Multiculturalism in European libraries as isolated
meeting islands for marginalized groups
Multiculturalism is political view on the society that is incorporating
all groups and individuals in one vivid organism where justice and equality are
possible. Europe of the 21st century is exploring its limits related
to immigration policies and attitude towards national minorities. Riots of
revealed shadow side of European politics which did not succeed to integrate
marginalized groups. As contemporary neocaplitalism comes together with
privatization of universities and fall of public sector the gap between poor
and others is becoming larger. On the example of some European public libraries
it is possible to recognize the role that these institutions are starting to
take on their shoulders as social governmental aspects of help for marginalized
isolated groups is not managing to reach the core of solution.
Key words: multiculturalism, European libraries,
Kia Mahi Tahi tatou, kia inu ai matou (Maori language)
And share the information (English language)
The aim of this analysis is to reflect on
contemporary issues which are related to European politics of multiculturalism
and immigration. Multiculturalism is political view on the society that is
incorporating all groups and individuals in one vivid organism where justice and
equality are possible. Europe of the 21st century is exploring its
limits related to immigration policies and attitude towards national
minorities. Riots of immigrants in
revealed shadow side of European politics which did not succeed to integrate marginalized
groups. As contemporary neocaplitalism comes together with privatization of
universities and fall of public sector the gap between poor and others is
becoming larger. On the example of some European public libraries it is
possible to recognize the role that these institutions are starting to take on
their shoulders as social governmental aspects of help for marginalized
isolated groups is not managing to reach the core of solution. This paper will
focus on detailed analysis of document named PULMAN - public libraries
mobilizing advanced networks, published in 2003 by European public libraries as
a result of common strategy. One of the main aims of PULMAN is social
inclusion. Furthermore, this paper will question the term ‘literacy’ and what
does it means to be literate in the 21st century? A strong link
exists between poverty and digital gap, “digital literacy” is becoming relevant
for all those who are on the margins of the society.
1. Information inequality
The role and value of public libraries in the
age of digital technologies is discussed in the light of central challenges of
digital society. Svanhild Aabo argues that
public libraries have a wide social impact on both individuals and local
communities (2005). Also, Aabo thinks that there is a need to strengthen the
public libraries’ democratic role in the information society by promoting
social inclusiveness and active citizenship.
The change has occurred as the era of
digitalization brought new standards. Also, there are more and more marginalized
social groups who are excluded from digital communication and even denied the
rights for basic literacy. Understanding information inequality is relevant for
all individuals who are involved in struggle for social change. From practical
side, there are two main characteristics of the age of digital technologies
that are relevant for discussion on role of public libraries and digital
communication and these are: (1) the spread of personal computers - making their use relatively easy and cheap,
and (2) the development of World Wide Web – making Internet use intuitive and
easy (Aabo, 2005). Public libraries have been identified as a means of helping
to narrow digital divide but updating their technological base would not be
enough, notes Aabo (2005).
Social inclusion is complex process.
Citizenship implies a feeling of community. The paradox of today’s digital age
society is although possibilities to connect with other people through the net
are enormous, society is fragmented (Aabo, 2005). When we speak about
citizenship rights and integration of marginalized groups it is important to
realize relevance of social inclusion. Aabo addresses this issue with following
“Participation and involvement in community are
central issues for social inclusion…Democracy presupposes meeting places where
we are confronted with other values and interests than our own and accept them
as legitimate” (Aaabo, 2005, p. 208).
Researcher Liangzhi Yu, who is currently
teaching at the Department of Information Resource Management of Nankai
views relation between information and digital gap as crucial for understanding
information inequality. Liangzhi Yu reveals strong connection that exists between social inequality and
information resource distribution. The terms which are used for the state of
social division between those who are favorably placed in information resource
distribution are: information inequality, information gap, information divide,
information disparity, information inequity, information rich vs. information
poor, etc. (Liangzhi Yu, 2006). Liangzhi Yu mentions that definitional
approaches of early studies (1960s – 1980s) were primarily categorical as they
classified certain socio-economic sections of society (e.g. aged, the economically
poor, ethnic minority groups, disabled people and single parents) into the area
of information poor. The research that followed in 1990s was more sophisticated
in its elaboration and defined information poverty as not only lack of
information access but also self-imposed information deprivation (e.g.
unwillingness to use libraries). Furthermore, for the person to be information
rich is relevant the intellectual capital for information retrieval, not only ensured
information access and personal motivation.
