Final reports: Action for Development through Libraries Programme (ALP)

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Project summary:

Project name Building Strong Library Association
Country and organization responsible Moldova, Republic of
2.4 Project outcomes

1. internal governance – developed two Bylaws (Regulation on LAM Board and Council and, Regulation on LAM Branches ), that advanced LAM to operate efficiently the board’s activities, underline clear lines of decision making and communication between the council, board, regions and professional committees, one LAM Strategy for 2014-2018, that envision LAM future priorities. Additionally LAM developed The LAM Annual Plan for 2013, LAM Training Annual Plan for 2013. In order to conduct efficiently responsibilities within LAM committees and commissions Job descriptions have been developed to each LAM Council member;

2. regional and rural representation – involved and developed loyal membership framework: enlarged membership up to 400 newcomers; incorporated new members from South region that have been missing within LAM in the last few years; attracted new librarians from school and colleges libraries. LAM designed and developed a database in order to organize efficiently the membership forms and process statistical data about its members. LAM launched a Newsletter and updated the LAM website in order to support a better communication with members;

3. advocacy – undertook an active attitude in order to influence sectorial policies related to Moldova 2020: E-Culture, Digital Moldova, E-education and developed relationships with different ministries (Ministry of Culture, Ministry of Education, Ministry Information Technology and Communications) though seven meetings to focus on promotion of libraries and to influence various strategic library documents: Law on Libraries, Regulation on the award categories of qualification frameworks library.

2.5 Project activities completed Description of activities (for example, workshops, conferences, report) Activity Budget Activity Date
Governance workshop December, 10-12, 2012
Regional Communication workshop April, 15-16, 2013
Advocacy workshop September 23 – 27, 2013
Focus groups July 18, July 19, August 26-27
Cascade workshops July 18, July 19, August 26-27
Pre Project Survey December, 2012
Post Project Survey October, 2013
Governance visit tour to LAM branches October 1st-17th, 2013
Final Conference October 21st, 2013

Evaluation report

1.2       How did you evaluate the project? (e.g. surveys, interviews, other methods)

1.3       What were the results of the evaluation? Summarise the results. Can you identify changes since the project began?

During the implementation of the BSLA Program in Moldova the LAM made real progress toward its development objectives (governance, regional communication and advocacy) and demonstrated to be a significantly professional platform for library community. The project findings demonstrated to be precious inputs into the decision-making and planning processes for the Library Association’s.  LAM learned as well through project implementation, recommendations and understandings revealed by association members, some lessons that were incorporated into new strategies, programmes and other related projects. Evaluations have been operated during and after the project implementation though 2 surveys, 4 focus groups, 26 interviews that enabled to take an attitude in regard to LAM institutional management, members services and benefits.

Survey data collection was conducted in two phases – December 2012 and Fall 2013. Findings presented are based on an aggregated data, totaling 578 out of 800 surveys covering randomly selected respondents from the different types of libraries located in various parts of the country.   Only 107 where not yet at that point members of the association. Data analysis was performed according to the following scale regarding: which is the profile of the librarians: work experience, type of library, category of qualification held by LAM member; how librarians get involved into the association activity: reason for joining the association, involvement in the work of the Association; how well librarians know about the LAM activities and services: the most important activities of the association, the main interests and tendencies of members of the association, the association benefits, personal involvement in planning or services association; what and how LAM should improve its services: potential services and benefits of association, library policies.  Even that the findings reveal that the majority of the librarians hold library qualification, data demonstrate that the association should pay attention to support librarians to promote qualitative changes in the library, LAM should guide to improve their professional level and ensure a fair evaluation of library staff by establishing  equal criteria between quality of work and its remuneration.  The survey results show that the association becomes known potential members in several ways.

Thus, about 43.48 % said they learned about the association by been present at its annual conferences/meetings. This shows that the professional events still a place for networking and professional exchange. At the same time partnerships between LAM members from different libraries, that covers various activities represents a promotion of the association as well. Approximately 23.37% of respondents members of the association mentioned that they have learned about LAM from while networking with colleagues, been recruited. Promotional materials and publications, including LAM website can be as well tools to promote, recruit LAM members and means of keeping the library community together. This statement is confirmed by the fact that 10% noted that. Some have argued that while been SLIS student became LAM members.

