Hello and welcome to IREX’s Global Libraries blog. IREX has been administering the Global Libraries programs in Ukraine and Romania since the fall of 2007, and in that time, we’ve learned a lot – about libraries, about access to information, and about linking libraries and development. We started this blog in order to create a forum where we could share these lessons, and the discussions we’re having about them, informally and with a broader community.
These programs have ambitious goals. In both countries, library development has taken a back seat while economies have surged over the last decade. Yet officials in both countries recognize the value and importance of libraries, especially as we enter an economic downturn. Both countries have committed to using these programs as catalysts for refocusing their approach towards libraries so that they can best serve communities’ changing needs. IREX is excited to be part of this process.
As we enter the five-year national programs in both countries, we want to try to make this blog into a place from which we can engage both stakeholders and observers into the dialogue we’re having about program issues on all levels – from how best to register users at library computers all the way up to how national development strategies can be leveraged through libraries. We hope that visitors will take time to comment and share their own perspectives and experiences on how libraries fit into rapidly developing and changing societies.