Watching news on TV or reading newspapers did not seem a complicated task for Moldovan librarians prior to their participation at the Media Literacy training for librarians, organized by IREX Europe in the spring of 2015. After 3 days of training, this perception changed and the 33 librarians participating now described media literacy as difficult but interesting.
That`s why only few of them were really passionate and tried to engage other librarians, students and members of the community in this learning experience of media literacy. They organized training sessions, photo contests, round tables and discussions in their localities to raise other`s desire to critically analyse media messages. The four most active ones arranged Media corners in the libraries with the financial support of IREX Europe, in order to make the information process more appealing to the community.
The Public Library from Taraclia now has 2 cozy armchairs and a table for newspapers. The public library from Hirbovat enriched their library with a flipchart and a cork table. In the school library of Gura Bicului, there are now several shelves for newspapers, a PC, a multifunctional printer and a photo camera. Also here, a group of students who did not have the chance to take part in the 3 days Media Literacy training organized by the librarians, requested a supplementary training session.
In Telenesti, the media corner was designed in a way that people with disabilities could also access Internet and read newspapers. One surprise came from the public library of Costuleni, a small village in Ungheni district. The librarian, not saying a word to anyone, made on her own trainings on Media Literacy for librarians and students and arranged her own media corner in her library. IREX Europe has decided to reward the initiative by completing the media corner with a computer, photo camera and furniture for newspapers.
These initatives may seem small, but all of them have led to changes in several areas of the country: in the citizens’ way of thinking, in their understanding of the media, in people’s behavior and their relationship with the media. Most librarians have become more active in writing news about events in their libraries and localities, they have become more open to people, but also more critical to what they see and hear on TV or radio - in a word, more informed and media literate.