Bibliomist - Global Libraries Ukraine
The Bibliomist program is helping Ukrainian libraries better serve their communities through a countrywide system of public internet access in libraries.
Through a partnership between the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, IREX, the Ukrainian Library Association (ULA), local and national governments, and libraries throughout the country, Bibliomist fosters the development of a modern public library system in Ukraine as a step towards improving the socioeconomic conditions of its citizens.
The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation—Global Libraries
The foundation’s Global Libraries initiative is working to open the world of knowledge, information, and opportunity to many more people. Part of the Global Development Program, Global Libraries works with select countries that demonstrate a need and a readiness to help public libraries provide free access to computers and the Internet, and training on how to make full use of these tools. The initiative is helping transform public libraries into vital resources that can help improve the lives of millions of people.
• Equipping libraries with technology so citizens have better access to information.
• Training librarians how to use new technologies to provide better services to library visitors.
• Helping develop the capacity of the national library association to advocate on behalf of libraries and librarians.
• Fostering government support for recognition of the essential role of libraries in a modern society.
Access to information is an essential component of development in today's globalized society. In Ukraine, more than 75% of the population lack access to the internet. While Ukraine has made rapid economic advances over the last two decades, libraries have been largely left behind and, as a result, millions are left without critical access to information. With the right kind of investment and attention, however, public libraries can be the link that connects people from all backgrounds with the information they need.
• Establish a network of library Public Access Computer (PAC) facilities. Bibliomist will support libraries that prioritize public access to information and demonstrate a willingness to share the costs of providing new public computing and Internet facilities. By equipping more than 1,500 libraries across Ukraine with new technology, Bibliomist will facilitate free access to information for millions of Ukrainians.
• Provide library service training for participating librarians. Bibliomist partners will design training materials and create training facilities to address new services and foster innovation in the library system. Training will help librarians become actively engaged in their communities and update the image of libraries as places to access information.
• Establish an IT training infrastructure for Ukrainian librarians. Training centers at central libraries in each region will offer courses in technology skills that help librarians provide better computer and Internet guidance to library users.
Building the Capacity of the Library Association
• Partner with the Ukrainian Library Association (ULA).Bibliomist will strengthen the ULA, helping the organization build sustainable administrative structures that can continue supporting modern libraries and provide useful services to librarians throughout the country into the future.
• Assist Ukrainian librarians and their association in developing and organizing locally-relevant content that serves all library users. IREX and its partners have identified specific informational needs within Ukrainian communities in the areas of healthcare, economic and rural development, and education and culture that are not currently being addressed. Bibliomist will bring together stakeholders in government and local institutions to organize on-line content that meets these previously unmet needs of citizens.
Fostering Government Support
• Engage with government to adapt policies. To match the investment of new resources into libraries, Bibliomist partners will work to promote the increased relevance and importance of libraries to today’s Ukrainian society and the need for a commitment of resources to match libraries’ new role.
• During 2010 the program equipped more than 200 Ukrainian libraries as well as 24 regional training centers at oblast Universal Scientific Libraries. To date, more than 2,500 participants have attended training for librarians at these centers.
• Bibliomist is training over 1,000 librarians to use new technology and aims to establish up to 25 new training centers for librarians across the country to provide guidance to library patrons
• By 2013, more than 1,500 public libraries in Ukraine will be equipped to offer free public access