Among respondents were identified as well non-members of the association, who testified that the association is not sufficiently relevant to the concepts and professional interests (1.09 %) , the association is not fully theirs professional field (1.63 % ), not effective in support libraries (2.17 % ), and dominated by a group people keeping the power (1.63 %), and 6.52 % claimed that they are not qualified for membership .

Survey revealed that more LAM members are eager to invest time and involve on voluntary base into a professional association: acting as a chairman of a committee of the association (e.g. president, secretary, treasurer and so on of a committee of the association ) – 6,13%, working as a volunteer (e.g. giving advice, helping to organize activities ) – 10,57%, responding to requests from the formal or informal association meetings or conferences of the association – 10,57%, assisting in professional informative activities (e.g. conferences) – 19,23%, voting association elections and recommending colleagues to become members – 10,35% and promoting LAM activities (e.g. recruiting campaigns) – 20,93%. Thus, librarians noted that attending meetings or conferences of the association and assisting in the professional development activities they are able to engage in activities more actively in LAM – 22,19%. Of course participation at LAM activities does not guarantee access to real development opportunities or solving problems in the library field, but getting involved into the association by holding a position within LAM government bodies implies civic and professional engagement. Thus membership of a professional association facilitates access to various events (e.g. conferences, seminars, workshops).

The final survey acknowledged that LAM members preserve the association, as an important professional group:

  • body that promotes the social status of the librarians: librarians rights, defining the role of the library in democratic and civilized society, defending the interests of librarians, adequate remuneration and remuneration of librarians (e.g. librarians still perceive LAM as a union);
  • voice for national and international collaborative relationships: relationships between librarians in Moldova and abroad, national and international exchange projects and experiences, international collaboration between international associations, cooperation with central and local governments bodies (e.g. ministries, city halls) ;
  • institution that organizes professional meetings: seminars, professional conferences, annual conferences, trainings etc.
  • body that develops information and professional resources to members: maintaining a web site, publishing promotional materials, subscription to the electronic resources via Consortium;
  • institution that develops and update the legislative library framework: develops library related strategies, policies: cultural, educational and informational;
  • body that initiates evaluations in the field: monitoring libraries  activity, assessment&promotion of the librarians;

Comparing the data about the fact how well LAM changed during the project activities and its attitude to association’s members, respondents indicated that 8.15 % – very well, 46.20% –  good, 19.57 %  – moderate, 7.61% –  insufficient, and negative – 0.54 %. Major prospects for immediate improvements members of the association considered the following initiatives – advocacy actions, implementing and supporting research within the library field, developing a Plan for continuing education of librarians.

Finally, respondents noted even the LAM evolved for the better still need for improvements to with communication with members, to establish a more visible and direct link between LAM members, consider all proposals and views from members and help to take decisions. Thus strengthening relations between Council and its members is still required as an effective cooperation means having a good relation with all types of libraries and from different parts of the country.

Having a rich experience in working with its members, LAM managed to provide some benefits for them, but still members assessed the association activity as very good – 7.07 %, well – 42.93 %, appropriate – 21.20 %, not great – 4.35 %, insufficient – 2.17 %. Several initiatives need to be considered , particularly:

  • to improve association management – which would cover participation in various projects/campaigns that will bring more visibility;
  • to support training – what would motivate organization to support continuing education a wider coverage of the librarians .
  • to motivate of young employees – lifelong learning and stimulate them to work in rural public libraries ;
  • to develop international relations / national and international collaboration – active involvement in international collaborations and enhancing it.
  • to promote association as a professional entity – launch joint projects, services as well make a more visible in the online environment ;
  • to initiate fundraising activities – developing partnerships with private sector, call for additional financial resources through grants, sponsorships, including raising the membership fee;
  • to support transparency within LAM Council – to allocate resources to provide detailed information about activities, make public the decision process.

Comparing to the initial conclusions that remarked LAM members and nonmembers: that LAM should have strengthen the institutional and governance through the development of the association; regional consolidation and communication with members ABRM by developing professional tools , products and services in line with the professional needs of librarians; and represent and formulate strong arguments in dialogue with policy makers to support LAM members, at the end of the project they mentioned about:

  • developing professional training related tools/topics for librarians: time management, communication skills, financial/budget skills,  civic engagement,  problem solving, motivating others, conflict management etc.;
  • leadership programs/projects:  to explore your motivations, ethics, and leadership style in public, school, university libraries;
  • partnership building with libraries: promote awareness, exchange information between libraries, share techniques and technologies to help solve problems;
  • increase interaction between professionals from different countries: build cooperation project with library association from the region, exchange publications with similar professional groups.