Contemporary situation in modern libraries of
the world, not only in European public libraries reveals some social issues
that are being dealt as a result of consciousness and efforts of society that
is trying to accept marginalized groups and individuals. For example, National Library of New Zealand brought
strategy for working with Maori people. This strategy has an outcome in
document named “Te Kaupapa Mahi Tahi – A Plan for Partnership 2005 – 2010”. Mohl
H. John and Winston, D. Roberts claim that New Zealand has a bi-cultural
foundation and a multicultural population and that “it is the public libraries
which provide the main lead for new services for migrant and refugee
communities” (2009, p. 55). Nevertheless, National
Library of New Zealand employs the staff members from most ethnic
and is moving toward development of new services in response to the needs of
community (Mohl H. John and Winston, D. Roberts, 2009).
In his article entitled “Indigenous knowledge
and library work in
(2006) Kargbo, Abdul John analyzes the fact how indigenous knowledge as vital
information is sadly diminishing at an alarming rate in
there is a question how application of intellectual property rights to the traditional
type of knowledge is acquired. Related to this issue, Kargbo writes the
“Information, rather than labour or capital, is
becoming the key factor in production, and knowledge, during the last few
decades, has become the central capital and crucial reserve of national
economies in contemporary society” (2006, p. 71).
It is interesting how information as something
which is not of solid material as gold or oil has gained its importance as a
capital in contemporary world. There are numerous questions that are appearing
while we contemplate the meaning of information as a capital. How one can
measure the price of information? How one can hold property over information? Can
we argue that real democracies should not have hidden information’s that are
reserved only for small elite or even some individuals? When we pose these
questions we are not speaking about information’s that are of private nature
and are relevant for individuals or families but we are referring on
information’s that are relevant for human kind and even for a Planet Earth as a
complete organism (animal world, mineral world, nature, etc.).
There are four relevant types of illiteracies
of the 21st century and these are: information literacy, media
literacy, multicultural and visual literacy and they are directly related to
basic functioning in contemporary and future societies (Stričević,
2009). Information literacy is knowledge and capability of recognition of
information’s needs and efficient usage and transfer of information’s that are
in different forms such as paper, CD or other. Furthermore, media literacy is
capability of decoding, conducting analysis and evaluation of accomplished
communication in various forms. Multicultural literacy is more complex, “it is
knowledge/accepting cultures and languages” (Stričević, 2009). Visual
literacy is capability of understanding meanings of picture components by
knowing basic visual elements. Also, Stričević (2009) is mentioning
new form of literacy and this is multimodal literacy which is composed of all
previously mentioned literacies.
2. PULMAN - public libraries mobilizing
Public libraries recognized their role of
relevant factors for social inclusion of marginalized groups and individuals.
Furthermore, European public libraries made strategy plan which has it outcome
in paper and electronic version and is entitled – PULMAN (public libraries
mobilizing advanced networks) guidelines” (2003). It is interesting that the
first section of “PULMAN (public libraries mobilizing advanced networks) guidelines”
(2003) which is dedicated to social policy guidelines relates to social
inclusion as relevant topic for public libraries. The “PULMAN”
is document that refers to contemporary issues and practical problems that
European public libraries are confronted with. There are two relevant issues
that according to “PULMAN” European public libraries have to deal with at the
digital crossroads of 21st century and these are:
a) Social challenges, represented by a high
level European social agenda
b) The potential offered by developments in the
Information Society technologies (IST) which have increasingly becoming
available to implement new services.
In the light of these problems, the role of
public libraries has changed:
“It is likely that this is a response to a
variety of phenomena including access to information via the Internet, an
ever-expanding quantity of cultural media forms and content (digital TV,
computer-based activities etc.) and an increase in the number of people who buy
rather than borrow a high proportion of the books which they read. However,
public libraries retain an important role in ensuring a literate information
society.” (PULMAN, 2003, p. 3).
In the next decades the questions will be
raised “about the scope of the public library network, its nature as physical
plant and its presence in the virtual environment, and the type of staff and
skills needed to fulfill this developing role” (PULMAN, 2003, p. 3).
