Launch of the “Library as a modern agora” project for Ukraine, Moldova, Georgia

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 From 2011 a group of Polish-Ukrainian-Georgian and Moldavian partner  institutions  (including Centre for Culture Management in Lviv, Centre for  Contemporary Art in Tbilisi, the capital cities in the mentioned above  countries) has been organizing the educational project “Academy of Cultural  Diplomacy”. Based on the idea of culture as a “soft power”, the project was  the attempt to mobilize and support the people actively involved in the  development of various cultural activities in the EaP countries. We have managed to create a space for cooperation and our alumni –  a vivid network of personal and professional connections. Still, there is undoubtedly a strong demand for internationally experienced leaders in the EaP countries; however the number of experts and their involvement and influence on decision-making processes has significantly changed. What is still missing is the organized educational infrastructure for local community leaders. That is why we have decided to go one step further. “Public Library as a contemporary agora – building a dialogue in the local community” project is a cycle of trainings tailored for a group of cultural managers, enabling them to develop competencies in leadership, cooperation and advocacy as well as expertise in a chosen area of interest (e.g. music, theatre, literature). The cultural managers will also become trainers working with the group of librarians in their native countries. A special place in the project is occupied by the library and librarians; library as a “third place”, a safe & trustful space to socialize, and librarians as undiscovered and underestimated potential leaders. By participating in a training and study visit librarians will gain skills necessary to start the process of changing the role of libraries: books rental centers for transfer of knowledge and information. Read more about the project at http://libraryasagora.wordpress.com