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Regional Thematic Meeting “Public Library e-Services: a Lifelong Learning Factor” in Shumen

Meeting attendees

The regional thematic meeting “Public Library e-Services: a Lifelong Learning Factor”, a joint initiative of the Glob@l Libraries – Bulgaria Program and Stliyan Chilingirov District Library in Shumen took place on 28 June 2012.
 

The meeting brought together 60 librarians from GLB target libraries in Shumen district, representatives of chitalishte, local authorities and partner organizations. The Glob@l Libraries – Bulgaria Program Management Unit was represented by the Regional Managers Nikolay Markov and Krasimira Kaneva.

 

Krasimira Alexandrova, Glob@l Libraries – Bulgaria Program District Coordinator for Shumen district, opened the meeting. In her welcome address to the participants, Ms. Alexandrova said that the Glob@l Libraries Program has transformed the libraries into modern information centers, mobilized people locally and attracted the attention of municipalities and mayor’s administrations which took part with financial support for technical equipment and adaptation of premises.   

 

Nikolay Markov, Regional Manager at the GLB Program Management Unit, delivered a presentation on the topic “Global Libraries and Public Library e-Services” outlining groups of e-services: e-government, e-culture, e-health, e-inclusion, e-society, e-education. Each group was presented through specific examples of the Bulgarian and global practice.

 
Berkant Adilov, Communication, Information and Logistics Expert at the newly established Regional Information Center in Shumen, presented the activities of the new structure. He highlighted the objectives, main services and activities of the organization and presented to meeting participants the key steps to be implemented jointly with the Glob@l Libraries network:

  • Provision of diverse basic and specific information about the NSRF and the Operational Programs
  • Distribution of free-of-charge information materials from the EC, other EU institutions, Managing Authorities, published under projects co-funded by the SCF
  • Provision of information about open calls for Shumen district and distribution to the smallest settlements populated with Glob@l Libraries network users on a monthly basis
  • Exchange of good practices
  • Information needs assessment.

 

Regional Public Health Inspectorate representatives provided information about the Informed and Healthy Campaign, presented the organized joint initiatives and the places where campaign information materials can be found.

 

Library specialists from Stilyan Chilingirov District Library shared their positive experience in training elderly patrons in computer skills under the “55+” Program. Their presentation included the trainers, the organized preliminary assessment, the training preparation and implementation process, training topics, main training objectives, target group assessment, analysis and summary of training participants’ feedback.

 

The agenda of the district thematic meeting included Valentina Karadzhova from Lyuben Karavelov District Library in Ruse, who presented to meeting participants the KNOW project, designed with the help of application information from the GLB web portal and GLB assistance for the development of the project proposal in April 2011. The project is funded by EIFL (Electronic Information for Libraries) – an international non-profit organization based in Europe with a global network of partners. Working in collaboration with libraries worldwide, EIFL enables access to digital information in developing and transition countries. The District Library in Ruse applied under the PLIP (Public Library Innovation Program). The budget of the KNOW project totals USD 14,700 and its main purpose is to train unemployed people aged 40–60 years in computer and motivation skills to enhance their job seeking competitiveness and opportunities. Six groups of unemployed people will be trained under the project. The Labor Office Directorate in Ruse is a project partner.

 
The district thematic meeting included also group-work activities to develop innovative e-services. Participants were randomly divided into four groups. Each group drew a note with the type of innovative services they had to identify: e-business, e-inclusion, e-education, e-health. Each newly identified service had to use the ICT equipment and the worldwide web. 

 

Innovative service development steps included as follows:
1.     Target group
2.     Service adoption activities
3.     Resources  /Budget
4.     Expected results: social and economic effect, impact on the local community
5.     Partners
 
Following the group-work activities, each group presented to all participants the newly identified service. Results by group include as follows:

  • e-Business: creation of an e-database of rural tourism; target group: local community (everyone willing to take part and having the opportunity to provide suitable living standards)
  • e-Inclusion: “Virtual Art Therapy”; target group: people with psychic problems
  • e-Education: “Learning and Developing”; target group: children and adults
  • e-Health: provision of information on health related issues, alternative medicine, e-information on medicines; target group: senior citizens, pensioners.

 

Each target library undertook to launch active implementation of one of these services (according to the specific features of the settlement). On its part, Stilyan Chilingirov District Library committed to keep up with and assist the libraries in the adoption of the new services.

 

At the end of the meeting, all participants filled in feedback forms showing their high level of satisfaction with the conducted event, the selected topic, its usefulness for their further work, the delivered presentations and the organization.

 

The group work and the generated new ideas, the opportunity to exchange opinions on new library services, the shared good practices are among the most frequently stated “helpful things” learned by participants. They also stated their willingness to take part in more such meetings attended by representatives of organizations who can be potential library partners.