Peace Corps Online Library Popular Among Web Site Visitors

WASHINGTON, D.C., June 23, 2003 - Less than a year old, the Peace Corps’ new online library is proving to be successful in attracting online visitors. The library, which currently gets over 6,000 hits a week, was launched in late 2002 as part of the Peace Corps’ ongoing initiative to optimize communication and education about the agency’s programs through the use of innovative technology.

The library’s purpose is to share with the public the unique expertise gained by the Peace Corps in its 42 years of service. Through overseas volunteer programs, the Peace Corps has served as a cultural ambassador in 136 countries, and acquired invaluable knowledge of local traditions and customs everywhere from Afghanistan to Zimbabwe. The online materials contain information on community development, education, and cultural diversity - just some of the many areas in which Peace Corps volunteers are involved. Volunteers and professionals alike can benefit from access to the materials in the online library, which have been used to train Peace Corps staff, volunteers, and host country nationals.

In the span of one week, from June 9 to June 15, the library received over 6,300 hits, with an average of over 900 hits a day. During that time, 3,789 documents were downloaded from the twenty most popular resources by nearly 300 different users. More than half the users were private network users and individuals. Companies and educational institutions were frequent visitors to the library as well, with 25 percent and 14 percent of the week’s hits respectively.

The most popular resource, downloaded more than 2,000 times in one week, was the On-Going Language Learning Manual, which is designed to help Peace Corps volunteers in their quest to master the language of their host country. The manual includes a chapter on how to find the way you learn best and an in-depth section on language as a tool for cultural assimilation.

Other popular library resources include the Life Skills Manual, which provides essential information on communications and problem-solving during Peace Corps service, and the New Project Design and Management Manual, which focuses on the development of management skills and community participation.

Since 1961, more than 168,000 Volunteers have served in the Peace Corps, working in such diverse fields as education, health and HIV/AIDS education, information technology, business development, the environment, and agriculture. Peace Corps Volunteers must be U.S. citizens and at least 18 years of age. Peace Corps service is a two-year commitment.

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