Tuesday, April 30, 2013

The Jagodina Library Day sweetened

One of the AgroLib users Ljiljana Vulic, who benefited from the AgroLib Ja project a lot, made another cake for us, for the Jagodina Library Day.

Here is the director and Ljilja's corresondence:
Vesna Crnkovic
Dear Ljilja,
I would like to say thanks once again for the cake, rolls and lilacs. You sweetened our day!

Szr Asura
That’s nothing  compared to what you’ve done for my old hand-made craft business. See you!

Vesna Crnkovic
Greetings. You can count on us anytime.
Librarians enjoying themselves

Ljilja's story:


Friday, April 19, 2013



            I am Miroslav Cvijetic, an agronomy engineer and my position is the advisor to the Jagodina Mayor, regarding agriculture.
            I would like to point out that I had the honor and privilege, being the participant in the AgroLib project, to visit Washington DC and participate in the Beyond Access Conference in October 2012.

            As the most qualified person in the management of the town of Jagodina, I have been following the work of the AgroLib project and I want to express my positive impressions.
            The AgroLib project, is getting more and more appreciated by a great number of farmers. The project presentations are more expanded and visited thanks to the quality speakers and well-chosen topics that are in accordance with the needs of the participants.
             I noticed that farmers are starting to get to know each other, discuss, share their experiences and pass their knowledge on other participants.

            An interesting example is the following case-at one of the AgroLib lectures, two farmers met. One of them shared his experience in the production of rose hip (rose haw). This is a very rare type of agricultural production and I did not know that somebody actually grew this fruit near Jagodina. The other farmer said that he wanted to start growing it, but did not know what the production technology was like.
            This situation would not be strange if these two farmers were not from the same village and knew each other, but did not have the slightest idea what the other one was engaged in regarding rose hip production.
 I have to say that as an agricultural expert, and visitor of all AgroLib activities, I remembered some things I forgot, but also learned new things especially from leading agricultural producers.
I will mention the lectures on blueberries.
I did learn about this fruit during my university education from 1986-1991, but this fruit and its production was not popular and my knowledge was not sufficient. USA as a leading producer of the Northern highbush blueberry, exports the seedlings and in the 2000’s there is a real expansion of blueberry production.

           One of the AgroLib lecturers Ivan Djuknic is a leading expert in the field of blueberry producer in Serbia and exporter and distribution of the Northern highbush blueberry seedlings. He often visits the USA producers and shares the experience with other interested blueberry producers, but also with the experts for fruit growing who did not have a chance to learn more about this new fruit crop.
           The town of Jagodina have been helping the AgroLib project activities in order to develop not only librarian ship but also all areas of the economy-in this case agriculture as the focus of AgroLib program.
          There is an open village library in Majur. The town of Jagodina provided space, renovation and interior decoration and the Library provided equipment-computers, the Internet, books and journals.
             The results of this co-operation is a modern village library with appreciable number of books and journals, a skilled librarian and space that can be used for lectures, meetings and trainings of farmers.

             The proof that this cooperation is successful is the need to extend library working hours and increase the number of staff.
             Our participation at Beyond Access Conference , encouraged other libraries in Serbia and local governments to get interested in this project with modifications specific to their needs. (Visit to local government in Pancevo).

Also,those who participate in the project, started solving problems and recognizing needs of farmers in a serious manner.
             For me personally, this is a great experience and I hope that the cooperation with Beyond Access will continue in the future.

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Letter of appreciation by the Library Braka Miladinovci, Radovis, Macedonia

The director of the Jagodina Library has recently received a letter of appreciation for participating in the Conference from 14-15 February in Radovis, Macedonia, by Ivanka Sokolova, the organizer of the Conference, who has a very active and important role in the development of library and information work in Macedonia. Also, Ivanka is very active in the NGO sector- in the fight for women’s rights. 