The new IFLA Guidelines for Public Libraries, published in 2001, cover all the topics that are currently faced with public
guidelines have been framed to provide assistance to librarians in any
situation to develop an effective public library service meeting the needs of
their local community. So, the key users of public library are found in the
local community. A distinctive feature of
these guidelines is the inclusion of examples of provision from around the
world. They provide snapshots of what is happening in public libraries in many
different countries and a glimpse of imaginative solutions to specific
challenges. These guidelines are essential reading for everyone involved in the
provision of public libraries. They will become an essential reference tool for
public library development and planning.
At the Lisbon Council in 2000, Europe's Heads
of State and Government set the objective of becoming the most competitive and
dynamic knowledge-driven economy in the world. More than 190 million registered
users of public libraries in 36 countries of
attest to the importance and impact of public libraries in society (PULMAN,
2003). To accomplish their full potential in the digital era, public libraries
must be prepared to offer new and innovative digital services that empower
citizens to achieve their personal goals in a changing world and to contribute
to a cohesive society and a successful knowledge-based economy in
Furthermore, the e-Europe Action Plan which was drawn up as means of achieving this
goal proposed a wide range of measures to attain three overarching goals
faster, secure Internet;
in people and skills;
the use of the Internet.
There are 60 million people in the EU today
(18% of the population) who are poor or at risk of poverty. Relative poverty
varies considerably across member states, from 8% in
to 23% in
Children and young people, the elderly, the unemployed and one parent families
have a particularly high risk of poverty. Major structural changes are taking
place in society which, although positive for most people, could lead to new
risks of poverty and social exclusion for particularly vulnerable groups,
the labour market due to globalization and the very rapid growth of the
knowledge-based society and IST;
changes with more people living longer and falling birth rates;
trend towards ethnic, cultural and religious diversity as a result of increased
international migration and mobility within the European Union;
household structures with growing rates of family break-up;
of family life;
changing role of men and women.
Digital exclusion is experienced increasingly as a real barrier for people's lives. To
take advantage of e-Learning and new job opportunities in the knowledge
society, digital literacy is vital. Public
libraries are extremely well placed to address the challenges of the digital
divide by improving the delivery of services, tackling educational disadvantage
and helping to deal with demographic changes. Unemployed people need
information about new job possibilities; young people need stimulating meeting
places; children need enrichment programs that build on skills they are learning
at school; older people need a place to find out about local news; and disabled
people need an organization that will treat them with dignity and accommodate
their disabilities. Public libraries are admirably suited to meet these needs:
they can and should become the heart of the community (PULMAN, 2003). Lifelong
Learning is becoming the guiding principle for provision and
participation all across the continuum of learning contexts.
There are numerous severe risk factors that
increase the danger of poverty and exclusion in
include: long-term unemployment; low-income; poor educational qualifications;
family conflict or isolation; disability; poor health; drug abuse and
alcoholism; living in an area of multiple disadvantages; homelessness; and racial
and sexual discrimination. People need to feel like a part of their community.
Archives and museums as well as libraries can make a significant contribution
to promoting social inclusion in ways that prevent disadvantage through helping
to develop personal; and community identity and empowerment. Many European
countries do not yet have national strategies, relating to common European
policy documents, which establish the role of public libraries in promoting
Public libraries, museums and archives can further help combat social
exclusion by (PULMAN, 2003):
social inclusion as a policy priority within all their services;
specific services to meet the needs of minority groups and communities;
and involving socially excluded groups;
services where there is a demand;
facilities with other services provided by the local authority;
mobile services to reach all outlying areas;
flexible opening hours;
the role of staff to include a more socially responsive and educational role;
the image of public libraries, museums and record offices to make them more
welcoming to socially excluded groups, but without alienating traditional
partnerships with other NGOs and learning organizations to develop and deliver
to provide services to those not reached by buildings or mobile libraries;
to provide services targeted towards the needs of socially excluded groups.
