Novateca – Global Libraries Moldova

Novateca – Global Libraries Moldova

Through a seven-year national program supported by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation in partnership with USAID, Novateca changed the way Moldovans interacted with public institutions and thought about community development. The program provided Moldovan citizens with access to relevant information and services in more than 1,000 modernized public libraries countrywide to improve their economic, social, and cultural lives. The program also positioned libraries as agile partners to meet rapidly evolving community needs.

Girls at computer

Through a seven-year national program supported by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation in partnership with USAID, Novateca changed the way Moldovans interacted with public institutions and thought about community development. The program provided Moldovan citizens with access to relevant information and services in more than 1,000 modernized public libraries countrywide to improve their economic, social, and cultural lives. The program also positioned libraries as agile partners to meet rapidly evolving community needs.

Quick Facts

  • By partnering with 1,082 Moldovan public libraries (out of 1,338), the program created vibrant community centers that continue to offer locally driven services in partnership with public authorities, local and international organizations, and the private sector.  
  • Program-supported libraries served 763,000 patrons per year (or 21.5% of the country’s population), of which 75% were youth. Users benefitted from library resources to access government information and services online.
  • Library visitors reported that because of new technology in participating libraries, they saved time, improved their academic performance, developed skills necessary for employment, increased participation in community life, and avoided bribery.
  • The program leveraged $10.8 million of investment from the Moldova public and private sector.
  • 1,200 children improved their science and technology capacities through program-sponsored robotics clubs.
  • Participating librarians helped 180,000 patrons find job opportunities and 15,000 access e-government services.

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Novateca - Global libraries Moldova

Goals

  • Transform public libraries into vibrant community centers that serve as gateways to social and economic opportunities and provide access to the information needed to benefit from them.
  • Expand self-sustaining opportunities for Moldova’s librarians to receive training, network, conduct community outreach, develop public and private partnerships, seek new funding, 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

  • Professional development for librarians: More than 1,606 librarians received training in modern library concepts and information technology, with support from a countrywide network of 38 training centers. An online version of the training curriculum was developed for the National Center of Professional Excellence for Librarians as part of the program’s sustainability strategy. Created by the program, the center provides professional development opportunities for librarians and promotes innovation in Moldovan libraries.
  • Advanced training for regional libraries: Six raion (district) libraries across Moldova received specialized training to become Regional Centers of Professional Excellence in areas such as adult learning, gender equality and women’s empowerment, and inclusion of patrons with special needs. 
  • Innovative, locally tailored public services: Libraries received small grants to support innovative services and convene domestic and international study tours for librarians. The program also worked with librarians and partners to raise awareness among Moldovan citizens, private-sector actors, civil society, and government officials about opportunities to engage in new services.
  • Advocacy for libraries: Through advocacy trainings supported by the program, over 500 librarians representing 363 libraries learned how to create partnerships and find local support for library development. The initiative resulted in advocacy campaigns that effectively engaged both government authorities and private-sector entities, resulting in $504,200 in additional investments for library infrastructure improvements, modern technology, and informational resources.

Partners

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

People

Laura Agosta

Deputy Director, Information & Media and Communities & Governance Practices