Novateca – Global Libraries Moldova

Novateca – Global Libraries Moldova

Novateca helps Moldovans attain a higher quality of life by increasing their economic and social opportunities through public libraries.

Through a seven-year national program supported by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation in partnership with USAID, Novateca provides Moldovan citizens with access to relevant information and locally tailored services in public libraries countrywide.

Novateca - Global Libraries Moldova

Novateca helps Moldovans attain a higher quality of life by increasing their economic and social opportunities through public libraries.

Through a seven-year national program supported by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation in partnership with USAID, Novateca provides Moldovan citizens with access to relevant information and locally tailored services in public libraries countrywide.

Quick Facts

  • Novateca is a network of more than 1,000 public libraries in each of Moldova’s 35 administrative regions, providing the public with 21st-century technology tools, digital literacy learning resources, and community services that address local needs.
  • More than 450,000 library visitors have learned general internet skills and 260,000 have used Novateca library resources to access government information and services online.
  • National and local authorities matched IREX's $3.5 million in 2016 project funding with $1.5 million of their own support for 21st-century tech tools and staff capacity at public libraries. Local businesses and civil society groups contributed another $210,000 for joint community initiatives and internet connectivity for public access computers.
  • Novateca employs a rigorous monitoring and evaluation methodology, collecting data with an array of surveys and reporting tools. These are complemented by regular national surveys that assess Moldovans’ ever-changing information needs.
  • Novateca's e-Ambassador Initiative has transformed 29 libraries into accredited e-service training sites whose librarians have trained more than 630 patrons, library staff, and private-sector entities in use of e-government services.
  • Moldovans are now better able to participate in their communities and access key information to improve their lives. In 2016, 73% of Novateca library patrons surveyed reported learning about community or civic activities as a result of library tech; 88% reported improving their health; 42% participate in informal learning opportunities; and 45% say they are better qualified to find employment as a result of public library services. For more on public library use in Moldova, see the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation’s Global Libraries Data Atlas.

Key Novateca initiatives

Key Novateca initiatives

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Novateca - Global libraries Moldova

Goals

  • Citizen access to information and services: Novateca will transform more than 1,000 public libraries into vibrant community centers. These centers serve as gateways to social and economic opportunities and provide access to the information tools needed to benefit from them.
  • Librarianship, partnership, and professional development: Novateca will continue to expand self-sustaining opportunities for Moldova’s librarians to receive training, network, participate in domestic and international study trips, conduct community outreach, develop public and private partnerships, seek new funding, and more.

Why public libraries? Over 1,300 public libraries exist in communities across Moldova. They are locally known, staffed, and provide a variety of public services. As of March 2017, the Novateca network included 1,041 (75%) of these institutions, working to build partnerships, secure local public funding, and provide free access to job training, health information, e-services, and more.

I was skeptical at the beginning, [but] I see that our library became a vibrant institution that touches the lives of all our villagers and transforms our community every day. Mayor of Sărata Galbenă, Hînceşti district

Project Activities

  • Equip libraries and expand professional development opportunities for librarians: More than 3,600 Novateca librarians receive training in modern library concepts, IT skills, and needs-driven community services development with support from a countrywide network of seven regional training centers.
  • Support innovative, locally-tailored public services: Novateca provides small grants to libraries to support innovative services and convenes domestic and international exchanges for librarians to share and learn from each other’s experiences. The program also works with librarians and partners to raise awareness of opportunities to engage in new services among Moldovan citizens, private sector actors, civil society, and government officials.
  • Ensure that local libraries are prioritized for development: Novateca engages with national government officials on high-level initiatives that benefit from public libraries’ countrywide, grassroots presence. It also works with librarians to educate local authorities about the “modern library” concept, and the remarkable potential for communities to receive financial and social returns on strategic investments in public libraries.

Map of Novateca libraries

Map of Novateca libraries

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People

Evan Tracz

Country Director, Moldova; Director, Novateca - Global Libraries Moldova

Partners

Logos of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, USAID, and the Moldovan Ministry of Culture

Contact