International Aid Network

Report Libraries for a New Age

The project Libraries for a new age was led by International Aid Network and Vinkovci City Library (GKVK) from Croatia, and implemented in partnership with 4 libraries from Croatia and 3 from Serbia.

The project included development of capacitiesof libraries in order to support cross-border exchange of experiences and transfer of know-how of Croatian and Serbian libraries, promote contacts, interethnic cooperation, networking and local and regional partnerships primarily between libraries, and support social and economic inclusion of marginalised groups.

IMG_1046 kopijaBy building technical capacities of libraries(procurement of ICT equipment) and providing relevant education to librarians the action assisted the libraries to become a valuable community resource for provision of tailor-made education programs. The education programs supported digital literacy as in important element of social inclusion and employability, but also important skills for using digital resources of the libraries.

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Upon capacity building all librariespiloted new services within their institutions – both for general community members and for selected marginalized groups. Community members using library resources now have an enriched offer in their libraries that includes computers with internet access which they can use, but also competent assistance of librarians in using modern ICT for accessing knowledge. More than 1300 community members used new equipment and Internet during the project. Especially important component of the project were new services for marginalised groupssuccessfully piloted in the libraries. Within these services around 300 citizens on both sides of the border were directly empowered through different trainings: 128 unemployed youth attended four office e-skills courses and four job search courses, 91 persons with disabilities and 126 seniors acquired basic e-skills course. By realising this activity the project successfully realised one of its objectives, which was to support social, economic, cultural and digital inclusion and alleviation of poverty of marginalised groups. Through empowering local community members by providing them with the opportunity to learn and gain new skills the project indirectly worked towards improvement of productivity and related social and personal benefits of the citizens in the cross border region.

DSCF7133 kopija dijalogTo promote intercultural cooperation, networking and local and regional partnerships 3 workshopsand 2 joint community events were organised. The workshops for librarians included the following topics: Building Library Image as a Modern Community Knowledge Centre, Networking of the libraries through the web portal biblioteke.org / knjiznice.org, and Intercultural dialogue through the literature for children. Each of the workshops was held in a different participating town which encouraged intercultural and interethnic encounters and exchange. Two events additionally promoted cross-border cooperation and transfer of good practices. One was the presentation of the project at the Health Festival in Vinkovci where GKVK traditionally participates as the library`s outreach to the community. Another interesting event that involved mobilisation of community members from all participating towns was the Silver surfers competition. This event, based on innovative method of stimulating the elderly` digital inclusion through interaction of grandparents and grandchildren, transferred another good practice of libraries` activation to support the most excluded in the local communities. Through the competition the project raised awareness on importance of e-inclusion of senior citizens but it also was an excellent opportunity for promoting good neighbourly relations.

More information: For more information please contact Gordana Stankov Stojilovic, e-mail, IAN-International Aid Network, Djure Danicica 5, Belgrade, Serbia, +381 11 3229 732.

IAN Telecentar
Djure Danicica 5 Street
11000 Belgrade, Serbia

tel. +38111 3229 732
fax. +38111 3225 993
e-mail: edu@ian.org.rs

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