The essence of this project is to support thousands of public libraries all over Poland in playing the role of local centers of social activity. In such institutions, people spend their time, develop their interests, learn new skills and work together. The Library Development Program is a project of the Polish-American Freedom Foundation run by the Information Society Development Foundation. In 2009-2015, it was carried out in partnership with the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.
- Budget: PLN 101.8 million donated by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation to the Polish-American Freedom Foundation
- Duration: 2009 – 2015 (implemented in cooperation with the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation), from 2015 – (supported by the Polish-American Freedom Foundation)
- Coverage: nationwide (mostly rural areas, small and middle-sized towns)
- equipment delivery (over 12,000 items, including tablets, laptops, PCs, printers, projectors);
- training for over 11,000 librarians and people cooperating with libraries (e.g. on planning library development, creating partnerships, advocacy, conducting meetings, making available of digital tools);
- annual nationwide congress of libraries (11 editions in 2010-2020);
- support for a network of active librarians (the LABiB group), and the labib.pl social media portal, co-created by the library community to share experiences and ideas for new library activities;
- promotion of innovative services in libraries (running the news and knowledge sharing portal biblioteki.org);
- support for library directors to help them develop their competences in management and leadership (the Initiative Group),
- integration of the institutional environment of libraries (support and cooperation with the National Library, the Book Institute, the Association of Polish Librarians, 18 provincial libraries),
- cooperation with public institutions, companies, organizations and individuals involved in supporting libraries (including the Ministry of Culture and National Heritage – the “Library +” program, Microsoft – free software, Orange – free Internet for libraries, non-governmental organizations sharing their experience and knowledge, 110 opinion leaders in the National Partnership for Library Development),
- activities supporting the sustainability of the Program are currently being continued, including further networking of librarians, promoting model solutions and supporting the use of new technologies in library activities.
THANKS TO THIS PROJECT…
- libraries have responded to the different needs of their communities and extended their offer with training programs, workshops, as well as services where new technologies play an important role;
- library directors learned about modern ways of managing institutions and acquiring partners for cooperation in the local environment;
- librarians promote the activities of their institutions more efficiently and refer them to local strategies and diagnosed needs of local communities;
- local governments increased expenditure on the operation and development of libraries;
- residents have better access to libraries;
- library users gained computer and Internet skills, improved their academic performance, or became better prepared for work;
- libraries have become a meeting places and important actors in building social relations and social capital.
“Libraries around the world take on new roles and develop new activities in order to meet more and more needs of the communities they work for. Polish libraries are part of this global process. The main goal of the Library Development Program was to develop new services for these institutions and this goal has been achieved. Thanks to the activities carried out with great attention to quality, the modernization of libraries on a large scale was initiated”.
“A lady from our village, 56, used to come to the library for books. She found out that she could also use computers there and decided to learn how to use them. After a few months she became a relatively proficient website operator and she exhibited her unique art work on an auction site. Today this is her main income, and her works are also available in the library gallery”.
CONTACT & MORE INFORMATION
Martyna Woropińska – Coordinator
Agnieszka Koszowska – editor: www.biblioteki.org
The Library Development Program supports thousands of public libraries all over Poland in playing the role of local centers of social activity. In such institutions, people spend their time, develop their interests, learn new skills and work together. The Library Development Program is a project of the Polish-American Freedom Foundation run by the Information Society Development Foundation. In 2009-2015, it was carried out in partnership with the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.