Grab a cup of coffee and log onto the ISO Café - a new section on our Web site - designed to help journalists, teachers and students discover the big, wide world of International Standards.

In addition to information about ISO (International Organization for Standardization) and its activities, journalists, students and teachers can now find an overview and examples of international standardization in one convenient location.

"The ISO Café is a virtual place for those wishing to learn more about the benefits of standards in the comfort of their home, school or office," said Anke Varcin, Head, Public Relations, ISO Central Secretariat. "Users will gain knowledge about ISO standards in a format that is free from jargon and hopefully of help to all - from the college student to the newspaper journalist.

"The ISO Café features examples of ISO standards making everyday life safer and simpler, healthier and more convenient, as well as ensuring quality and bringing economic benefits. Imagine, for example, not being able to withdraw money from an automated telling machine because your bank card is too big to fit the slot; imagine CD-ROMs that are not compatible with your computer; children's toys without standardized safety requirements; imagine life without a universal system of measurements to quantify and measure goods."

The ISO Café also explains why standards matter, where to find information on standards and how ISO standards are developed. In addition, the ISO Café signposts users to helpful sources of information such as ISO members, ISO technical committees and subcommittees, ISO international and regional partners as well as other Web pages within ISO Online.

An ongoing project, the ISO Café will be updated and expanded over time with more examples of ISO standards and additional information on international standardization.