Beyond Access, local governments of Kragujevac, Vranje, Rekovac, Aleksinac and Jagodina and Serbian Ministry of Culture and Information are interested in supporting the project Agricultural Libraries in Serbia. The project would be developed according to the model of the project that has been implemented in the village libraries in the municipality of Jagodina for more than three years.
The project Agricultural Libraries includes modern village libraries available to all residents in rural areas.
Megan Volk, the deputy director of IREX’s Bibliomist program, visited the Jagodina Library as a representative of Beyond Access.
She visited the City Council of Jagodina, which has been a partner of this organization for more than two years. Ratko Stevanić, the Major of Jagodina, met with the Jagodina Library director and Megan Volk. He expressed his satisfaction with the idea that organization such as Beyond Access is a partner to the City Council. Megan Volk praised this cooperation and the project by the Jagodina Library and expressed readiness to continue the cooperation.
“Beyond Access is an initiative that believes libraries can be a good partner for economical and social development of the community. It brings together libraries, governments and civic societies from 30 countries around the world and Agricultural Libraries is one of the most impressive projects. I am here to explore what local communities and partners can contribute to the implementation of the project and on the other hand what our contribution could be. Our aim is to develop resources, share experiences from other countries and work together on the project, so we can improve lives in the communities”, said Megan during her visit to the City Council of Kragujevac.
The meeting was hosted by Dobrica Milovanovic, the member of the City Council in charge of international cooperation, Slavica Đorđević, Assistant to the Major for cultural heritage protection and urban planning. Mirko Demić, director of the Kragujevac library, Vesna Crnković, director of the Jagodina library and Jelena Rajić, the project coordinator attended the meeting.
Afterwards, Megan Volk had the opportunity to visit two rural libraries in the Kragujevac municipality, Čumić and Stragari, which will be included in the project.
On the same day, the Jagodina Library hosted a meeting for director s of libraries and representatives of local governments that will be future project participants. The discussion was focused on the needs on local communities and what kind of support local governments could offer.
“I saw that a good work was done in the libraries I visited. This project is one of the best in the world, said Megan Volk for RTS, national TV station.
On the next day, Megan Volk visited one of the rural libraries in the Jagodina municipality. It was the library in Bagrdan where she was warmly welcomed by farmers and other users of this library.
The most important meeting for the realization of the project in other Serbian libraries took place at the Ministry of Culture and Information where possible future cooperation of Beyond Access and the Ministry of Culture was discussed.
Dejan Ristić, a state secretary expressed his satisfaction and readiness to start a partnership and told Megan Volk and the director of the Jagodina Library that it would be very important to start the activities for the realization of this cooperation.