Thursday, July 2, 2015

Cooperation with the Opportunity Bank on the AgroLib Project

When, at the beginning of 2015, Vesna Crnković, the Jagodina Library director, was awarded Naj Žena by Blic Žena, the Opportunity Bank awarded her too. The last lines of the article on the Blic Žena portal were: „When she started the project, Vesna didn’t have other projects to replicate, but today others learn from her; therefore rural electronic libraries were revived in Lithuania, Latvia and Macedonia. And there will be more such libraries in Serbia. “

And that’s how it happened- the articles in Blic Zena and a short video about awarded women in Serbia encouraged the Opportunity Bank, to propose cooperation with the library on the project AgroLib. After a well-though-out plan with the director Vesna Crnković regarding the cooperation with theOpportunity Bank, whose main clients are farmers just like the Agrolib’s main beneficiaries are farmers; the support of the Opportunity Bank management was guaranteed.
Therefore, the village library in Vrtogoš near Vranje got a computer and financial support for internet connection and agricultural journals from the Opportunity Bank. The mobile library (bookmobile) which visits village around Aleksinac and provides the residents with books, got two lap tops and financial support for internet connection and agricultural journals, and the Glogovac Library near Jagodina got a computer.
The award from the Opportunity Bank enables the Agricultural Libraries (AgroLib) services to be the integral part of the work of Vrtogoš village library and mobile library in Aleksinac.
Opportunity Bank plans educational activities regarding the organization of workshops for financial andcomputer literacy in libraries for bank clients  small farmers in rural areas where there are libraries thathave helped.
Also, the new website and new online marketplace to all libraries in Serbia for their village branches or users who are farmers, who are engaged in old crafts or village tourism to be a part of this project.
Our plan is to offer the website to all colleague-librarians who are interested in the project Agricultural Libraries. That is the reason the website is bilingual (Serbian and English) and for the colleagues in the region it has the option for Latin alphabet. The online marketplace is in Latin alphabet and the offers are translated into English. The creation of the website was funded by the Ministry of Culture and Information of the Republic of Serbia.
We would like to invite all our colleagues to join us and to pay attention to the users in their rural library branches. The website and the online marketplace is free and for all.

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Organic wine

According to some data, wine is commonly drunk by people between the age of 21 and 34; women think about healthier wine more than men do; those who earn less are interested in organic wine more than those who earn more money (the rich strive to traditional or probably expensive wine). Otherwise, organic wine, produced and sold now worldwide, is not a threat to those who produce wine in a traditional way.
As estimated, there are 2,000 organic vineyards, of which almost nine hundred are in France. The largest area of organic vineyards is in Italy– about 45,000 ha (45 % in Sicily), then in Spain (21,000 ha) and France (10,000 ha). In Europe there are 92,500 ha, which means that viticulture makes about 1 per cent of entire organic farming. However, although organic wine is more and more talked about, its destiny is entangled in different interpretations of organic farming and organic products. In the European Union until recently it was not allowed to put a label on the bottle „ organic wine“, but only a descriptive note: „made from organic grapes“. At the beginning of 2013, in Brussels, the EU allowed labels „organic wine“. Even more important is that, under these new rules, organic wine can contain sulfites which was unthinkable to for many. It may support claims that sulfites are not harmful to health, but this is all about financial reasons: sulfites allow wine to last longer.
In the European Union the amount of sulfites organic wine can contain is: 100ppm total for red wine, 150ppm for white wine or rosé, as opposed to  the 10ppm allowed in the US (only when naturally occurring). Conventional wines in the US are allowed 350ppm. 
What is organic wine?
Organic wine is made from grapes grown in accordance with the principles of organic
farming, which means the strict application of numerous rules and criteria, and each product labeled organic must obtain a certificate as evidence of compliance with the rules. Viticulture in accordance with the principles of organic farming means production of healthy grapes and quality wine. Biological laws are respected, natural fertility of soil is enhanced and its microbiological activity which contributes to the healthy nutrition of vines is used. Land cultivation is minimized, and use of mineral fertilizers and synthetic pesticides is prohibited. Constant control of production which fits into the protection of environment, organic viticulture ensures the quality, preservation of the environment and human health. The vineyard has to be far from the industrial pollution, high-ways and conventional plantings. In the vicinity of the vineyard should be a belt of planted trees and shrubs because they have a good effect on the presence of beneficial organisms and stability of agro-ecological system. The content of harmful substances in the soil must be below the prescribed value. The decision on the sustainability of land for organic production brings, after the control of land, air and water, is brought by an authorized person from a licensed institution. Since soil is usually poor in organic matters, it is necessary to add humus. For normal development and good yield, soil must have 2.5-3% humus. Only organic fertilizers are used as nutrient.  That can be manure, compost, humus (earthworm), peat and wood ashes.
In addition to organic, biodynamic wine appeared recently. While organic wine cannot contain chemicals that are formed by using fertilizers, pesticides and herbicides, or sulfates, biodynamic wine producers are even tougher: they adopted everything stated above and went a step further by using specially prepared manure (from ox horns, for example), by not using either preservatives, or to defend the vine leaves from pests and most work in the vineyard and the winery is prepared according to the lunar domains. There is no a strict line between these two types of producing grapes. Thus, some individual organic farmers are adopting techniques closer to biodynamics, and they grow plants that attract insects useful for the health of the vine. With special barriers intended for animals that harm plants, allow weed to grow and wild plants to grow between the rows of vines. The use of biodiesel in the vineyards also reduces the risk of emissions of harmful particles, and a plaw and horses are more and more popular. With the increase in global demand, interest in organic wine becomes an obsession of analysts. Careful analysis shows that organic wines do not attract too many consumers yet. Especially, not in these areas, or the region, where the label „ organic wine“ means bad luck, or unstable area for every winemaker, who counts on free access to the market. Even those winemakers who produce wines on their own with a „smell of“ organic, hide that fact instead of proudly putting it on the label! So it appears that organic wines almost do not exist in the region.

