Every country has its own unique challenges, yet it is striking how similar our struggles can be from community to community, country to country, and even continent to continent. The more we recognize those similarities, the better we can apply solutions that worked in one area to others. What’s happening in Romania right now is a prime example.
Paul-Andre Baran is Romania’s new Director of Biblionet, a five-year program to facilitate free access to information for Romanian citizens by fostering the development of a modern public library system in Romania. He was recently interviewed by Neelie Kroes, Vice President of the European Commission, about recent programs that have improved life for families — and women in particular — in rural Romania. Poverty is rampant in these areas, with Internet access — or even computers — simply not being available in many homes. In fact, only 50% of Romania’s population is online. To combat these challenges, local libraries were set up to be the digital hubs of their communities, and the program has been changing lives and altering centuries-old perceptions: [Read more...]