Contest for Libraries and Digital Inclusion with ANTEL

The project will strengthen public and community libraries to help them become centers for digital inclusion in their communities. Key components of the project — technology training, equipment donations, and the development of new library services — will help libraries to meet the needs of Uruguayans. To achieve this, the project hinges on partnerships across diverse sectors, including with the Uruguayan government — already working to provide public access to information and digital inclusion for the most vulnerable populations.

Uruguay has distinguished itself in Latin America for providing a wide range of successful programs for public access to information and the Internet. The most well known of these programs is Plan Ceibal, the only program in the world that has provided a personal laptop to nearly 100% of children in the public education system. Through this and other programs, Uruguay has made great progress to provide children and youth with access to information and technology opportunities. But adults — especially in rural communities — still need opportunities to build skills so they can access information, improve their livelihoods, and strengthen their communities.

Uruguay’s government-owned telecommunications company, ANTEL, recognized the potential of libraries to address this need. They organized a contest to equip 10 libraries with technology and to train library staff on how to use the new technology to serve the people in their communities. Community and public libraries have traditionally played an important role in the cultural and education sectors in Uruguay, so the project will focus on strengthening libraries and motivating librarians to develop key technology skills. With these skills, librarians will play a key role in helping adults to better understand and use technology, especially in rural areas.
  • To contribute to the digital inclusion of vulnerable and rural populations
  • To position public libraries in Uruguay as centers for technology learning, access to information and community development

Strengthen librarians’ ICT skills

The selected libraries will participate in ICT training sessions and will learn how to share their knowledge with others in their communities.

Train librarians to implement new services that incorporate technology

Beyond Access and local partners will analyze each community’s needs to help their libraries develop new services that address those needs.