Public libraries in
already provide services for the following
groups, although provision is by no means consistent geographically or by
service type or quality:
Children and young people at risk of social
exclusion – see risk factors
people at risk of social exclusion – see risk factors
who left school early
seeking information on citizens’ rights
The European Union (EU) is an economic and political union
of 27 member states, located primarily in Europe. Within the EU there is also concern with the status of minority
indigenous or autochthonous languages and there is a European Bureau for Lesser
Used Languages (EBLUL) (see www.eblul.org .) About 40 million of EU
citizens are estimated to speak a different language to the majority language
of the state they live in and modern social conditions are hostile to the
continued use and survival of minority languages
The term official language can be
used in dealings with public authorities and in official documents, including
commercial documents. The official and working languages of the EU are Spanish,
Danish, German, Greek, English, French, Italian, Dutch, Portuguese, Finnish and
Swedish. This means that a citizen may write to an EU institution in any of
these languages and receive a reply in the same language. Theoretically they
are all equal but the de facto drafting languages of the Commission are English and French. Minority
indigenous languages (heritage languages)
afforded some sort of recognition in Europe (not including languages which may
be a minority in one state but a majority language in another state) and these are
Aragonese, Asturian, Basque, Breton, Catalan, Corsican, Franco-Provençal,
Frisian, Friulian, Gaelic, Gagauz, Irish, Ladin, Macedonian, Mirandese,
Occitan, Saami, Sardinian, Sorbian, Vlach and Welsh (this is not an exhaustive
Furthermore, no protection is given to the
languages of immigrants speaking non-indigenous languages (community languages)
. In practice, organizations have
faced a number of difficulties in creating and maintaining multi-lingual
digital content and pan-European products and services for the global networks
(PULMAN, 2003). Some of these difficulties are technical and some relate to the
costs and difficulties of translation. In recognition of this the European Comission
has created an action line under the strategically e-Content programme to address multilingual issues.
This article reflected on contemporary issues
related to European politics of multiculturalism and immigration. European
public libraries are starting to play important role in terms of social
inclusion for marginalized groups in society. When we speak about marginality
and marginalized groups in
first ones who are threatened are immigrants. Moreover, from the document named
PULMAN - public libraries mobilizing advanced networks, published in 2003 by
European public libraries it is visible that public libraries have theoretical
and practical experience and common strategy for dealing with issue of social
inclusion. Additionally, one of the main aims of PULMAN is social inclusion. If
one question the term “literacy” in the 21st century she/he must
notice the strong link that exists between poverty and digital gap. In my opinion, it is positive that public
libraries have common strategy for dealing with social inclusion of marginalized
groups and individuals but it seems that this is not enough. Most of examples
of good practice are examples how public libraries started to be places of
active social work. However, for how long they will continue with these projects
that are very often financed with some time limitations and by some
foundations, especially in European countries that are not so wealthy?
References: 1. Aabo, Svanhild.
The role and value of public libraries in the age of digital technologies. Journal of Librarianship and Information Science, Volume 37, Number 4, December 2005, pp. 205-211.
2. European Union. URL: http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=European_Union&oldid=288710615 (9 May 2009).
3. IFLA Guidelines for Public Libraries. The Public Library Service: IFLA/UNESCO Guidelines for Development. URL: http://archive.ifla.org/III/misc/ifla-un.htm (6. svibanj 2009).
4. Kargbo, Abdul John. Indigenous knowledge and library work in Sierra Leone . Journal of Librarianship and Information Science, Volume 38, Number 2, June 2006, pp. 71-78.
5. Mohl H. John I Winston, D. Roberts. Delivering a Strategy for Working with Maori, and Developing Responsiveness to an Increasingly Multicultural population: a perspective from the National Library of New Zealand. IFLA Journal, Volume 35, March 2009, No. 1, pp. 48-58.
6. The PULMAN Guidelines, Second edition, February 2003. PULMAN – public libraries mobilizing advanced networks.
7. Scandinavian Public Library Quarterly, Number 1, 2009. Theme of the issue: Interaction with the local environment.
8. Stričević, Ivanka. Lecture at Department of Library and Information Science, University of Zadar , 2009.
9. Yu, Liangzhi. Understanding information inequality: Making sense of the literature of the information and digital divides. Journal of Librarianship and Information Science, Volume 38, Number 4, December 2006, pp. 229-245.
“Immigrants are often preoccupied by basic economic, legal and other
exigencies and it is important that they realize that the library can help with
these matters among others. Librarians must know their communities and their
ethnic composition and in some large cities with shifting populations this may
involve some systematic monitoring. It may be necessary to conduct surveys
using questionnaires to ascertain in detail what the needs of a community are.
Immigrant organizations can be contacted. The library may be able to provide
venues for language classes and cultural events. An immigrant community can be
converted into loyal supporters and useful allies of the library service if
they are approached generously and tactfully. The provision of materials in
immigrant languages may well present problems which will involve the
appointment of specialist staff to catalogue and process them and advise readers.”