 During the cascade workshops LAM representatives conducted focus groups that identified the following results:

  • On the role of  association for the library community:

LAM members expressed that the sense of satisfaction within the association have been lost in the last few years. They haven’t been supported in getting the certification, raising salaries, trainings, providing professional support (consultations) for work performed. The feeling of deception was considered because of weak regional representation in the  LAM governing bodies, lack of decision making transparency, confidence that LAM can solve current problems of librarians, undeveloped services and tools for the professional community ; LAM poor representation of school librarians ; few training activities for the areas , isolation of Russian speaking librarians from Romanian. For example participants from Comrat said they are formally enrolled in LAM and perceive as a real association as previously didn’t participate in the last three years. Opinion leaders said they were ready to initiate a professional association of Gagauzia.

  • Regarding the LAM Bylaws:

Participants stated that association members should know theirs rights and obligations. Although they consider that to be a member of the association is not enough to pay the LAM fee. Minor additions to the LAM membership fee can be accepted in the followings years.

Regarding the other issues mentioned in the end of the focus group discussions:

  • Participants consider that the local operations of LAM branches started to be more active (following the North branch model).
  • Cooperation of LAM members from different types of libraries improved (especially in respect school, college libraries).
  • LAM governing bodies should conduct an information campaign on how to operate in braches.

Following the study visits to branches interviews were randomly assigned on which LAM Council members asked LAM members and nonmembers to assess the association activity in the last year. The interviews took places during governance visit tour to LAM branches and were positively evaluated by the LAM members.

The following final remarks can be mentioned as positive impact of the BSLA project to LAM:

  • institutional LAM management:

The project activities commenced in November 2012, following the LAM elections that held on November 29th when Mariana Harjevschi became president of the Library Association, been elected by the Council members at the Annual LAM Conference.  After elections, the LAM Council followed a seminar on Governance that helped to develop a more proactive structure. Among 21 committees and new entities have been incorporated:  (1) Policy, advocacy and fundraising, (2) Management and partnerships, (3) Territorial consolidation and Leadership (4) Evaluation and (5) Communication. This new structure helped to better serve its members, secure more resources for library community, collaborate with other associations (National Library Association from Romania, Association of Public Librarians and Libraries from Romania), raise awareness amongst decision makers (e.g. positioned LAM as a key player to represent library community on national level) and communities and enhance fundraising activities to assure additional income for LAM (e.g. additional project have been granted by EIFL Foundation to LAM in order to develop a national campaign on Open Access).  Additionally LAM Council initiated The LAM Annual Plan for 201 and LAM Training Annual Plan for 2013 that helped to provide a more transparent attitude toward association, as an institution and its decision process that affect its members. Both documents outlined concrete steps to maximize LAM success.  In order to conduct efficiently responsibilities within LAM committees and commissions Job descriptions have been developed to each LAM Council member.

BSLA project provided a sustainable Short&Long term Action Plan for association that influenced positively its management and added benefits for all its members’. All research tools (case studies, surveys, focus groups) were of great support in identifying LAM’s strengths and weaknesses that afterwards moved LAM to improve its decision making policy and governance.

The project reinforced the LAM capacity by giving Councils’ members confidence to build on successes and develop viable foundations for library community. Theirs approach became more open and transparent, especially in taking decisions through adopting few Bylaws: Regulation on LAM Board and Council, Regulation on LAM Branches, that helped to operate the board’s activities, underline clear lines of decision making and communication between the council, board, regions and professional committees. Besides, LAM Strategy for 2014-2018, helped the Council and Board to envision LAM future priorities and pushed them to become more efficient in implementing ideas and projects. This facilitated LAM planning committee to be more accurate in planning activities, as well coordinate more efficiently its activities (organizing the Annual Conference, Librarians’ Day) and its Council members became better equipped with skills and motivated in taking forward the LAM agenda.

Furthermore, the project helped to coordinate LAM activities in a more efficient manner that influenced to raise inclusiveness capacity which enhanced school librarians, college librarians and vocational school librarians to become LAM members.