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

The celebration of the Jagodina Library Day

On 27th April 2015, there was a celebration of the Jagodina Library Day. On this day in 1909, the Public library  in Jagodina was established by the Decree of Petar I.

The Library director, Vesna Crnković, awarded the best readers in the previous year in the packed library room. Afterwards, the guests had the opportunity to attend the promotion of a book by Dobrica Milićević, Zvona Jesenjina. Prof. Dr Goran Maksimović, a literary historian and the Dean of the Faculty of Philosophy in Niš, Živorad Đorđević, a publicist and the author talked about Yesenin and the books itself.

Earlier that day, the representatives of the National Library of Serbia delivered 500 books from the latest literary production within the project Piramida knjiga ( Pyramid of Books).

One of the most successful farmers who use AgroLib services, Ljiljana Vulić, made a cake for our special day as a token of her gratitude.

Saturday, March 7, 2015

First lecture in the Glogovac library this year- Fruit tree pruning

On Saturday, 7th March 2015, a lecture on Fruit tree pruning was hosted at the Glogovac library.
Farmers from this and neighboring villages were interested in this topic, because this time of the year is perfect for fruit tree pruning.

The lecturer was Igor Andrejić, graduate engineer in fruit science and viticulture. He is the associate of the Agricultural Advisory Service of Serbia (the  regional center in Jagodina). With this lecture, the cooperation between the Jagodina Public Library and this institution started. 

The lecturer talked about pruning methods, different reaction by the tree, minimizing plant wounding and speed wound closure, the tools needed (bypass pruner and anvil pruners). His presentation included pictures of trees in orchards showing examples of both good and bad pruning techniques. 

Also, he answered questions by the audience regarding grafting specific fruit trees, and what results to expect, what the pros and cons of summer pruning are, etc. 

The effective discussion followed the lecture, because the farmers wanted to share their experiences regarding pruning, and hear the speaker's opinion and advice.

Encouraged by the speaker what they should pay attention to when pruning, one of the farmers decided to take a few books on pruning. The librarian was happy to recommend appropriate literature.

Friday, February 27, 2015

A good start- Lecture on beekeeping

On Tuesday, 27 February 2015, the Jagodina Library hosted a very interesting lecture on beekeeping- Modern methods of bee-keeping, Dadant-Blatt beehive, wintering, preparations for main bee pasture, and swarm prevention.
The topics are very interesting for this time of the year, because in the early spring, beekeepers start with their major activities.

 The room was crowded with people, who were interested to hear a lecturer who comes from a family with over sixty-year long tradition of bee-keeping.

 Having speakers at the library with  great experience and examples of good practice to share with others is a unique opportunity for local bee-keepers to ask for advice, hear
examples and real stories from a bee
yard and find out about different approaches to solving problems in their work.

The audience was very satisfied with the lecture. Most of them are members of the Beekeepers Association Pomoravlje and the are the ones who suggested us Mr. Milošević for a speaker.

We will continue our series of guest lectures related to the project Agricultural libraries in Jagodina.

Monday, January 12, 2015

Jagodina Library Director Nominated for Naj Žena (The Best Woman) Contest

  Blic Žena is a weekly magazine dedicated to women. Every week there is an article about a successful woman in Serbia.

There was an article about Vesna Crnkovic, the Jagodina Library director, in May 2014 .

There are 100 stories in Blic
Žena about successful women in Serbia annually.  Journalists who work for Blic and Blic Žena (most read Serbian daily )  vote and select  10 most successful women in Serbia.  

At the beginning of 2015, Vesna Crnkovic entered the top 10 successful women.

Readers of this magazine can vote until 21 January. In March, there will be an event when Naj Žena Blic Žene 014. (The best woman in 2014) will be announced.

The article in the magazine:

Vesna Crnkovic, the Jagodina Library director, rose the village libraries in the Pomoravski district from the ashes. She enriched the libraries with books, computers and the Internet. She taught more than 200 farmers to use a mouse and a computer. 
 On the website there is the marketplace that farmers use to trade online.
- When I became a director eight years ago, the libraries in our municipality were in terrible condition. Books were not purchased for years, the libraries were open from time to time, because people did not get their salaries.
The town could not help and it was then that Vesna heard at a meting that the international organization EIFL  announced a call for proposals for innovative projects and that ten projects would be selected and awarded $30,000. She applied with the idea "Agrolib", and on 3 April 2010, for her 43rd birthday, she found out that the project proposal was accepted. Five rural libraries got books, magazines and novels, computers and free Internet! 
For the very first computer training in the village of Glogovac, there were 5 farmers who applied, but did not show up!
- It was a defeat. But we did not give up.
The project AgroLib was the first of its kind in the world. Its authors did not have other projects to replicate, and now others learn from them, and today there are rural electronic libraries in Lithuania, Latvia and Macedonia. And there will be more such libraries in Serbia. 
Vote for Vesna Crnkovic by texting NZ VESNA CRNKOVIC to 063/ 257-000