EUSPHERE – an advocacy approach for the libraries of change

Tuesday, January 12, 2016 - 13:15

A daring project, with a fresh and innovative approach, Eusphere puts libraries in the spotlight as agents of change and progress through a comprehensive, nationwide advocacy campaign.

When the project launched around a year ago, we were confident that good ideas, united teams and cohesive communities would facilitate large and sustained positive changes. From the very beginning, the idea of contributing to a favorable change in the perception of libraries and their role in transforming the community drew the interest of fellow librarians, partners and collaborators, but also of the relevant authorities and policy makers.

From a baseline of systemic stagnation in the library sector (which in Romania are not yet encouraged to apply for European funds), Eusphere kickstarted a movement in the library community to promote the involvement of librarians in e-inclusion, lifelong learning and grants.

From using national survey to organising a roundtable on the role of libraries and meeting with interested authorities and policymakers, participants were inspired to debate, to come up with proposals and to challenge and develop the project’s core business.

The change that most librarians and decision-makers feel is a desire for real reform of libraries, updating their mission and vision and adapting public funding processes to meet actual needs.

As centers of education and culture, and facilitators of e-inclusion, libraries need to transition to operating with "products" and "services" , which requires complex knowledge and skills.  By encouraging public discussion around the libraries’ role, the Eusphere project contributes significantly to the recalibration of the relationship between the library and the community, but also between the library and the State that funds them.

Eusphere project activities have also provided the framework for sharing best practice examples on the role of public libraries in digital inclusion and lifelong learning - from projects and programs related to the promotion of reading and visual arts, marketing, volunteering, local history, intercultural dialogue, digital storytelling, personal development - all declaring the incontestable value of the library as a promoter of civilization and progress.

To read more about the project please click here