  • project LAM management

Even LAM had previous experience in implementing various projects, the BSLA revived its management and enforced it as a stronger voice for the library community.

Through the BSLA project, Council members’ have remediated its communication abilities with members’ and potential members in general. This was applied while implementing all actions: seminars, cascade workshops etc. By initiating a project team while the project was administered, it consisted a group of people with basic skills needed to manage association’s finances and upgraded capacities in order to delegate responsibilities within a team etc.  LAM improved it’s abilities to support a financial activity as well within LAM, this been helped by Novateca Program team members’.

The following benefits of project management fortified LAM organizational capacity:

  • efficiency: by supporting initially a project team of 3 persons (Mariana Harjevschi, Natalia Cheradi and Renata Cozonac) and further expanding  to 3 more persons (Tatiana Coseri, Ecaterina Scherlet, Viorica Lupu and Tatiana Ambroci) helped to execute more work in lesser time without making less compromises with the activities’ quality;
  • scope changes: it facilitated effectively upfront planning the project activities (e.g. workshops, final conference, study visits to branches) and LAM activities in parallel, which in turn slightly lowered the number of failures;
  • problem solving: it allowed better problem solving while delivering services, achieving activities in a shorter period of time;
  • stability: uniting resources by delegating responsibilities among team members and Council members (e.g. while organizing the final event – conference) helped to manage the work flow and lead to high efficiency, effectiveness, and stability of the LAM in general;
  • quality: following a more structured agenda, LAM Council behaved more efficiently that enhanced the quality of activities and increased the internal discipline.

As a major project implemented by LAM during 2012-2013 BSLA program made real positive changes for the association in advancing in budget management, managing risks and meeting deadlines.  It provided a “roadmap” that lead to goals completion by following as well the IREX internal rules as – selection of the offers according to competition base, bit analysis, respecting deadlines. Furthermore association members’ ranked satisfaction as part of a professional community/group. This was underlined at the final conference where LAM Council presented all tools that enable more fruitful professional relationships among members. By trying to apply changes within the association via BSLA project it was successfully enhanced effectiveness in delivering services to members and improved growth and development within Governance bodies (Council and Board).

Narrative report

Executive summary

Please write a summary of the project for publication on the IFLA website. Include the purpose of the project, activities, participants, and outcomes.

During the BSLA project the Library Association has undertaken a proactive role by adding value to the initiatives developed by the association during 1992-2012. The BSLA project team and LAM Board members assumed responsibilities in a more structured communication with members and had an open approach in working with decision makers. The project started with a study visit, undertaken by Fiona Bradly and Winnie Vitzansky that included interviews with stakeholders in order to frame better the project in Moldova: representatives of the Ministry of Culture, National Librarianship Council, focus groups with members of the LAM Board and Council, group discussions with LAM members sections, meetings with representations from the League of Librarians from Moldova, as well as visits to regions – North branch, Orhei branch and B.P.Hasdeu Municipal Library branch. After the project started 3 workshops followed during one year – Governance workshop (December, 10-12, 2012), Regional Communication workshop (April, 15-16, 2013), Advocacy workshop (September 23 – 27, 2013) where Council members and active LAM members have been trained to enable strategic development in order build capacity and sustainability of the association. During July 18th and August 27th cascade workshops have been delivered in order to strengthen territorial association entities. Events were replicated in Soroca, Cahul, Orhei and Comrat, gathering more than 100 librarians from 26 districts. As a final event LAM organized a Conference entitled Stronger together that gathered 250 participants from different regions in order to observe and share LAM results.

Regular meetings both in person and online via email will be held with the team to keep momentum going between workshops and other formal activities. LAM worked closely with core trainer Winnie Vitzansky (Danmark) during three workshops between 2012-2013 and Fiona Bradley for strategic and logistical project implementation. On national level, LAM work with Novateca program representatives.

