The study was to investigate the utility of a prototypic technological tool, the CIDS, to project the chosen community into the Information Age. Therefore it proposed to investigate the existing local knowledge and information needs of a community and classifying them into a retrievable form of knowledge, designing a model CIDS and trialling it. In the process the potential of CIDS for community development and consequent community empowerment were assessed and a refined model CIDS developed. The purpose behind the study is to link Information Technology (IT), as the new tool guarding the entrance to the Information Age, with the current level of community development and community empowerment in the CLCs. The central place of Information, and hence of CIDS, was therefore critical to the outcomes of this study. Several concepts in the Research Questions needed defining in terms of how they were studied. Hence ‘community', ‘community development', ‘empowerment', ‘community empowerment' and ‘information' were defined. Their relevance to the circumstances existing in Thailand were explained and then applied to the microcosm of the four provinces which comprise the ICN.