Library on wheels for remote communities

The ‘library bus’ project aims to make books, articles, specialised literature and digital documents accessible to people living in the small and remote villages.

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Projects such as this are helping the EU to become a smart, sustainable and inclusive economy by 2020, as set out in the EU 2020 growth strategy. The EU is facing some tough challenges, including an ageing population, an insufficiently qualified workforce, the need for greater innovation, striking a balance between economic growth and environmental degradation, and ensuring secure, clean energy supplies. Regional policy projects across the EU are playing an active role in dealing with these and many other challenges, by undertaking projects designed to generate employment, raise educational achievement, develop renewable energy sources, boost productivity and give all citizens access to opportunities. The projects and the regions play a pivotal role in this, as they generate real results that contribute to achieving the strategy’s key goals.

The bus was acquired by the Csorba Győző Library in order to reach these disadvantaged groups and make printed materials, PCs, Internet connection, etc. available to them through a mobile library system.

Going beyond traditional services

The library bus which was purchased for the project visits 27 small, disadvantaged settlements in Baranya County, allowing a total of 7 500 inhabitants to benefit from the mobile library services. Participating settlements have an average of 290 inhabitants, with 69% of these being Roma inhabitants.

In addition to traditional library services, the bus provides the possibility of PC and Internet usage and hosts small events and activities for children. The bus is wheelchair accessible and magnifying devices for reading are provided to those who are visually impaired.

Making information accessible for new users

The library bus visits participating areas four to five days per week for a period of 1.5 hours, giving users access not only to the 4 000 documents on the bus but also to the more than one million documents of the county library as well.

The bus has already had an impact among the target audience. In the first six weeks of the project, more than 213 new subscribers signed up, 27% of whom were under 14. Meanwhile, 250 people made use of services on offer. Already, eight creative events have been organised, mostly for children under 14. Internet access is also a popular service among users; particularly as in parts of the target area not even a mobile Internet connection is available.

Draft date