Essential project outcomes are:

  • internal governance – developed two Bylaws (Regulation on LAM Board and Council and, Regulation on LAM Branches ), that advanced LAM to operate efficiently the board’s activities, underline clear lines of decision making and communication between the council, board, regions and professional committees, one LAM Strategy for 2014-2018, that envision LAM future priorities. Additionally LAM developed The LAM Annual Plan for 2013, LAM Training Annual Plan for 2013. In order to conduct efficiently responsibilities within LAM committees and commissions Job descriptions have been developed to each LAM Council member;
  • regional and rural representation – involved and developed loyal membership framework: enlarged membership up to 400 newcomers; incorporated new members from South region that have been missing within LAM in the last few years; attracted new librarians from school and colleges libraries. LAM designed and developed a database in order to organize efficiently the membership forms and process statistical data about its members. LAM launched a Newsletter and updated the LAM website in order to support a better communication with members;
  • advocacy – undertook an active attitude in order to influence sectorial policies related to Moldova 2020: E-Culture, Digital Moldova, E-education and developed relationships with different ministries (Ministry of Culture, Ministry of Education, Ministry Information Technology and Communications) though seven meetings to focus on promotion of libraries and to influence various strategic library documents: Law on Libraries, Regulation on the award categories of qualification frameworks library.

Project objectives

Were the expected objectives reached? How did the project perform against time, cost, and activities. Was the project effective?

The BSLA project in Moldova was launched in September 2012, when a team of IFLA representatives  Winnie Vitzansky, Trainer and Fiona Bradley, ALP Programme Coordinator, IFLA visited Moldova. The project commenced at the same time as the pilot phase of Global Libraries in Moldova, through the Novateca programme started, thus it was included as a part of Novateca Program in Moldova.  During the project LAM was a partner in the Novateca project that helped professionaly implement the project. The project commenced with a workshop in December 2012, which followed the LAM elections in November. As in-country facilitator was assigned Mariana Harjevschi.

During the BSLA project the Library Association has undertaken a proactive role by adding value to the initiatives developed by the association during 1992-2012. The BSLA project team and LAM Board members assumed responsibilities in a more structured communication with members and had an open approach in working with decision makers.

During the implementation of the BSLA project in Moldova, September 2012 – October, 2013, LAM has been focused to improve and achieved results in the following areas:

  • internal governance – that  envisaged to develop by laws, strategies to priorities the board’s activities, develop clear lines of decision making and communication between the council, board, regions and professional committees;

A training workshop for the Board of Library Association from Moldova (LAM) was held during 10-12 of December, 2012 in Chişinău, Moldova. The workshop was jointly organized by IFLA and LAM with financial support from Novateca Program (pilot phase of Global Libraries in Moldova). The training was part of the Building Strong Libraries Association program and was focused particularly to orientate the new formed Board members on association governance. The training content covered topics that helped board members to priorities association’s activities and develop strategies, formulate clear actions for decision making and communication between the council, board, regions and professional committees. In addition the imperative of the training was to recognize the focus on immediate Action plan that will serve a key activity for bringing fresh approach in building the association administration and building its relations with stakeholders and members. The core trainer Winnie Vitzansky professionally facilitated the workshop, been helped by the Novateca Program project manager Igor Mironiuc and in country facilitator Mariana Harjevschi, president of LAM.

The training module Building your Association and Building Relations, ensured a coherent and consistent approach, as it served very appropriate for this important stage – following the nomination process of the new LAM Board formed by: Mariana Harjevschi, Natalia Cheradi, Tatiana Coşeri, Ecaterina Scherlet, Rodica Avasiloaie, Renata Cozonac, Lina Mihaluţă, Maria Cudlenco, Galina Mustaţă, Lilia Tcaci. Thus this step had a positive impact on Board members during training sessions that were broadly divided into the following topics: leading the association; association stakeholders and members; planning, recruitment; evaluation and improvement; communication; managing relationships; change management; building and managing strategic relationships; good relationships & difficult relationships over two and half days.

  • regional and rural representation – that foreseen involvement in the association members from across the country and all library sectors in various LAM activities;

Following the BSLA project in Moldova the 2nd training workshop on Regional Development for the Board members, as well LAM regional representatives, was held during 15-16 of April, 2013 in Vadul lui Vodă village. According to the project concept the workshop was jointly organized by IFLA and LAM project team with financial support and logistical assistance from Novateca Program (pilot phase of Global Libraries in Moldova) in cooperation with IFLA trainer Winnie Vitzansky.

The workshop agenda was developed according to the BSLA training modules Libraries in Society and Developing Strategic Relationships: Partnership and Fundraising that contributed to provide the context for the role that library associations can play in society, what makes a successful library association, and as well as provided assistance to broaden LAM members involvement in the association across the country and across all library sectors.

