Public libraries are effective rural economic development partners, according to newly-released impact assessment results of five innovative public library services. The results, released by EIFL’s Public Library Innovation Programme (EIFL-PLIP), reflect outcomes of successful implementation of public library agricultural services in Europe and Latin America.
(Women farmers in Colombia learn to use the Internet)
The public libraries train farmers to use computers and the internet, and reach farmers with vital agricultural information through diverse online channels – web-portals, webinars, social media, mobile phones – and through more traditional channels like radio, TV, lectures and events.
Impact assessment, conducted over a one-year period (2011/2012), shows how the public libraries helped farmers modernize their farming methods; fill in complex forms needed to access government grants; try alternative farming techniques, and access new market opportunities for their produce.
All five services won recognition from local government, and all are continuing with further support from government and/or non-governmental agencies. To read more about these innovative public libraries, click the links below:
- Berd Public Library in Armenia increased farmers’ interest in organic farming.
- Public Library Laboratorio del Espiritu in Colombia improved access to information and communication in remote rural communities.
- Klintaine Public Library in Latvia connected farmers to agricultural experts through interactive webinars.
- Pasvalys Marius Katiliskis Public Library in Lithuania created opportunities for farmers to market and advertise their produce.
- Regional public and university library Goce Delcev-Stip in Macedonia helped farmers apply for agricultural and equipment grants.