Saturday, June 29, 2013

Service for Farmers Wins Erste Foundation Award for Social Integration 2013

The Public Library Radislav Nikcevic in Jagodina won the prestigious award by the Erste Foundation for Social Integration 2013 for the agricultural libraries project in Jagodina. It started in 2010 with the support of EIFL (PLIP program) and local authorities of Jagodina. 

At the award ceremony in Wien, Austria on 27 June, 35 winners of prize money were declared. They were selected by the jury which consisted of 16 members from 13 countries of Central and Eastern Europe. Out of some 2,000 candidates for the award, the jury selected 130 finalists for the Erste Foundation award for Social Integration. The jury made a decision based on the impressions in the field the jury representatives had when visiting the organizations that implemented these projects), innovation, sustainability and the project results.

There were 92 project proposals for the Erste Foundation Awards from Serbia, out of which the jury selected six. There were more than 700 business, civil society and media representatives. The Erste Foundation Awards promote the work of organization dealing with social integration of marginalized communities in Central and Eastern Europe.

1st Prize Winner (EUR 40,000) was the organization „Little People Romania" from Romania, for the project "I Am Not Afraid", which supports children battling cancer. 2nd Prize Winner (EUR 30,000) is the organization „Slovene Philanthropy“ from Slovenia, for the project "Social Integration of Migrants “, which promotes human rights of migrant workers  in Slovenia.

One of 26 project winners of honorary prize (EUR 16,000) was the Public Library Radislav Nikcevic from Jagodina for new services in rural agricultural libraries in the municipality of Jagodina. The director of the Jagodina library, Vesna Crnkovic, received the prize.

Thanks to this project, rural residents in five village libraries have agricultural magazines and books, free Internet access, possibility to acquire computer skills, to talk to best agricultural experts, exchange examples of good practice, and use the online portal for marketing and selling their produce. Thanks to the project, the attitude of rural residents and farmers towards new information technologies, and the role of libraries in modern society changed.

The Erste Foundation Award for Social Integration 2013 is the third award that the Jagodina Library received for the project of Agricultural Libraries in Jagodina. This award, like other awards of Serbian libraries for similar projects, shows that modern public libraries contribute to achieving both local and national goals of the Government.

Vesna Crnkovic and Ivanka Sokolova from Macedonia, who introduced the Erste Foundation call for proposals to the Jagodina Library director. Ivanka was happy to celebrate with  her the success of libraries which together with NGOs have a significant role in the development of the society.

Vesna Crnkovic and Ivanka Sokolova from Macedonia, who introduced the Erste Foundation call for proposals to the Jagodina Library director. Ivanka was happy to celebrate with  her the success of libraries which together with NGOs have a significant role in the development of the society.

Monday, June 17, 2013

AgroLib Ja Project at the Annual Assembly for Librarians of Srem

Dear colleague Ms Crnkovic,
Public Library Dositej Obradovic from Stara Pazova hosts 41st Annual Assembly for Librarians on 14 June 2013.
Annual Assembly for Librarians of Srem started in 1972 and is held every year in different municipalities in Srem, i.e. different library in Srem.  Gathering of librarians of Srem in Irig, which will be held for the 50th time and Annual Assembly for Librarians are the most significant professional manifestation at the territory of Srem and northern Serbia.
This year, our library is again the host of this traditional one-day manifestation.  On 14 June 2013 Public Library Dositej Obradovic from Stara Pazova will host librarians from Srem and guests from the Matica Srpska Library, National Library of Serbia, Russian library, colleagues from Serbia.
On behalf of the Organizing committee, colleagues, and myself I am inviting you to be our guest and a speaker at the meeting. The topic of your presentation would be the internationally awarded project of your library, experiences from its implementation and other issues you think would be significant for others to hear.
Natasa Filip
Director of Public Library Dositej Obradovic, Stara Pazova

At the invitation of the Organizing committee of the Annual Assembly for Librarians of Srem, the director of Jagodina Public Library, Vesna Crnkovic, was a guest and a speaker at 41st Annual Assembly for Librarians of Srem, held on Friday 14th June in Stara Pazova.

The director of the library was invited to present and share experiences about the AgroLib Ja project. Her presentation “Rural libraries as information and communication centers of local communities”-highlighted how the library started this project, how it was implemented and why it was successful.

By the way, Srem is a part of Serbia in the Pannonian Basin, where rural residents are engaged in agriculture. Farmers in Srem produce wheat, corn and other crops that thrive in the valley. What the librarians in Srem were particularly interested in was abandoning the traditional librarianship as a concept of the development of library and information profession.