The training was extended to 22 librarians, members of LAM representatives from public, university, school and specialized libraries, members of LAM Board and Council and Novateca program grantees. Besides, as special guests to the workshop were present Ecaterina Rudakov, senior consultant, Department of Cultural Policy in the Territory and Written Culture from the Ministry of Culture, Valeriu Gribincea, expert, Communications Policy Department, Ministry of Communications and Information Technology and Valentina Albu, expert, Department of Information Society Development Monitoring, Ministry of Information and Communications Technology, Iurii Datii, IREX Moldova, Executive Director and Igor Mironiuc, Novateca Program, manager.

The first day, April 15th, started with welcome remarks delivered by Evan Tracz, IREX Moldova&Novateca Program director, Winnie Vitzansky, IFLA trainer and Mariana Harjevschi, LAM president. The morning session was dedicated to LAM and BSLA achievements in Moldova, Novateca projects and LAM partnerships. Thus the following presentations were provided:

  • LAM and regional branches by Mariana Harjevschi that emphasized new accomplishments by LAM Board and Council, illustrated the Committee’s profile and Regional structure and LAM branches, described the Campaign We Welcome You to Become the LAM Member lunched by LAM, summarized the LAM Annual Action Plan activities and reported about new and updated LAM products (LAM Newsletter, LAM Journal, website) and services (trainings, field visits etc.), as well as shared about LAM active role with civil society.
  • IFLA and LAM: Strengthening a Strong Association for Libraries by Winnie Vitzansky that underlined IFLA BSLA program goals and delivery training models implemented internationally, program outcomes and outlined the BSLA in Moldova (training program and activities).

During the same session, Maria Cudleco, director of Public Library Public shared local experience achieved at the Internet Center from Crihana Veche village and Lidia Sitaru, Orhei District Library director participated with a presentation on Regional Training Center in Orhei. Both interventions provided an insight about the Novateca projects in regions.

The afternoon session was committed to reflect the activities of LAM regional branches, thus chiefs of regional committees presented regional action plans, committees’ responsibilities, and relations with public administration, success stories and problems accounted in different regional branches. Galina Musteata, chief of the Building and Leadership Committee, Ludmila Ous, chief of the North Area Committee, Elena Stratan, chief of the Northern Branch on Libraries from Education system and Maria Cudlenco, chief of the South Area Committee were among speakers at the workshop. Major outcomes of the BSLA project that have been mentioned during the session were the results achieved within the regional branches: during January-March, 2013 317 new members applied to become LAM member, established contacts with 35 county public library in order to recruit LAM members, undertook 3 meetings with LAM potential and active members (Cahul, Balti, Leova), delivered 1 training session in cooperation with Continuing Center from State Moldova University on Innovation Management for Libraries in Balti.

During the last part of the first day of the workshop agenda included an overview on Library Associations in Society offered by Winnie Vitzansky. The presentation ensured a broad approach on features of a successful library association, the role and importance of libraries and librarians in a changing information society, adding values of a library association, and contextual factors for library associations. The session also included individual and group activities on stakeholder analysis, role of libraries and librarians, benefits librarians and libraries bring to society, strategies for national action, contextual factors impacting on your association, features of a successful library association, Benefits of a library association in your country and features of a good relationship.

The second day, April 16th, covered a morning session on partnership with library key stakeholders on developing sectoral strategies related to Moldova 2020. Participants had a chance to demonstrate that librarians and libraries hold a key role in a society and were engaged in a debate discussion with Ecaterina Rudacov, representative from the Ministry of Culture on Strategy Development Culture “Culture 2020” and Valeriu Gribincea with Valentina Albu from Ministry of Communications and Information Technology on National Strategy for Information Society Development “Moldova Digital 2020”.  As a result it was concluded to deliver identical letters to Ministry of Information and Technology and Ministry of Culture in order to support the LAM proposal on considering libraries as active institutions within “Moldova Digital 2020”.

The session was followed by a presentation and group activities facilitated by Winnie Vitzansky on Managing internal strategic relationships and covered topics as: positive association culture, strategies for establishing and maintaining member relationships. Participants received practical ideas for building relationships with the wider community for fundraising, developing and maintaining strategic partnerships.

