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Small measures big changes

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  • 1. Small Measures, Big Changes The Case of the Community Participation Contest
    1
    Anca Rapeanu
    Library Specialist
    arapeanu@irex.ro
    Meaghan O’Connor
    Program Coordinator
    moconnor@irex.org
    Scott Andersen
    Deputy Director
    sandersen@irex.ro
    IREX , Biblionet
    Global Libraries Initiative
    Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation
    http://www.biblionet.ro
  • 2. Global Libraries Initiative
    Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation Global Libraries Initiative – to help public libraries evolving into vital tools that can advance the lives of people.
    “The vision of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation is to bring about effective, sustainable public access to information and communication technology in libraries for people in developing and transitioning countries who would not otherwise have access, and to ensure it is useful and used in ways that improve people’s lives and spread the benefits.”
    Global Libraries programs are implemented in 10 countries: Chile and Mexico, Botswana, Vietnam, Lithuania and Latvia, Poland, Bulgaria, Ukraine, and Romania.
    2
  • 3. IREX
    IREX is an international nonprofit organization providing leadership and innovative programs to improve the quality of education, strengthen independent media, and foster pluralistic civil society development. Founded in 1968, IREX works in more than 50 countries with a staff of over 500 professionals worldwide.
    3
  • 4. What is Biblionet?
    4
  • 5. Romania as a country
    5
    Per capita income: $7,542 (Source IMF 2009)
    Percentage of workforce abroad roughly 20% (The Strawberry Generation)
    5.8 million internet connections or 1 in 4 households
    www.biblionet.ro
  • 6. Romania’s communist legacy
    Culture of distrust
    Discouragement of innovation
    Lack of community participation
    Sterile public institutions
    6
  • 7. Romania’s library heritage
    • average age of collections in 2008: 43 years
    • 8. average staff expense per capita in 2007 – 0.87 EUR
    • 9. 9 to 10% of population visits a library at least once in 2008
    • 10. Paul Zot, librarian in Bihor County Library (and trainer within Biblionet Program)
    137.86 EUR
    7
    The “New Building” of the Romanian National Library under construction since 1977
  • 11. Public libraries stats – 2007
    2943 public libraries
    3838 computers
    1250 computers for public use
    922 computers connected to Internet
    8
    Computers for public use
    Comp. for public use + Internet access
    Libraries
    (by type)
    Computers
  • 12. 2010 - Biblionet stats
    9
  • 13. Biblionet – the world in my library!
    provide increased access to information for Romanians by helping libraries better serve their communities.
    26,9 mil $, 5 years to equip more than 1,600 out of 2,943 public libraries in Romania with public access computers;
    provide training to librarians on IT skills, service delivery and advocacy
    strengthen the National Association of Public Libraries and Librarians to support librarians and library development over the long-term;
    work with government at all levels to implement policies that recognize the value of modern libraries in 21st century Romanian society.
    10
  • 14. What is the Community Participation Contest (CPC)?
    A competition organized by BIBLIONET to encourage innovation and community building among the Romanian library community.
    This contest funded technology-based projects designed by librarians in collaboration with community members.
    11
  • 15. CPC priorities
    to encourage innovation and community outreach among Romanian librarians;
    to extend the reach of Biblionet program beyond the included libraries;
    to encourage the sharing of ideas and expertise between library professionals.
    12
  • 16. How CPC works?
    13
  • 17. CPCthe big picture
    14
    16 editions, 148 proposals submitted, 16 winners implemented; 41.522 USD
    Selection criteria: originality, community participation, innovative uses of technology, ease of replication
    Selection panel: IREX staff, librarians, NGO representatives
    Successes: high levels of community participation, new faces in the library
    Difficulties: limited technology skills, limited project management experience
  • 18. CLIO - Center for Promoting Local Culture and Traditions of Jurilovca
    www.biblionet.ro
    15
  • 19. Jurilovca
    located on the border of the Razim-Sinoe Lagoon in Danube’s Delta
    established at the end of the 18th century by Russians fleeing persecution for opposing Russian Orthodox Church reforms
    16
    ORGAME / ARGAMUM - is the first urban settlement from Romanian territory mentioned in an ancient source
    (Hecataeus of Miletus, middle of the 7-th century BC)
  • 20. Jurilovca – the people
    17
  • 21. CLIO - the project, the team…
    project team:
    formal and informal leaders of the local community, teachers and students, under the coordination of history professor Paul Condrat and librarian GheorghiţaCuţopal.
    projects’ objective:
    to help Jurilovca find a balance between promoting economic and community development, and preserving a vibrant, but deteriorating Russian cultural heritage.