Typically the material provided will include:
which aids cultural adjustment, majority language acquisition and material
about the home culture.
and children’s material.
about legal matters and local services.
in non-Roman scripts.
GOOD PRACTICE GUIDELINES
Libraries should beware of the linguistic problems of the community they
serve. In particular the needs of immigrants who may lack a thorough command of
the majority language should be catered for by any means which seem
appropriate. In some large cities with a rapidly changing population the
library will need to actively monitor the linguistic needs of its users.
The services provided may include:
services suitable for immigrants
processing facilities in immigrant’s languages.
periodicals and audio-visual material in the appropriate languages.
activities may be held on library premises.
may need to be redesigned with multilingual needs in mind.
libraries may be warranted to serve the needs of a linguistic minority
recruited staff with native command of the minority languages may be needed.
library has to serve an indigenous minority the library may have to assume a
role in the preservation and documentation of an endangered culture with all
that entails. Such minorities are normally fully bilingual but there may be a
need to acquire comprehensive collections in the minority language and compile
special catalogues and answer questions from out of the area about the local
obvious way for a library service to cope with a complex linguistic situation
is by means of a recruitment policy. The offer of translation services to an
established local minority is clearly not an adequate response.
Technology-based solutions are not likely to be of much use in the foreseeable
may have to recruit staff with a command of the languages and literatures used
in their communities to help with cataloguing of materials in minority
languages and services to readers.
of minority languages will appreciate face-to-face contact with a native
speaker of their language and not merely someone with a second language command
cultural as well as linguistic differences are important only advice from a
member of a minority group will ensure good relations between a library and its
of publicity material, leaflets, and the library website will be much easier
and cheaper if the library’s own staffs are involved.
of services for indigenous linguistic minorities.
Indigenous linguistic minorities tend not present libraries with the
same challenges as do immigrants. For example:
often fully bilingual and do not require instruction in the majority language
no doubt about their numbers or permanence or socio-economic circumstances.
languages of linguistic minorities may however present problems for libraries.
Some minority languages are fully developed languages of culture taught in
schools, with established orthographies, extensive literatures and a
considerable amount of publishing. Others may lack some or even all of such
attributes and it may be difficult for a library service to make provision for
A thesaurus is a set of controlled terms for the detailed subject
indexing of (originally) printed documents. A thesaurus will show relationships
such as hierarchy and equivalence between the terms it uses. A major problem in
the construction of thesauri in more than one language is that terms in one
language may not cover the same semantic fields as terms in another.
English term teenager covers a narrower semantic field than the French
Schnecke normally translated snail includes slugs and snails and therefore has
no exact equivalent in English.
term Berufsverbot has no English equivalent at all and has to be paraphrased
e.g. loss of the right to practice one’s profession.
There are standards
for the compilation of thesauri and equivalent terms across languages - see Guidelines
for Forming Language Equivalents: A Model based on the Art and Architecture
Thesaurus by the Getty Information Institute (see http://www.chin.gc.ca/Resources/Publications/_Guidelines/English/index.html.) See also ISO 5964:1985 (BS 6723:1985) Guide
to Establishment and Development of Multilingual Thesauri. This standard is an
adjunct to ISO 2788 which covers monolingual thesauri and so is not complete in
it, many of the problems in the construction of thesauri being common to the
construction of monolingual and multilingual thesauri.
The provision of services to recent immigrants
presents problems to a public library service and certain factors have to be
assessed in advance:
and permanence of the immigrant community and their age, sex, marital status
and educational level.
knowledge of the majority language of the society.
familiarity with the concept of a public library and what it can do for them.
Recommendation: Multilingual web-sites
Examples of good practice in European
Library as a Community Centre
By launching this call for proposals in 1999, 2000 and 2001, the Open
Society Institute: Network Library Programme has stimulated public libraries in
CEE countries to be aware of the important social role which they can play in a
transitional society where governments have not implemented the tools for
avoiding the social exclusion of the numerous groups of population affected by
the collapse of social services (URL: http://www.osi.hu/nlp/).
- Teens for teens
Rijeka Public Library service for teenagers.
- FINFO - Information for Ethnic Minorities in
The overall aim of FINFO is to provide representatives of ethnic
minorities with better access to information about their rights, obligations
and opportunities in the Danish society.
