A wide hall with some old books laying around, dust, grey walls and air so cold that you have to keep your coat on. If this is the image you have of a library, you have to visit the Telenesti Raional Public Library. In a warm, colourful and friendly space, you can improve your English skills thanks to American volunteers Helen and Lynn. Their trained librarian, Natalia, will run a reading class with your 8-year old. Or you can go to a yoga class or sing folk songs with the singing club. And of course you can improve your IT skills in the well-equipped computer hall, where a trained librarian can help you create digital stories to put on your Facebook page.
In Telenesti and in 597 other libraries all across Moldova, 671 enthusiastic, professional and trained librarians are transforming libraries in modern community centres to provide Moldovan citizens with access to relevant information and modern, locally tailored services. This has been possible thanks to Novateca Program, a Gates Foundation initiative to improve public libraries around the world.
On February 23rd 2016, IREX Europe, Novateca and the Telenesti Raional Public Library organised a tour of the Modern Library of Telenesti, to explore the different library services and inaugurate the Library’s media corner. Telenesti citizens now have the opportunity to read newspapers comfortably seated in the newly renovated library hall and the assistance of a trained librarian to help them understand where to obtain quality national and international news. The tour was attended, among others, by about 50 librarians, the local authorities, the Moldovan deputy minister of culture and the US Ambassador, Mr Pettit.
IREX Europe, in partnership with Novateca, works with libraries to improve the media literacy of the local community. In the last 18 months, more than 300 people have attended media literacy trainings implemented by trained librarians. By the end of the year, Moldovan citizens will be able to use media corners in at least 10 public libraries around the country.