Search in Huibslog
About myself

Riethof, Brussels

...en savoir plus

View Huib Riethof's profile on LinkedIn
Latest Comments
My Social Pages

Powered by Squarespace
Journal RSS Menu

Email Subscription (free)
Enter your email address:

Delivered by FeedBurner

« Log 29.1 Bulgaria: Orphanages and Libraries | Main | Watchblog Islamophobie Eingestellt - Kampf gegen Fremdenfeindlichkeit geht weiter! 25.1.08 [DE] »

Log 29.1 [EN] Network of European Urban Neighbourhood Librarians

European Network of Urban Neighbourhood Libraries

A thematic European Network of five regional organizations servicing local libraries in poverty-stricken urban and semi-urban regions has been set up through the initiative of librarians themselves. Participants come from Spain, Poland, Hungary, Belgium, Holland and France. The Network applies for an EU-cofinancing, in order to carry out innovative approaches, exchange experiences and capitalizing on them by a scientific evaluation. 1191208-1303007-thumbnail.jpg
Plovdiv (Bulgaria) will participate later (click)
The fieldwork we agreed upon, inserts intself in a transversal approach to urban regeneration. That is a difficult word for considering oneself as part of a common, locally steered, approach to emancipation of marginalised local groups and categories of people. Which means, that the librarians cooperate with schools, cultural and social institutions, etc. etc. In a few days, all this will be explained on my professional website: "E-Urban" - Stars of European Cities.

The key role, neighbourhood libraries often play in helping marginalised people realise their capacities, their unused knowledge and their wish for individual permanent education, is underestimated. Their accessibility, the wide range of services and activities they can promote "next door", turn them into a key link to the local public (and notably some categories that are not easy to reach, like women with children, unemployed people, elderly people, etc.).

As always, however, it is the human component, i.e. the people who run those libraries, that is the key factor. Poorly paid, often working on a voluntary basis, they are engaged in small miracles of inventivity, of inspiration and of support to people who need it most. Local libraries run, for instance, women's writing clubs, where illiterate mothers meet, try out their writing capabilities and produce fantastic texts our of their experiences.

Mostly, the support they receive from the central directions upon which they depend, is insufficient or practically non-existent. Many teams of local librarians, mostly women, invent practical and inventive solutions on their own. I found, that working solutions thus invented and implemented from East to West and from North to South on the whole continent, have many similarities, although there is very few exchange of methodology and knowledge between library organizations, neither international, nor interregional, nor, even, within the same city!

An applicable set of methods and  means, whose efficiency and productivity has been proven, may have a Europe-wide positive effect in creating the Knowledge Society, the Lisbon Programme (2001) calls for. And it costs near to nothing, for the inventions have already taken place!

I am glad to be of some help to organise this network, and, as always, working with people who love their creative work, is a joy in itself.

PrintView Printer Friendly Version

EmailEmail Article to Friend

Reader Comments

There are no comments for this journal entry. To create a new comment, use the form below.

PostPost a New Comment

Enter your information below to add a new comment.

My response is on my own website »
Author Email (optional):
Author URL (optional):
Some HTML allowed: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <code> <em> <i> <strike> <strong>