    18
  • 22. … the community How they did it?
    engaged elder members of the Russian-speaking community:
    share local folklore by retelling folktales to groups of school children in Russian, digitally recording them, and uploading the recordings to the newly created website, www.bibliotecajurilovca.ro.
    Old books and family pictures
    brought them to the library to be digitized and posted on the webpage
    community volunteers
    conducted research and organized the materials
    19
  • 23. www.bibliotecajurilovca.ro
    The coupling of both the older and younger generations through modern technologies created a unique “cultural bridge”, by gathering old traditions and documents from community members, and making them accessible to the general public through the newly established website.
    20
    ”My grandchildren are grown-ups now. So I couldn’t be happier to have grand-children to listen to my stories, all around the world!”
    Ecaterina Feodot
  • 24. eFOTOgrafi@mea
    www.biblionet.ro
    21
  • 25. eFOTOgrafi@mea
    The problem …
    The Children and Youth Section of Vrancea County Library
    a modern library, new multimedia room and warm environment
    offers different activities for library users, but before October 2008 had never offered activities for minority populations.
    The opportunity…
    a new service designed specifically to make the library a more welcoming place for the Roma community
    constructive interaction between children of different ethnic origins.
    22
  • 26. eFOTOgrafi@mea
    1,945 USD
    six digital cameras, paper, and other supplies for the photography club.
    photography club for youth; photography courses and hosted a photography contest for 13 children (six Roma children)
    23
  • 27. eFOTOgrafi@mea - just a glimpse
    24
    When I first came I was a bit anxious, as I had an unpleasant experience involving some Roma children.
    This experience proved to be a reason for me to get more involved, and to communicate even more with the six Roma kids from the club […] they need to be exposed to positive things, to the beautiful things in life.
    The photographic art is yet another way to express yourself. It’s important to feel and to have “the eye for it”, and then beautiful things come out of your camera.
    “Story”, MaricicaCǎrbunaru
    http://efotografiamea.winfast.ro
  • 28. CIE: Center for Information and Education – With us, for us
    www.biblionet.ro
    25
  • 29. CIE: Center for Information and Education – With us, for us
    The problem …
    Firiza, Valea Neagra and Blidari neighborhoods are cut off from Baia Mare city by the Firiza – Strâmtori lake
    4,000 inhabitants with no access to the city library, but are not entitled to have a local public library that would be easily accessible
    26
    The solution …
    open a small information and documentation center in partnership with a local NGO to provide free access to information and technology and also basic traditional library services
  • 30. Mansio Association
    Ioana, Adrian & Maya Hochia
    27
    CIE – The partners
    Maramures County Library
  • 31. Some of the results …
    One month of operation, 25 people (20 students and five retirees) from the community attended introductory computer courses;
    English courses have been organized for children;
    Other members of the community have borrowed books or taken advantage of the free WiFi network;
    The center was supplied with European Union leaflets, brochures, and other EU related info-sheets.
    “At first, people were skeptical regarding the center. They could not believe that these services are for free. They began to discover its potential, so it is that owners of tourist guesthouses in the area came to the Center to use the laptops and the internet in order to bring their services on specialized sites. Also there are many people who come to seek European funding for agriculture and tourism, some learned here how to write a project for raising funds.”
    28
    Adrian Hochia
  • 32. What now?
    CLIO update:
    In September 2009, a local NGO called Association Jurilovca 21 was established as a legal entity to ensure the continuation of the project and to serve the needs of the community.
    eFOTOgrafi@mea update:
    In the summer holidays a spin-off of the project will be implemented as part of the library’s summer program for disadvantaged children.
    Two students volunteered to manage and maintain the website, and librarian Margareta Tătăruş will organize the photography courses with the help of eFOTOgrafi@mea graduates.
    29
  • 33. Instead of conclusions …
    www.biblionet.ro
    30
  • 34. 2240$
    2490$
    2461$
    1945 $
    2214$
    2300$
    2461$
    2469$
    2405$
  • 35. What’s next?
    16 rounds of CPC
    hundreds of great ideas shared
    quality of proposals increasing from edition to edition
    bimonthly progress reports on implemented project – live, on biblionet.ro forum
    We continue! And do more
    “Train your Community!” Contest
    “I am a librarian!” Contest
    Summer School for Young Librarians
    www.biblionet.ro
    32
  • 36. Find more at:
    Tack!
    33