Mobile libraries network
- The Central Library of
Cooperates with the Social Welfare Centre of Võru County in the field of
education and initiating projects. A single parent’s society, “Tulevik”, meets
once a month at the library, led by the project manager of the centre Kersti
Kõosaar. In 2002 the students of the
Vocational Training Centre of Võru County provided computer training for users free
of charge at the Central Library of Võru County that proved to be extremely
popular. The library also mediates information about the center’s adult
training activities to its users.
The Central Library of
Provides a mobile library service for the population of coastal villages
of the county (
). (URL: http://www.lib.haapsalu.ee/)
The Central Library of
Cooperates with the Library of Haapsalu Russian Gymnasium and societies
of different nations in
for acquiring literature in the mother tongue of local national minorities.
Thanks to this project, involving the private sector, a number of
libraries have now got Internet connections. The year 2003 should see the
completion of the Minister of Culture’s public libraries “internetisation”
project that aims to provide access to the Internet for all interested persons.
- Mobile libraries
mobile facilities are an established part of every local library system
The Muonioo municipality book mobile
Also visits municipalities in
Neti-Nysse (Internet Book
Tampere City Library puts the web on wheels and takes it to the users.
Operates »The Multicultural Library«
Information Gas Station
A library where users can ask anything via anything. Information service
is available both for those who visit the iGS service point and for web
customers. The iGS service point is a mobile information service booth, which
is taken to where the people are: to public places, e.g. railway stations or
shopping centers, fairs or service blocks. Web customers are given information
service through e-mail or text messages, and also in the future with a chat
technique. Web customers reach the information Gas Station through the iGS web
mobile libraries are serving primary and secondary schools without library
facilities. The programme is funded from the Ministry of Education and is
intended to contribute to the development of library services across the
country. Information about the project can be found on the main web site at
Veria Public Library
The first public library in
to experiment with offering
electronic service to people living in rural areas through |Mobile Libraries.
Project was funded under E.E (libraries program). Final report can be seen at
Report prepared by a project team specially established by the Minister
for the Environment and local Government to review public library policy in
defines two key priorities: to ensure that Ireland moves rapidly to embrace the
opportunities of the information society so as to support economic and social
progress as well as more participative democracy; to establish an inclusive
society in which all citizens can participate fully in the social and economic
life of the country.
Mobile library services
In rural areas, suburbs, medium-sized towns and farming communities.
Kerry County Library http://www.kerrycountylibrary.com/
Mayo County Library http://www.mayococo.ie/library/mobillib.html
Fingal County Libraries http://www.iol.ie/~fincolib/
WebSmart - Internet Residency Programme
Dublin City Public libraries employed an Internet mentor to give a
series of practical lessons to those designated as late-adopters of technology.
Using free public access Internet provided by all public libraries, groups of
mainly retired men and women were taken through a series of basic skills to
enable them to use computers and the Internet.
Storytelling Programme in
Programme involving schools, hospitals, and residential homes and
day-care centres for the elderly, travelers and ethnic minorities.
The Association of Prison Libraries
Founded in 2000 in order to support all the people who are involved, at
different levels, or deal with the management of prison libraries. It is
CREMISI and ABSIDE
CREMISI aimed to create a network of multimedia halls in twelve National
Libraries, focusing on providing training courses either for librarians,
workers and citizens. It ended in 2000. An extension of CREMISI, the ABSIDE
project has just been approved in the framework of the EQUAL Programme. The
project aims to test how new models based on training services offered by
libraries, integrating training and accompanying measures, can support
activities targeting discrimination and exclusion problems. The project targets
both librarians and end-users.
- Bauska Central Library
Several computers have been installed with permanent Internet connection
and a user training campaign “Know! Study! Use!’’ is targeted at senior
citizens, unemployed people, housewives, disabled persons, poor people, street
children, professionals who wish to obtain computer skills, and also librarians
from the rural libraries.
Ogre Central Library
Has a mobile library which serves people in rural areas. Besides lending
books and magazines, it provides people with impaired vision with talking books
and books in Braille. Famous writers, poets, journalists, and representatives
of the Information Centre of the EU have travelled with the bus to meet people
living in rural areas.
Latgale Central Library
Latgale Central Library in Daugavpils, with its high level of
automation, an Internet reading room and rich regional studies database
provides information in all locally used languages, promotes friendly
co-existence and mutual integration of the population in general, and young
people in particular. However, the
Russian language is dominant in
as are Internet resources provided mainly via Russian portals and
websites. To change the situation and
help the Russian-speaking population to join the Latvian society, and
understand the official language policy, special state-organized training
programmes are in progress.
