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Telematics for Libraries - Projects


Updated: 21 DEC 98

Project Number and Title
Public Libraries Concerted Action
Programme/Action line Call Topic(s) Start End Project Duration 
in Months
FP 4/Concerted Action Not applicable January 1997

Public Libraries services; Information Society

 Additional information is available from the PUBLICA website. (

Project description

The overall purpose of PubliCA is to support development and enhancement of public library services throughout the European Union. An extension will cover the 10 accession countries of Central and Eastern Europe. Public Libraries are essential information resources for their communities, sustaining democratic opportunities and creating social cohesion. PubliCA will enable a coherent approach to the development of new services to meet the needs of the citizens in the Information Society, while ensuring that the new services are integrated with traditional public library services.

The concerted action also helps the European Commission to ensure that public libraries play an active role in the Libraries Programme and benefit fully from the results of its research projects. In addition the action is aimed at the reduction of disparity between public libraries across the countries of Europe.
Technical approach

The main tasks of the concerted action are foreseen to be:
  • designing and implementing an integrated awareness raising, knowledge transfer and training strategy for public libraries on opportunities within and results from the Telematics for Libraries and other relevant EC programmes;
  • collecting, validating and disseminating relevant economic and organisational information to enable public libraries to choose and implement technologies, tools and products relevant to the integration of services;
  • to create a sustainable infrastructure providing a long term forum for public libraries across Europe as a basis for influential action directed at national and European policy makers;
  • to coordinate actions which can reduce the disparity between public libraries across Europe.
Key issues

The main issues are:
  • interaction with and encouragement of the take up of the recommendations of the study Public Libraries and the Information Society;
  • awareness raising and information exchange about the strategic potential of public libraries in the development of the Information Society and about actual ongoing public library projects and their results;
  • defining strategy, action and studies aimed at reducing the disparity of public libraries across Europe.

    An extension will extend the scope to all Member States and the 10 accession countries of Central and Eastern Europe.

Impact and expected results

The direct result of Publica phase I was a better participation of public libraries in the Telematics for Libraries Programme. The extension in time (to 30 months) and space (to the 10 accession countries of Central and Eastern Europe) will contribute to the further development and enhancement of public library services across Europe, ensuring that their potential as essential information resource providers is fully harnessed and recognised in the development of the Information Society.

The results of the concerted action will, through optimising concertation between relevant initiatives, enable coordination of the development of new services - and their integration with traditional services - to meet the needs of the citizens. It thus has potential for significant impact.

PubliCA participated in the EU - Egyptian Seminar "Public Libraries and the Information Society" held in Cairo, Egypt, on 7 - 9 December 1998. 
The summary of the paper given by Jan van Vaerenbergh at this conference is available from our pages.


Name of Institution/Organisation Postal Code / City Country
Centrale Openbare Bibliotheek 3000 Leuven BE
Title, First Name, Name Mr Jan van Vaerenbergh Address: L. Vanderkelenstraat 28
Tel: + 32 16 20 83 10 Fax: +32 16 23 40 06
E-mail 1: E-mail 2:

Other Partners

Name of Institution/Organisation Country Role
Central Library of Croydon UK P
Helsinki City Library FI P
Bibliotheca Municipal de Oeiras PT P
Dublin Corporation Public Libraries IRL P
Aarhus Kommunes Bibliotheker DK P
Biblioteca Judeteana "Octavian Goga" Cluj RO P
Public Library of Veria GR P
Education for Change Lt. UK P

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European Commission 
DG XIII/E-4 - Telematics for Libraries 
Contact person: Ian Pigott 

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