Unpacking the Knowledge Centre Concept
This paper explores the emergence of information technology and library services commonly referred to as ‘Knowledge Centres’. Despite being a somewhat ill-defined term the Knowledge Centre concept has found currency across the globe, particularly in many of Australia’s Indigenous communities. This paper contends that the Knowledge Centre concept is both a response to the changing nature of information, media and communications technologies and the growing appreciation of Indigenous Knowledge as distinct and valid episteme. This paper explores the contexts in which knowledge centres have arisen and their meaning and significance in the technologised world in which people are now enmeshed. Given the importance of the convergent communications environment in shaping the knowledge centre concept one should also be mindful of the historical context within which audio-visual and textual literacies have taken form in remote Aboriginal communities over the past few decades. By drawing upon examples from the Northern Territory Library’s Libraries and Knowledge Centres program this paper considers the development of the Knowledge Centre concept and how it may differ from a traditional library service.