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The Municipality of Berd (Armenia) has agreed to fund renovation of a room in Berd Public Library to house the library’s new computer laboratory for farmers.
The agreement is the outcome of successful advocacy by a team comprising librarians and representatives of the library’s partner organization, the agricultural support agency, Green Lane. Mayor Andranik Sharyan responded quickly and positively to the team’s request: ‘I am very glad that the municipality will contribute to this project, as supporting farmers is a high priority for us,’ he said.
‘Though a large part of the population of Berd and surrounding villages depend on farming for their livelihoods, farmers and rural people are mostly deprived of access to up-to-date agricultural information, consultancy and services. Modernizing the library and turning it into a fully functional information centre, which will work in close cooperation with the Agricultural Department of the Municipality, will open new perspectives not only for the community of Berd, but also for the region itself.
‘I think that the next step will be finding opportunities to train the staff of the library so that they can better help farmers access the information they need. I hope that Green Lane will be able to provide such training opportunities,’ Mr Sharyan added.
In November 2011, Berd Public Library received a grant from EIFL-PLIP to implement an innovative service which uses information and communication technology (ICT) to improve flows of practical and up-do-date information to local farmers so that they can increase their yields and income.
Ms Nara Yaralyan, Project Coordinator, stressed the importance of EIFL-PLIP support in raising the profile of the library: ‘It is noteworthy that this EIFL-supported initiative helped to focus attention of the local authorities on the library and the issues it faces,’ she said.
Berd is a remote town in Tavush Marz, Armenia. The tiny public library, which serves Berd and 16 surrounding villages, is housed on the ground floor of an old building, and is struggling to survive the current economic crisis and adapt to the digital era. But a team of seven enthusiastic women, led by the library’s director, Ms Alvard Adamyan, is doing its best to keep the library’s doors open:
‘In Armenia, keeping a small library running in such a tiny community with limited access to communication networks, funding and other important resources is an extremely difficult task,’ said Ms Adamyan. ‘We highly appreciate any help and assistance we receive from individuals and organizations.’