Pasvalys is a fertile agricultural district in northern Lithuania, on the border with Latvia. About 30% of people in the district are farmers. The Pasvalys District Municipality plans to promote sustainable rural development by modernizing farming, strengthening links between the agricultural and business sectors and encouraging alternative environmentally-friendly and non-traditional activities.
The innovative project
Working with a network of 34 rural libraries in the district, Marius Katiliskis’ Public Library supports the municipality’s plans by increasing farmers access to information, developing their information and communication technology (ICT) skills and helping them market their produce. With support from the EIFL Public Library Innovation Programme (EIFL-PLIP) in 2011/2012, the library created a business centre for farmers with free internet access and desktop publishing services. They also bought a laptop computer, projector and screen for ICT training, and a tent and generator for outdoor training and presentations at farmer’s markets and fairs.
In less than a year, they developed a web-portal with over 100 links to agricultural and business support agencies, articles about farming, a discussion forum and advertising space. The library also trained over 120 people, including farmers, entrepreneurs and rural librarians to use ICT. In the desktop publishing centre, librarians worked with farmers to publish 600 marketing leaflets and 200 product labels.
The library works closely with the Pasvalys District Local Action Group (DLAG); the Pasvalys District Municipality; the Lithuanian Farmers’ Union (Pasvalys Department); the Pasvalys beekeepers’ association and the Joniškėlis Research Station and local newspaper, Darbas. Partners help develop and market the service, and provide information for the web-portal.
eifl-plip project timeline
November 2011 - October 2012.
achievements and Impact
With funding from the European Union’s Rural Development Programme 2007 - 2013 the library has improved and expanded their agricultural web-portal.