The Jagodina Public Library received the WSIS Project Prize 2013 in the category Access to knowledge and Information. The director of the library Vesna Crnkovic received the prize at the Opening Ceremony of WSIS Forum 2013 held in Geneva from 3-17 May. There are over 1,300 participants and more than 120 ministers, ambassadors CEO’s and civic society leaders from more than 140 countries.
The Ceremony was opened with the letter to the World Summit of Information Society forum by the UN secretary-general Ban Ki-moon. He highlighted in his letter that 10 years after the first Summit in Geneva there are nearly 7 billion mobile phone users and there are more people using the Internet which provides them access to information and knowledge. This progress is welcome.
Afterwards, in the panel eight international experts in the field of IT were discussing the benefits and challenges regarding communication. Then handing over of WSIS Project Prizes 2013 started. There were 18 awarded projects that were recognized as successful initiatives of governments, private sector, civic societies and partners.
It is very interesting that two prizes were given to the projects that use the library networks for ICT expanding and innovations. They are the Jagodina Public Library, awarded for the project AgroLib Ja and expanding new information technologies in rural areas through the network of village libraries and EIFL (Electronic Information for Libraries) for the PLIP program (Public Library Information Programme) implemented in 23 countries and intended for acquiring ICT skills.
Having in mind a great number of government representatives, awards to the libraries certainly draw attention to the role and significance of libraries in spreading information technologies and skills which they have by carrying out their mission in providing access to information and knowledge.
This is the third award for the Jagodina Public Library for expanding information through rural agricultural libraries. After receiving the award, participating and presenting the project in the Forum, we expect for the AgroLib Ja project to be more visible and to attract even more attention of international governments and funders in order to implement this idea adapted to the needs of local communities in other countries all over the world (the project was adapted to the needs of local communities in Lithuania, Latvia and Macedonia).