Here is her letter:
What Ivanka wrote:
 Dear Ms Crnkovic,
Women's Action-Radovis and Public Library Braka Miladinovci are sending you greetings and deep appreciation for your participation at the Regional conference Public Libraries empower Innovations in the community which was held on 14 and 15 February in Radovis.
 We are especially grateful for shared experiences that the library Radislav Nikcevic gained during the implementation of the project AgroLib Ja, which prompted the productive discussing at the Conference.
We hope that the program of the Conference met your expectations and that you had the opportunity to make new  friends, discuss ideas and opinions and exchange experiences with colleagues from Macedonia.

Thank you.

President of the Organizing Committee of the Conference
Ivanka Sokolova

20 February 2013

  „I met Ivanka Sokolova three years ago in Ljubljana at the Conference, organized by EIFL. I recognized her as a librarian in the real sense of the word,” begins a story Vesna Crnkovic, the director of the Jagodina Public Library. „ I was fascinated by her professional curiosity, tireless persistence, dedication to work and development of knowledge. I was particularly fascinated by her courage, openness and readiness for new challenges, new approaches and innovations. “

  Ivanka Sokolova completed her postgraduate studies of librarianship in Croatia. She is involved in the implementation of several international projects that have a major impact on the improvement and development of the library Braka Miladinovci in Radovis, Macedonia. She actively participated in the project Friendly libraries for all citizens, funded by the Government of Norway and implemented by the Development program of United Nations-UNDP. Thanks to this project, the Radovis library was completely rebuilt and modernized and became one of the busiest and most visited places in the town.

  Her commitment to the promotion of library work does not stop here. Realizing that libraries in Macedonia are in difficult financial situation, she is constantly looking for new sources of funding for various activities of the library. In 2010 Braka Miladinovci Library was awarded $30,000 for the project Creative minds create job opportunities, which was designed by Ivanka. This project is a specific model that introduced new services in the library work promoting importance of reading, literacy and lifelong learning. The project is focuses on the development of new services that involve the use of library resources for the improvement of education and finding information for the unemployed and allowing them to participate equally in the labor market and active involvement in the community life. Thanks to this project, a lot of beneficiaries of this project managed to find jobs. 

  In 2011 in Prague, the project Creative Minds was one of 37 awarded project out of 1, 836 projects from 12 countries and was awarded for social integration 2011 by the Erste Foundation. The award of € 16,000 ($23,113) helped the sustainability of the project.

  Ivanka Sokolova is the president of the Association for the Improvement of the Position Women in Macedoina called Women's Action. Women's action is a nonprofit organization in Radovis and the aim of this disorganization is improving the quality of women's lives in the community by promoting the protection from the violence, abuse and trafficking by adopting the equal participation of women in all spheres of life, raising awareness among women about their own values and improving socio-economic status in the community. 

  She is also the coordinator of the project E-labs implemented in Macedonia. The project's aim is to support women in Radovis to improve their computer and Internet skills so they can recognize and use all the possibilities offered by IT in professional and everyday life.
„If we take into account the biography of Ivanka Sokolova, her call for cooperation is a great opportunity to expand the AgroLib Ja project, but also to share experiences and initiate regional cooperation, “ says Vesna Crnkovic, the director of the Jagodina library with great satisfaction.
Here is the article in Macedonian reputable newspaper about the library Braka Miladinovci http://dnevnik.com.mk/?ItemID=FE27EDFBDD8F164EAE510ECD2A66E88F

Finally-one more village library

         The village library in Majur officially started working on 1 April 2013. It is open Monday to Friday.

    The librarians who work in the Department of development and improvement of library and information work visited the library before the opening and held training for the village librarian. 

They were pleasantly surprised because they saw school children who came to see what was going on in their village. So, the village librarian informed them when the library would be open and how they could borrow books and use computers.

      The village library has a separate section for children and a reading room with books for adults and professional literature. The library has three computers and free Internet access for users and one computer for the librarian. Currently, there are 1,000 books and 10 magazines.