Open Access to Information, Development and Growth: Public Libraries in Georgia

This brief provides an example of how modern public libraries can contribute to national-level development priorities… if policymakers engage them early on. More specifically, public libraries have the potential to serve as a strategic partner in civic engagement, education, agriculture, and health-related initiatives.

Beyond Access outlines the features of the modern (21st century) library — a trusted community resource that identifies community needs, offers space and resources, and engages citizens in activities that contribute to meeting local development goals.

Georgia is becoming more transparent and open. The use of information and communication technologies will undoubtedly play a role in this transformation. But the question remains: How should the government improve access to information? This brief recommends that the Government of Georgia consider partnering with public libraries to advance initiatives that promote citizen engagement and social inclusion. Exploring local government investment in public library ICT services is also recommended as a way to advance digital inclusion — especially in the regions outside of Tbilisi.