American Library Association.
Financed by the National Centre for Research and Development under grant No. SP/I/1/77065/10 by the strategic scientific research and experimental development program:
SYNAT - “Interdisciplinary System for Interactive Scientific and Scientific-Technical Information”.