- Branch library for elderly and handicapped people
Alytus city library is situated in a part of the town inhabited by
socially disadvantaged groups, with an impact on the inclusion of children from
Women Information and Training Centre (WITC)
Established in Kretinga public library. Unites women of different ages,
nationalities, religions and attitudes.
- Public library "Goce Delcev" in Shtip
Regional centre for eastern
. With Soros Foundation
funding they have started a bibliobus (mobile library) serving rural areas
around Shtip where many cultural activities can take place.
Contact phone no. ++389 (0)32 391 247
- Information Centre for Detainees
A subdivision of the Cricova Public Library, opened during spring 2001,
this operates as a mobile service. The main purpose is to acquire special
informational and documentation resources to support reading, learning and
recreation for detainees from two Penitentiary Institutions from
In Focus Golden Age
Traditional library service with a different approach. Its main goals
are: to stimulate and integrate older people into the social and cultural life
of the community; to explore their experiences and intellectual potential; to
attract them into the library.
The library in the multicultural neighborhood ‘Schilderswijk’,
Offers special courses in the morning and has computers free for
homework in the afternoon, and for local organizations in the evening. Lectures
and discussion are offered on various topics including Islamic law for women.
Multicultural reading circles in Flevoland libraries
In Flevoland province, public libraries have started multicultural
reading circles, especially for migrant and refugee women.
Oslo Public Library is in the process of developing a national net-based
service for minorities in
called Bazar. Bazar is intended for
those with an ethnic background other than Norwegian and with a different
mother tongue than Norwegian. It is
meant to be a guide to rights and obligations in the Norwegian community and endeavors
to compile useful information that can make day-to-day
EPOS - floating library.
This bookboat operates along the west coast of
its fjords and its islands and is a joint service between three county libraries.
The national virtual reference desk “Bibliotekvaten.no”
This service started as a regional Vestfold with seven libraries taking
part and later state funding was provided to invite other libraries to join in.
Today, there are 14 participating libraries, with a force of 60 trained
librarians. The user can chat with a librarian (Ask a librarian service), ask
questions that are answered with facts, recommended literature and given links
to the Internet. This national project
is directed by Vestfold county library.
- Local Information Database
The service ensures access to all kinds of information about Warmia i
and allows people to look for places or people.
Every Child is Able to do Something
The Commune-Municipal Public Library in Dobre Miasto organizes regular
sessions, especially for children from dysfunctional families, organized during
the winter holiday.
- Legal Information Public Centre
V. D. Fyodorov Kemerovo Regional Scientific Library runs a service with
the help of law student volunteers.
Library - a social centre
Central City Library Rubtsovsk has created a system for giving legal,
social, regional and other information to citizens, social organizations and
INFOBUS provides free access to books, CD, video, internet access etc.
to rural people in the region of Prijepolje. It is organized by Prijepolje
public library and supported by OSI Budapest,CIDA and Municipal of Prijepolje.
Tea, Thursdays at Six
A weekly meeting held in Jagodina Public Library for people from all
social groups to meet in a non-threatening environment.
- Informational Centre for Unemployed
Established in Hornozemplínska library in Vranov and Topľou.
- Youth Information Centre
The service offers space for young people from 15 to 25 years of age,
where they can study, find interesting information or just relax, browse
through magazines and meet with friends. Volunteers are available to help with
studying or homework. The Youth Information Centre is a part of the
information network called L'MIT.
is organized in the scope of programmes for older and disabled people and is
trying to offer a productive and pleasant usage of leisure time, prevent
loneliness and strengthen positive self-image.
Celje City Library http://www.ce.sik.si/
Public Library http://sikmb.mb.sik.si/
Life Without Prejudice
Public Library Novo Mesto runs a programme to stimulate mutual respect
and understanding between Roma people and the local community.
User Training Programme of the small Local Library FGSR of Peñaranda de
Bracamonde providing free public Internet access. Provides practical lessons to
those designated as late-adopters of technology to reduce social discrimination
and exclusion, and also to children and adults in rural areas and elderly
people to enable them to use computers and the Internet.
