The Jagodina Library became a member of Beyond Access in April 2012. As one of ten member, the Jagodina Library team- the director of the library-Vesna Crnkovic; Miroslav Cvijetic, an agricultural advisor to the Mayor of Jagodina and Jelena Rajic, a librarian, participated in the Conference in Washington DC in October the same year. On that occasion, the Library was awarded by Beyond Access $10,000 in the category Economic Opportunity.
A year later, i.e. from 20-23 October in Bali, Indonesia, Beyond Access hosted a regional gathering Beyond Access 2013: Asia. The Jagodina Library team was invited to participate in this event. Teams from libraries, community partners and government officials from Jordan, Afghanistan, Vietnam, the Philippines, Mongolia, Myanmar, Bhutan, Georgia, Nepal, Serbia, Indonesia, and Kyrgyzstan were the participants.
It was a unique opportunity for the BA members to share their innovative ideas and future objectives; learn ways to promote and advocate for libraries to development practitioners, explore new technologies; engage in activities that address local community’s needs, etc.
The workshops such as Idea Fair (Poster Session), discussions during lunch, coffee lounges, action plan development and IGF Mock Sessions were organized in a way to give everybody the opportunity to share their thoughts and experiences, as well as to hear the stories of libraries from other countries and what they were doing to address the needs in their local communities.
Friends of Beyond Access led workshops covering very important topics such as open government, access to information and technology and women’s empowerment. Once again, they proved that, since they were development practitioners, they understood very well how libraries could contribute to social and economic development.
The last couple of days belonged to Beyond Access 2013 Asia delegates’ participation in Internet Governance Forum (IGF 2013). The diversity of workshops relevant to libraries, with topics such as open data, local content development and copyright policy were covered.