13 APRIL 2011 / The Stavros Niarchos Foundation supports the “Public/Municipal Libraries in Greece Program” study

With a grant to the non profit organization Future Library (www.futurelibrary.gr), the Stavros Niarchos Foundation supports a study aimed at documenting the current state of public and municipal libraries in Greece, and the preparation of a plan and proposals for actions to improve them.

In recent years, libraries all over the world are facing new challenges. The rapid expansion of the Internet, combined with ever-increasing free access to digital material, have temporarily confined them to the margins. This new era, however, represents an unprecedented challenge for all cultural institutions, libraries, museums and archives. The contribution they could make to improving the citizens’ quality of life is more obvious than ever before. Libraries the world over are reorganizing in order to inspire the citizens and to play a leading role in the development of skills, the promotion of lifelong learning and the empowerment of local societies, among other things.

The Program’s vision is to place public/municipal libraries at the very centre of local societies, which they serve as the sole source of knowledge and vitality. The purpose of this feasibility study is to document the circumstances as they currently stand, and look into the conditions necessary for the development a contemporary system of library services and information. The first step will be to conduct a survey to map the current situation, using questionnaires to document facilities and services, as well as the readiness and enthusiasm of local libraries, which are invited to take part and to undertake initiatives that foster creativity, innovation and learning.

At the same time, there will be a series of information events held in selected libraries across the country, as hubs of public/municipal libraries of the local area. The events will be addressed to selected user groups, librarians and representatives of local economic activity. Needs will be analyzed by collecting data, in order to make decisions in relation to the results of the feasibility study. In addition to documenting the problems and current situation, the program will also identify and promote examples of good practices and discuss the role and potential for development of the institutions in question in the new digital era.

 
The mission of the urban non profit association “FUTURE LIBRARY: Promoting Innovation, Creativity and Social Networks” is to contribute, among other things, to the development of the country’s cultural institutions, through actions and programs on matters pertaining to organization, the improvement of services and the introduction of new technologies. Its purpose is also to provide consultancy services for more efficient resource management through ingenuity and the introduction of services at little or no cost, turning “crisis into opportunity”. The Program and association are managed by Mr. I. Trochopoulos, Director of the Pubic Central Library of Veroia.