Digital literacy for children
User training programme for adolescents
Digital Library project for students of secondary schools: general
Multicultural library services in
This project is included within the framework: Regional Government’s
Action Plan for the Immigration in
Its main objective is the implementation of multicultural information
services for immigrants in the public libraries of
Public Libraries: a place for social inclusion
Catalan Public Libraries Group in the UNESCO Network of Associated
Libraries. See: Jornadas interprofesionales, Salt, 15, 16, March, 2002, “Les
biblioteques publiques: espais de integració social”.
Mobile Library Services
There are 68 mobile library services operating in only 25 provinces
serving rural areas, suburbs, medium-sized towns and small population clusters.
This small number of mobile libraries has to serve 5113 towns and villages,
with a total population of 3,400,000. Timetable information of the bus routes
can be found on the web pages of the Regional Library of
and Basque Country
Mobile Library Service: guidelines.
Prepared by a specialized Work Group. A model of co-operation between
regional and central government.
Volunteer Programmes of the Local Libraries Network
of the town council of
A model of citizen participation. Groups of volunteers work in school
libraries and in the home delivery service. Special library services geared to
the elderly, the unemployed, cultural and ethnic minorities, the mentally and
physically impaired, and house-bound people are provided in co-operation with
the social services centre and groups of volunteers and NGOs.
for All: social inclusion in Public libraries
Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) produced a report which
asserts the agenda and spells out the challenges for libraries to improve
Social inclusion and libraries - a resource guide
A resource intended for all public library professionals, particularly
those whose role is to put policy into practice. It aims to provide an easy
way-in to recent publications, research and networked resources about social
inclusion that might be relevant to public libraries. Resources for Museums and
Archives are also being added.
The People’s Network: a turning point for public libraries: First
findings. Peter Brophy.
A report published by Resource in January 2003, which examines the
effect of the installation of IST facilities in public libraries, with
statistics and examples of good practice.
Framework for the
future: libraries, learning and information in the next decade. DCMS, 2003.
A long-term strategic vision for the UK public library service
concentrating on libraries’ roles in developing reading and learning, digital
skills and services, community cohesion and civic values.
Centres for Social Change: Museums, Galleries and
Archives for All
Report published by the Department of Culture Media and Sport which
gives many examples of good practice.
See also Museums for the Many at http://www.culture.gov.uk/pdf/museums.pdf
Museums & Galleries Commission
Has produced a fact sheet on social inclusion which contains several
useful case studies.
, Archives and Libraries (LMAL)
Has a website giving examples of relevant work.
Operating in the East of England, its aim is “to increase and
demonstrate the potential of public libraries to provide awareness, training
and lifelong learning opportunities which impact on the recruitment and
retention of specified target groups suffering discrimination and inequality in
connection with the labour market”.
Have made their social inclusion strategy available on the web at
Borough of Merton
Offers services to refugees at its Asylum Welcome drop=in centre at
Mitchum Library, and has a Refugee Resources Collection.
Borough of Tower Hamlets
Have created “Idea Stores” to give a new image, service and sense of
purpose to their libraries, and have greatly increased usage as a result.
The Big Book Share is a partnership between Nottingham City Libraries
and Information Service, the Reading Agency, HM Prison Nottingham, Marks &
Spencer plc’s Community Division, East Midlands Arts and 23 children’s
publishers. Librarians run fortnightly sessions at the prison to help prisoners
choose books and support children reading. Prisoners develop reading skills as
they read with their children on visits or record a tape of stories for their
children to listen to at home.
- Library Link
This service is based in Bloxwich on an estate together with the Home
Library Service and the Urban Mobile Library. The service visits sheltered
accommodation, residential homes, nursing homes, day centers and adult training
A scheme established by Gwynedd Council in
to break down
barriers to archive use in a sparely populated area.
Central Library and City Archives
Have equipped a van as a traveling outreach facility. The van is
equipped with sound and video playback equipment, exhibitions can be mounted
directly on the walls, and there are display racks for publications. The van
goes to a wide range of venues, including shopping centers, parks, summer
carnivals and festivals all over the city, allowing adults and children to be
introduced to the diverse resources of the library and archives for local
history. It is also taken to schools and elderly peoples’ homes (and is adapted
for disabled access) as part of broader outreach initiatives or reminiscence
The Reading Agency “Splash Extra”
Is a summer activities programme run throughout the summer in
partnership with local Youth Offending Teams and youth services, which consists
of a varied programme of reading related multimedia arts activities It is aimed
at young people within designated target groups, the majority of whom have
never previously set foot in a library, and for whom the world of words, books
and reading was unknown, alien or hostile territory.