Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Jagodina Library & AgroLib Ja project at IFLA workshop, WSIS Forum in Geneva

"At the 2013 World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS), IFLA hosted a workshop on 'Public Access to the Internet and the role of Libraries as an agent of development'.

The well-attended session took place on Thursday 16 May in Geneva, Switzerland and explored the importance of libraries as key partners for development. The diverse panel outlined the essential role libraries play in furthering development of communities.


Genevieve Clavel (Swiss National Library/IFLA)
Dan Mount (Civic Agenda)
Ramunė Petuchovaitė (eIFL)
Jelena Rajic (Jagodina Public Library, Serbia)
Monica Aspe Benal (Ministry of Communications and Transport, Mexico)
Bernadette Lewis (Caribbean Telecommunications Union)
Paul Andre-Baran (IREX)
The workshop highlighted:

the importance of strengthening libraries, as existing and knowledgeable public spaces, has to be stressed further to governments and policy makers
access to information needs to be affordable for everyone and this can be achieved through public libraries
the role of libraries as agents for social inclusion is essential
the importance of adequate bandwidth to facilitate access to large amounts of multimedia content and services
The panellists and participants stressed the need for libraries' role in furthering development and community advancement and for governments and policy makers to actively include libraries in planning and executing of development initiatives."


IFLA has submitted a workshop report to UNESCO and the International Telecommunications Union and is seeking the incorporation of these points in the WSIS Forum outcome document, which will be released in the coming days.

Monday, May 13, 2013

The Jagodina Library-awarded in Geneva

The Jagodina Public Library received the WSIS Project Prize 2013 in the category Access to knowledge and Information. The director of the library Vesna Crnkovic received the prize at the Opening Ceremony of WSIS Forum 2013 held in Geneva from 3-17 May. There are over 1,300 participants and more than 120 ministers, ambassadors CEO’s and civic society leaders from more than 140 countries.

 The Ceremony was opened with the letter to the World Summit of Information Society forum by the UN secretary-general Ban Ki-moon.  He highlighted in his letter that 10 years after the first Summit in Geneva there are nearly 7 billion mobile phone users and there are more people using the Internet which provides them access to information and knowledge. This progress is welcome.

Afterwards, in the panel eight international experts in the field of IT were discussing the benefits and challenges regarding communication. Then handing over of WSIS Project Prizes 2013 started. There were 18 awarded projects that were recognized as successful initiatives of governments, private sector, civic societies and partners.

It is very interesting that two prizes were given to the projects that use the library networks for ICT expanding and innovations. They are the Jagodina Public Library, awarded for the project AgroLib Ja and expanding new information technologies in rural areas through the network of village libraries and EIFL (Electronic Information for Libraries) for the PLIP program (Public Library Information Programme) implemented in 23 countries and intended for acquiring ICT skills. 

Having in mind a great number of government representatives, awards to the libraries certainly draw attention to the role and significance of libraries in spreading information technologies and skills which they have by carrying out their mission in providing access to information and knowledge.

This is the third award for the Jagodina Public Library for expanding information through rural agricultural libraries. After receiving the award, participating and presenting the project in the Forum, we expect for the AgroLib Ja project to be more visible and to attract even more attention of international governments and funders in order to implement this idea adapted to the needs of local communities in other countries all over the world (the project was adapted to the needs of local communities in Lithuania, Latvia and Macedonia).