When the program ended, a lot of colleagues continued informal discussion with the director Vesna Crnkovic, highlighting the problems in their local communities and seeking advice to overcome them.

The most important for them was to find out that librarians were in a unique position to change lives and build strong communities because vital information that drives changes was available I the libraries. This possibilities has not yet been used in the libraries in Srem but we hope that this and similar presentation would lead to a change in librarians’ thinking.

The project and presentation caused a lot of interest of the media in Stara Pazova and the director Crnkovic talked about them at a local TV station in Stara Pazova and the national radio station "Radio Beograd”.


Monday, June 10, 2013

Jagodina Public Library and Beyond Access at Spark Conference in Granada, Spain 2013

Thanks to Beyond Access, the Jagodina Public Library had the opportunity to participate in Spark 13 Conference in Granada, Spain on 28-29 May 2013.

Spark conference was organized by Foundation, Telecentre-Europe, Comunidad de Redes de Telecentros, la Red Guadalinfo, and the National Information Agency of Korea and had over 1,300 participants from private, public and non-profit organizations from all over the world.

 The tagline of the conference Technology is Magic suggests that technology can be a magic solution for social and economic empowerment programs and impact lives of millions of people every day and everywhere.
Spark had three themes: People-people are the main beneficiaries of telecenters where they can learn to communicate, create and connect with others.  Innovation- New ideas, tools and methods, projects used in telecenters; and Sustainability.-how telecenters continue to remain effective and important and financially sustainable.

 Participants had the opportunity to hear keynote speakers like Akhtar Badshah , the Senior Director of Microsoft Citizenship and Public Affairs;  Leila Janah, CEO and founder of Samasource; Ann Mei Chang is the Senior Advisor for Women and Technology in the Secretary’s Office of Global Women’s Issues at the U.S. Department of State an many more.   There were a lot of interactive sessions and spaces, including technology demonstrations, workshops, etc. Also, 1st Global Telecenter Awards were hosted this year at the event.

The Jagodina Public Library participated in one of the sessions-Rural Development, Agriculture and Telecenters with colleagues from Uganda, Kenya and Rwanda. The AgroLib Ja project was presented to the audience, particularly the role it played in rural development and changing people’s lives.  After the presentation of the project, there were a lot of questions from the audience.

Beyond Access had its booth during the 2 days of the event. Therefore, Beyond Access Members (Melody Clark from TASCHA, Catalina Escobar - Executive Director of Makaia,  Jelena Rajic from the Jagodina Public Library, Romeo Rodriguez  from Riecken Libraries, Brenda Musoke  from Kitengesa Library and Chris Coward from TASCHA) had the opportunity to present Beyond Access Initiative to Spark participants.

On Wednesday, 29th the Beyond Access workshop was held. The members talked about the initiative itself, including research activities, opportunities for collaboration, the benefits of being a Beyond Access member, etc.

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Media about the Library


This is how we got all eyes on us regarding media coverage of the Jagodina Library success at WSIS (World Summit of the Information Society).  National TV station RTS and a local TV station broadcast the news that the Jagodina Library was awarded by WSIS. Also, both local and national newspapers wrote about the award.

 The headline Every year- international award in the most read newspaper Politika suggests that the AgroLib Ja project, started by the library in 2010, has been recognized worldwide.
      According to Ms Vesna Crnkovic, the director of the library, this is the third international award for the AgroLib Ja project. It means visibility around the globe, because the project idea of revitalizing rural libraries in the municipality of Jagodina would be available in numerous scientific journals, forums and at the website of WSIS. She hopes that the project would get more international attention of funders and governments, and of course, of the Serbian government.             
    What the director of the library highlights as the most important service that the network of five rural libraries offers  is the online marketplace AgroLib pijaca for showcasing farmers’ produce, old crafts and village tourism.

Monday, June 3, 2013

ICT illiterate?

     Here is some information from an article in Serbian daily newspapers Politika regarding ICT literacy of people in Serbia that I would like to share with you:

     Only every third person in Serbia can use a computer and the number of ICT illiterate residents is 3,142,854. That means more than one half of the entire population. The number of people with basic computer skills is 2, 108, 144. The number of people who can partly use the Internet, send and receive emails, edit text in MS Word and create a table in MS Excel is 910,586. 

     The highest number of ICT illiterate people is in the municipality of Gadzin Han-80.31% and in the municipality of Crna Trava- 78%. Both of them are in the south of Serbia. 

     According to the survey of the Statistical Office of the Republic of Serbia, most people with ICT skills are between 20 and 29 years old and the highest number of ICT illiterate people is over 65.