  • advocacy – that looked to identify the role of libraries within the government’s Moldova 2020 strategy and develop relationships with different ministries, to focus on promotion of libraries and to influence various strategic library documents.

During September 26-27 a workshop for LAM Council members on Advocacy. The agenda was developed according to the BSLA training modules Libraries on the Agenda that focused on the role of the library association functions in advocating and campaigning for the increased importance of libraries in the information society. Winnie Vitzansky draw on several tools for advocacy that LAM members.

As a project, that nationally covered representatives from different types of libraries, it helped to build internal governance capacity and strengthened regional communication. Major program activities included:

  • LAM evaluation: included surveys applied pre and post project with LAM member and non-member, that covered 184 respondents during December 2012 and 349 in October 2013; focus groups with LAM members which covered 100 librarians that attended cascade workshops in the North, South, and Center;
  • in country evaluation: performed in September 2012 and September 2013 under the supervision of IFLA representatives, Fiona Bradley and Winnie Vitzansky, that included meetings with representatives from library community and interviews with stakeholders: representatives of the Ministry of Culture, Department of Library and Information Assistance, National Council of Librarianship, focus groups with members of the LAM Board; group discussions with LAM members leading different sections and committees, meetings with Library League representations  and visits to few LAM branches – Balti branch, Orhei branch,  “B.P.Hasdeu” Municipal Library and the  “I.Creanga” Children National Library branch covering per total more then 100 librarians.
  • governance review: provided three workshops on Governance, Regional communication and Advocacy including Board members and LAM leaders covering 65 participants per total; cascade activities undertaken in 4 raions held in Cahul (July 18, 2013), Comrat (July 19, 2013), Soroca (July 26, 2013) and Orhei (18 to 19 August 2013) were able to cover librarians from 26 districts out of 37, covering 100 librarians from various public libraries, school, college and universities. The governance visit tour to LAM branches: covered 24 raions and 2 municipalities were LAM Board members had professional discussions with LAM members, stakeholders.
  • final conference:  shared project results with 250 attendees from libraries across Moldova, and as well engaged in discussions on LAM major documents developed during the project implementation – LAM Strategy for 2014-2018, Board Bylaw and LAM Branches Regulation;

Adjoining activities were organized within BSLA project that focused in few areas:

  • discussion activities with representatives from Ministry of Culture, Ministry of Education and Ministry of Information Technology and Communications;
  • Regular planning and implementation of work between activities by the BSLA team, Board and Council;
  • access to events, training and other networking and continuing professional development opportunities.

Creating a shared commitment to provide opportunities and benefits (LAM newsletter, updated website), LAM invested efforts to regional consolidation and communication with members, via trainings and seminars. It was proposed to increase the dynamics of collaboration between LAM branches and local governance structures in order to maintain functional and effective relationships, ensuring continued loyalty that helped to reach more than new 800 library members.

Through the project activities LAM Board members could have get confidence, advocate for improved future for libraries, and take an active role in the national sectorial strategies: Culture 2020, Digital Moldova 2020, and Education 2020.

During project implementation the BSLA team, and LAM Council have been directed by an Action Plan and Long term Plan developed during workshops delivered in December, April and September. Thus major success achievements, beside reaching the project objects the following can be mentioned are granted to the actions included into those documents:

  1. team spirit that has been developed to the association Board members and LAM members.  The Council has been engaged actively in producing services and products that equipped each member with responsibilities for developing benefits for LAM: trainings, publications and internal documents: strategy, bylaws etc.;
  2. leaders role adopted LAM Council members that was skilled during workshops and experienced within different professional events, trainings and other networking and continuing professional development opportunities offered by LAM;
  3. transparency attitude in communication with LAM members, that was guaranteed via different channels of communications: improved website (Board meeting minutes are placed – http://abrm.md/menu1_3_3.html), launch of public discussions debates (e.g. internal documents –  http://abrm.md/menu7_6.html);
  4. strategic approach to LAM development that made the LAM to focus on delivering a mission, vision, and finally a LAM Strategy for 2014-2018 ;
  5. partnership and collaborative representation of LAM with similar organizations (e.g. signing a Partnership contract with the Institute for  Information Society Development);
  6. fundraising skills acquired during workshop offered insight to perform and sustain a more professional approach to LAM priorities (e.g.  OA Conect+ within academia in the Republic of Moldova Project supported to organize OA campaigns –  http://eifloamoldova.wordpress.com/, La distanţă de un click Project proposal has been submitted to Ministry of Culture, and still waiting for results. It will focus on delivering courses for digitizing library collections, according to the National Program Informatizare a sferei culturii pentru anii 2012-2020).

