INELI Balkans started – a unique project of building a network and training librarians-innovators from the Balkans

INELI Balkans started – a unique project of building a network and training librarians-innovators from the Balkans

The project International Network of Emerging Library Innovators in the Balkans Region (INELI Balkans) started in the first INELI Balkans meeting in Thessaloniki, on November 25-29, 2015.

INELI-22The main objective of the project is to bring together libraries from 11 countries and build a sustainable network that will encourage mutual cooperation and creation of innovative library services, e-learning and experimenting with new ideas. INELI Balkans is the incubator for creating innovative library services and ideas that will improve the work of public libraries in the Balkans. The network is based on the innovative potential of librarians and the Future Library model.

In the preparatory phase of the project there was a public call for 35 librarians-innovators from 10 Balkans countries- Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Macedonia, Greece, Croatia, Montenegro, Romania, Serbia and Slovenia, as well as Kosovo. On that occasion, the librarians-innovators from Serbia were selected Beba Stanković, Vesna Crnković, Daniela Skoković and Marjan Marinković.

INELI Balkans also includes a network of 11 ambassadors, skilled professionals in the field of librarianship as national project coordinators. The ambassador for Serbia is Jasmina Ninkov, the director of the Belgrade City Library.
Besides ambassadors, there are 5 mentors participating in the project who will monitor the work of innovators and offer them necessary assistance throughout the project.

The project will last for two years and contains three main groups of activities:

Extensive online training

The training will provide motivation to the librarians-innovators and the ability to share knowledge, do the strategic planing, and develop a project for new library services. The curriculum was developed by the Future Library, in cooperation with ambassadors and skilled trainers.

Networking meetings

Annual meetings will include workshops, study visits, mentoring sessions and time for socializing with the aim to train the librarians-innovators to build a mutual trust and encourage cooperation. The meetings will be held in Thessaloniki, Sofia and Athens.

Implementation of innovative services

Five most successful projects with new library services developed by librarians-innovators will be supported in terms of funding and administration, so they can be implemented in the innovators’  libraries.

The first INELI Balkans meetings in Thessaloniki was the first activity within the project, and it practically meant the establishment of INELI Balkans network. During the four day-conference, innovators, ambassadors and mentors participated in various activities: educational and team-building workshops, lectures, a visit to the Central Public Library of Veria.

The implementation of the project INELI Balkans is coordinated by the organization Future Library. Learn more about the project: