ICT service for farmers attracts funding to boost local economy

Pasvalys ‘Marius Katiliskis’ Public Library, Lithuania

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A librarian shows a farmer how to produce brochures.
‘Marius Katiliskis’ Public Library equipped a desktop publishing centre where farmers can produce marketing brochures, product labels and business cards. Here a librarian helps a honey farmer to produce brochures.

community need

Pasvalys is a fertile agricultural district in northern Lithuania, on the border with Latvia. About 30% of people in the district are farmers. The Pasvalys District Municipality plans to promote sustainable rural development by modernizing farming, strengthening links between the agricultural and business sectors and encouraging alternative environmentally-friendly and non-traditional activities.

The innovative project

Working with a network of 34 rural libraries in the district, Marius Katiliskis’ Public Library supports the municipality’s plans by increasing farmers access to information, developing their information and communication technology (ICT) skills and helping them market their produce. With support from the EIFL Public Library Innovation Programme (EIFL-PLIP) in 2011/2012, the library created  a business centre for farmers with free internet access and desktop publishing services. They also bought a laptop computer, projector and screen for ICT training, and a tent and generator for outdoor training and presentations at farmer’s markets and fairs.

In less than a year, they developed a web-portal with over 100 links to agricultural and business support agencies, articles about farming, a discussion forum and advertising space. The library also trained over 120 people, including farmers, entrepreneurs and rural librarians to use ICT.  In the desktop publishing centre, librarians worked with farmers to publish 600 marketing leaflets and 200 product labels.

The library works closely with the Pasvalys District Local Action Group (DLAG); the Pasvalys District Municipality; the Lithuanian Farmers’ Union (Pasvalys Department);  the Pasvalys beekeepers’ association and the Joniškėlis Research Station and local newspaper, Darbas. Partners help develop and market the service, and provide information for the web-portal.

eifl-plip project timeline

November 2011 - October 2012.

achievements and Impact

The service inspired Pasvalys municipality to include the library in their plans for local business and e-government service infrastructure development.

With funding from the European Union’s Rural Development Programme 2007 - 2013 the library has improved and expanded their agricultural web-portal.

additional resources

Read a two-page case study about the project.

More public libraries improving farmers' lives

Read about more innovative public library services improving farmers' lives. PLIP-AGRICULTURE

During harvest time on my farm, there is not time for browsing through the internet. It is great that such a website exists – we can find all the information in one place there!
Jonas Oniunas, farmer, Gruziai village, Pasvalys District.