Powerful impact as public libraries enter ICT4D arena

Powerful impact as public libraries enter ICT4D arena

Public libraries are effective and reliable partners in community development, reaching many thousands of people through networks, according to impact assessment results of 13 innovative public library services.

The results, newly released by EIFL’s Public Library Innovation Programme (EIFL-PLIPwww.eifl.net/plip), reflect outcomes of public library services implemented from 2011-2012, working across four key community development issues – agriculture, health, youth development and employment.

The libraries all use a variety of information and communication technology (ICT), including computers, the internet, smart phones, radio, web-portals, social media and more.

Agriculture
• Armenia – Berd Public Library – increased interest in alternative farming methods.
• Colombia – Public Library Laboratorio del Espiritu – trained 130 people from remote farming communities to use ICT.
• Latvia – Klintaine Public Library – demonstrated the effectiveness of webinars in reaching farmers.
• Lithuania – Pasvalys Marius Katiliskis Public Library – increased business and marketing opportunities for farmers.
• Macedonia – Regional public and university library Goce Delchev-Stip – 20% more farmers applied for government subsidies through library’s mobile ICT service.
Employment and livelihoods
• Bulgaria – Lyuben Karavelov Regional Library – helped 44 long-term unemployed people aged over 40 find work.
• Croatia – Zagreb City Libraries – helped 22 homeless people find employment, reduced stigma and sparked new services for homeless.
Health
• Armenia – Lori Regional Library – connected people to their doctors; responded to 2,600 requests for health information.
• Kyrgyzstan – Kyrgyz Libraries Information Consortium – mass community awareness ‘No to TB!’ campaign reached thousands through 190 public libraries.
• Lithuania – Kaunas County Public Library – over 1,400 senior citizens flocked to library’s healthy lifestyle events and ICT training.
Youth Development / Children at risk
• Kazakhstan – East Kazakhstan Oblast Pushkin Library – helped 55 young people find work, start small businesses or improve their jobs. The library is chosen to manage a major United Nations grant to install ICT in 17 village libraries.
• South Africa – Masiphumelele Public Library – helped over 20 vulnerable young people find jobs and 31 more to enter further education.
• Uganda – National Library, with Lira and Masindi public libraries – free ICT access, training and mobile phone opportunities alert service improves skills of 500 youth.

For further information, contact Jean Fairbairn jean.fairbairn@eifl.net

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