Meet the new public library services started with EIFL-PLIP support
From Chile to Kenya to Kazakhstan and Romania, public libraries are introducing new and innovative services that enable communities use information and communication technology (ICT) to address some of their most pressing needs.
The work of the EIFL Public Library Innovation Programme (EIFL-PLIP) helps make this possible. We work in developing and transition countries, to serve needs across six crucial community development issues: agriculture; digital inclusion; education; employment; health, and supporting the needs of women and girls.
Starting small in 2010 with 12 public library services, our programme has grown to include services and projects in 27 countries in Africa, Asia, Europe and Latin America, reaching urban and rural communities through over 300 public and community libraries.
Public libraries supporting farmers
- Chile – Panguipulli Public Library no. 296 – connects farmers in remote mountain communities to rich sources of agricultural information.
- Colombia – Public Library Laboratorio del Espiritu – sparking interest in new income-generating activities in remote farming communities.
- Latvia – Klintaine Public Library – information and training service shows that webinars are an effective way of reaching farmers with vital information.
- Lithuania – Pasvalys ‘Marius Katiliskis’ Public Library – ICT training, web-portal and desktop publishing centre to build farmers’ marketing capacity.
- Macedonia – Regional public and university library ‘Goce Delchev’-Stip – library on wheels increases numbers of farmers applying for grants.
- Serbia – Public Library ‘Radislav Nikčević’ – creating a network of rural libraries using ICT to serve farmers.
- Tanzania – Tanzania Library Services Board – ICT improves poultry farming and increases farmers' income.
- Uganda – Kachumbala Area Cooperative Enterprise Community Library – farmers learn ICT skills to take part in farmer-to-farmer knowledge-sharing service.
- Uganda – Maendeleo Foundation – internet-based database of information for farmers throughout Uganda in local languages.
- Uganda – National Library of Uganda – teaming up with a telecentre to create opportunities for women farmers.
- Uganda – Rwenzori Information Network – smart phone service helps farmers combat plant pests and diseases.
Public libraries contributing to digital inclusion
- Cambodia – Lveate Centrestone Public Library – oral history archive project interviews Lveate villagers about experiences under the brutal regime of Pol Pot.
- Croatia – Zagreb City Libraries – ICT training and information service helps homeless people find employment.
- Ghana – Ghana Library Board – unemployed and vulnerable youth learn new ICT and leadership skills to improve their chances in life.
- Mongolia – Ulaanbaatar City Public Library – 21 rural libraries serve blind and visually impaired people through talking books service.
Public libraries contributing to education
- Bosnia and Herzegovina – Zavidovići Public Library – vulnerable children learn ICT and media skills in an attractive and lively Youth Corner.
- Bulgaria – ‘Lyuben Karavelov’ Regional Library – fun financial literacy classes for young people.
- Croatia – Rijeka City Library – 3D printing project to build imagination and confidence of young ‘makers’.
- Ethiopia – CODE-Ethiopia – e-books project tackles desperate need for pre-school literacy materials.
- Ghana – Ghana Library Board – mobile library service takes ICT to schools in under-developed parts of Volta region.
- Kenya – Busia Community Library – tablet computers with games and educational content to help children improve their marks at school.
- Kenya National Library Service / Kibera Public Library – reaching out to slum youth to improve school marks and increase interest in libraries.
- Kenya National Library Service / Meru Public Library - educational outreach service for children with special needs.
- Kenya National Library Service / Nakuru Public Library - online classes in the library help children overcome their fear of maths.
- Latvia – Valmiera Public Library – social media app to make reading trendy for teenagers.
- Lithuania – Utena ‘A. and M. Miskiniai’ Public Library – computer game encourages reluctant children to go back to school.
- Poland – Piekary Slaskie Municipal Public Library – using the methods of games to spark youth passion for digital technology.
- Romania – ‘Alexandru D. Xenopol’ Arad County Library – ‘App Library’ to develop teenagers’ information, media and critical thinking skills.
- Serbia – Public Library ‘Dušan Matić’ Ćuprija – using robotics to build a new generation of computer programmers.
- Zambia – Lubuto Library Project – computer–based reading lessons in seven languages teach Zambia’s children to read and write in mother-tongue.
Public libraries supporting employment
- Bulgaria – ‘Lyuben Karavelov’ Regional Library – employment information service helps 44 long-term unemployed people aged over 40 find work.
- Kazakhstan – East Kazakhstan Oblast ‘Pushkin’ Library – ICT training and employment information service helps young people find work, start small businesses or improve their jobs.
- South Africa – Masiphumelele Public Library – providing free, high-quality ICT access and training and helping vulnerable young people with their careers.
- Uganda – National Library of Uganda, with Lira and Masindi public libraries – mobile phone opportunities alert service helps young job-seekers find work.
Public libraries contributing to community health
- Armenia – Lori Regional Library – e-health service connects people to their doctors.
- Ghana – Northern Regional Library – mobile phone service to improve maternal health care.
- Kenya – Kenya National Library Service – e-health corners with free access to computers in two rural libraries to improve community health.
- Kyrgyzstan – Kyrgyz Libraries Information Consortium – 'No to TB!' corners set up in 190 public libraries.
- Lithuania – Kaunas County Public Library – over-60s flock to healthy lifestyle events and ICT training.
- Tanzania – Tanzania Library Services Board – using ICT to increase adolescents' access to sexual and reproductive health issues.
- Uganda – Busolwe Public Library – combining modern ICT with traditional communication media like drama to provide local language health information.
- Uganda Community Libraries Association – health and technology camps for children in five rural communities.
Public libraries empowering women and girls
- Macedonia – Public Library ‘Braka Miladinovci’ Radovis – employment and job creation service helps women find jobs and wins prestigious award.
Read about more innovative public library services
EIFL Public Library Innovation Awards programme