Thursday, October 31, 2013

Beyond Access 2013: Asia

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.

Information and Media Literacy workshop

. In April 2013 in Uzice, the workshop Training the Trainers in Information Literacy was held for librarians from Central Serbia. The speaker was a professor Albert Boekhorst, UNESCO expert and a member of IFLA Information literacy section.
The participation was by invitation as recognition of the achievements that the Public Library Radislav Nikcevic has had in recent years- development of information and communication technologies and affirmation of library and information profession in the country and abroad. A good knowledge of English was necessary for participation in the workshop because it was held in English. Our representative was Ivana Pesic, a coordinator of the project AgroLib Ja.

Participation in this prestigious seminar was a good starting point for the Jagodina Library to organize a workshop of the same model in order to enhance information and media literacy of librarians in public, school and village libraries.
The seminar-workshop Information and Media Literacy was hosted by the Jagodina Public Library on 17 October. The participants were librarians from Jagodina, Rekovac, Despotovac, Cuprija, and from secondary schools as well as village libraries, a total of sixteen of them.

 The workshop consisted of three one-hour blocks. First, they had theoretical work and then practical work. Discussions during the practice were very constructive and librarians shared experiences and ideas from their own libraries. In the first part we talked about the concept of information and media literacy, which meant definition, how to become IT literate, and literature to study this area.  Then we talked about social networks and their use. In the second part we discussed the mission and vision of the library, so we could talk in the third part about guidelines for introducing information and media literacy in libraries. After each segment, the participants were able to do the exercise in the context of their own libraries and to talk about that in order to highlight problems in their libraries.  It was a challenge for me as a leader of this workshop to have different types of participants.
After the completion of the training, all participants were given certificates for successful participation in the workshop Information and Media Literacy.

It was not easy to organize the workshop and I had to wait for a couple of months for some colleagues to confirm their participation. Also, I waited for some colleagues to confirm who will represent their libraries; therefore, I did not give them preparatory exercises. One more reason for not giving them preparatory exercises was that there was no possibility to buy books used for the research in this area, so they could not find tips how to do the exercises. As it is probably known, in Serbia libraries have not been purchasing books due to the complicated procurement procedures, so the libraries were not obliged to have these books.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

First online library conference in Serbia

On Tuesday, 15 October 2013 the branch of the library Milutin Bojic in Ovca hosted a gathering Small conversation about big library events in 2013 which, according to the Agreement on cooperation in the development of digital agenda of Serbia, was realized by the University Library Svetozar Markovic and the Internet club from Ljig. The biggest library conferences in 2013 were presented at the gathering-IFLA, LIBER and ARBIKON. These significant events were presented by the librarians from Serbia who had prominent roles there.
The presentations had live streaming.

 This was the first online library conference organized in Serbia. The director of the Jagodina Public Library, Vesna Crnkovic, talked about IFLA. Also, she talked about introducing the project AgroLib Ja at the IFLA Conference.
This conference was seen by the entire library public in Serbia. The recorded conference will be uploaded soon on Youtube.

The participants of the conference were welcomed by the President of the City Assembly of Palilula (one of the municipalities in Belgrade).

There were participants from the Belgrade City Library, National Library of Serbia, representatives of the Internet club from Ljig who were very interested in the conference topics.


Monday, October 14, 2013

The Union of the Belgrade City Library visited the Bagrdan rural library

On Sunday, 13 October, our colleagues from the Belgrade City Library, members of the Independent Culture Union visited the Bagrdan Library in order to learn more about the project-Agricultural village libraries. Also, this was a good reason for farmers, who use AgroLib services, to talk to librarians and share their experiences about the project and showcase their produce. In front of the Cultural Center in Bagrdan, where the library is situated, the users of AgroLib services organized a mini fair. Farmers, representatives of the local community of Bagrdan, librarians from the Jagodina Library, representatives of the City Assembly of Jagodina and the deputy mayor in the City Assembly welcomed the guests warmly.
The deputy mayor in the City Assembly, Ms Snezana Vukasinovic, welcomed the guests and expressed satisfaction because our guest decided to visit Jagodina and the Bagrdan Library. She reminded them what Jagodina had been famous for; she introduced a long tradition of the Jagodina Public Library and pointed out a good cooperation between the Library and the management of the City Assembly. She particularly emphasized the cooperation with the agricultural advisor to the Mayor, Mr Miroslav Cvijetic, regarding the realization of the project of Village agricultural libraries. Her address to the guests was followed with a round of applause.  
The director of the Jagodina Library, Vesna Crnkovic, talked about the development of the Village Agricultural libraries and explained why that project was so successful and the most awarded project in Serbian libraries. She pointed out that the project arouse from the needs of rural communities in the Jagodina municipality and that the Jagodina Library did not have any role model  in the realization of this idea, but it was a role model itself to a few libraries worldwide which adapted the AgroLib services to the needs of their local communities. Also, she informed the guests about the participation in the Beyond Access Asia 2013 event.

Mr Mirko Markovic, the advisor of the director of the Belgrade City Library and the president of the above mentioned Union gave presents to the hosts of the event. They were books! The librarian in the Bagrdan Library, Svetlana Krstic, got books for her library and the project coordinator, Ivana Pesic, due to her efforts during the realization of the project in the previous year, got a present from the Netherlands. Mirko had the opportunity to visit libraries in Rotterdam. Libraries there have special services and books (that can fold, soak in water, chew, etc.) for the younger residents-babies. Our colleague Ivana got a little red case from Rotterdam with books for babies (she will need it very soon).