Serbia

Jagodina

Economic Development

Library

Jagodina Public Library

Located in an agricultural region of Serbia, Jagodina Public Library has received international recognition for its AgroLibja project, which promotes libraries as community information hubs and includes an online market where farmers can sell their produce and crafts. With support from EIFL, the library revitalized four other rural libraries, improving their interiors, purchasing agricultural books and materials, implementing programs for children, hosting agricultural workshops, and organizing ICT training for rural librarians and farmers. Along with local governments, the Ministry of Culture helps to fund some of the project’s activities.

Government Partner

Jagodina City Council

The Jagodina City Council oversees the work and administration of the mayor and the city of Jagodina. In recent years it has paid particular attention to providing support for the villages surrounding the city to create more equity between urban and rural areas. In order to improve opportunities in these rural and agricultural regions, the council has supported infrastructure development and improved access to information and technology. The council has also made loans available to local farmers and funds the construction and improvement of libraries, community centers, and cultural centers.

Community Partner

Public Library Radislav Nikcevic

Supervising 16 libraries in the Jagodina municipality, the Radislav Nicevic library was at the core of the development and implementation of the AgroLib Ja project. In the program’s first year, the number of library visitors increased from 16 per week to 176 per week by the end of the year. Computer use also rose — from 36.5% of full capacity to nearly 60%. In time, the program inspired the residents of Glavinci, a nearby village, to petition for high-speed internet access for the entire village. Now, more than 4,500 residents of Glavinci and two other villages have reliable internet access.