The ISESCO Guidance Document on “Digital Culture: Opportunities and Challenges”, adopted by the 11th Islamic Conference of Culture Ministers, which was hosted by Tunisia on December 17 and 18 this year, proposed the creation of an electronic search engine for the Islamic world, to highlight its cultural production and information materials, and facilitate its circulation at the global level and within the specialized departments.
The document deals with three axes, the first of which is the definition of digital culture and its history, the second is the challenges and prospects of digital culture in Member States, while the third axis presents proposals to facilitate access to digital culture.
The document includes setting plans and programs to enhance digital culture and its practical applications for digitizing documenting cultural heritage, encouraging creativity in the field of digital arts, establishing mechanisms for digital cultural governance, establishing museums and virtual libraries, and coordinating with ministries of education to facilitate the acquisition of knowledge and skills necessary to master the elements of digital culture, and adapting to the Education and training area with tools and contents for digital culture.
The document also indicated the need of enabling national public libraries to obtain the entirety of digital cultural production, and to facilitate access to it and loan it remotely, while ensuring respect for the requirements of legislation related to intellectual property and copyright rights.
The document stressed the need to develop training programs in schools and institutes specialized in the arts and communication on the applications of digital culture and methods of using information and technology tools to develop digital content, art of design, graphics, and film and television careers, among others.
It also calls to establish incentive policies and legislative and tax measures to enhance digital culture and accelerate the growth of cultural industries and creative enterprises.
The document also mentioned the importance of maintaining the economic balances between the paper book market and the digital book, by enacting appropriate legislation and regulatory laws, and accompanying professional contractors working in the field of publishing and distribution in order to encourage and support them on digital transmission.
The Conference of Culture Ministers called on ISESCO to cooperate with member states in allocating a number of activities and programs on the subject of digital culture, and to translate the reference books into the working languages of the organization, digitizing it and making it available to the general public.