As a result of the project the following products have been developed according to the Action Plan:

  1. Development of Rule of Order (for LAM Board and Administrative Council);
  2. Regional Structure was analyzed as part of LAM’s structure in general and a Regulation on LAM Branch system was developed;
  3. Internal database was development containing integrated information about LAM members and statistical data will be possible to be extracted upon request.  Collection of membership data (plus initiating a new membership Application Form) and validating of data Board and council members, responsible for the various types of libraries were also prepared accordingly;
  4. LAM has formed a number of new committees, comparing to previous LAM structure with specific tasks, including advocacy, policy and fundraising, website and communication and evaluation.  Appointments to committees have taken place, and the following terms of reference, were covered: activities of each committee/division, responsibility, reports to board, proposal, standard Terms of reference.

Others are mentioned within the report: LAM Strategy, web page updates.

As well, LAM concluded 2 surveys on LAM that helped to collect baseline evidence about LAM activity and LAM member’s contributions, expectations etc. Details are in Romanian version of the report.

Success Story

Share the best success story that happened during the project

The following success stories are considered to be the best achievements within BSLA project:

  1. Conjugating project team efforts with Council members helped to apply an efficient project management by implementing project related activities and LAM activities (e.g. organizing 5 training courses for library manages via Innovative management curricula in  Soroca, Cahul, Balti, Calarasi, Ungheni and 1 in Chisinau for school librarians on IFLA Manifesto for School Librarians;
  2. Extending one cascade workshop in the South focusing on Russian speaking communities was appreciated by the library community. It helped to welcomed librarians from 5 raions who dropped been LAM members for 6-7 years, as they felt ignored in the last years by LAM governance;
  3. Encouraging accepting membership within a professional association increased LAM membership, extended coverage of different types of libraries and enhanced membership loyalty.

 Follow up activities

Please describe any further follow up activities that you have planned after this project. For example, cascade training or meetings.

What challenges remain after this project?

Upon project  closure LAM will focus on implementing the following initiatives that have been developed during Advocacy workshop:

  1. Re-branding LAM – LAM considers appropriate to develop a new name focused more on libraries, rather on librarians as a scope. Thus currently the LAM members are analyzing the new name Asociaţia Bibliotecilor din Republica Moldova. As well LAM looking to rebrand – including logo and visual identity. The rebrand project is part of a series of strategic changes; all with the aim of making sure it is an efficient professional body for library community.
  2. Initiate campaigns and events for libraries in Moldova – that will empower library community to promote the importance of the libraries. It is envisioned that LAM will work with decision makers, politicians, mass-media, the general public and key organizations and important stakeholders to ensure that librarians’ voice is heard and that libraries’ values are recognized.
  3. International and regional co-operation to be further developed – this will be crucial for LAM development. LAM already has fruitful cooperation with Romanian library association, member of IFLA and EBLIDA. Thus this will give as well an opportunity to follow global developments relevant to library professionals and advance the interests of LAM members. Further cooperation will be assured and developed with international organizations.

In the long term, leadership role will need to be addressed by LAM. Moldova’s library institutions need strong leaders who can advocate and drive forward the library agenda together with LAM. LAM would also benefit from mentoring and advice from Novateca Program.

Besides LAM will take a closer look at developing a Succession Plan for Council and Board in order to bring new people into the association’s leadership, revision of fee structure, that will permit to assure sustainability for LAM and development of income generation

LAM will work closely with Ministry of Culture in order to promote the Regulation for Librarians’ Accreditation, new Library Law and other important library related documents. As well a more active involvement LAM will consider participating in Digital Moldova 2020, Education 2020.

Lessons learned

What went well, what did not go as well, and what could be improved.

Did you make any changes to the project plan? If yes, why?

During the project implementation the following changes have been made in consultation with Novateca representatives:

  1. to organize 4 focus groups and cascade workshops, instead of 2 that were planned. The reason was to cover more LAM members and nonmembers within these activities.  Due to LAM members suggestions the cascade activity that was planned in the South was divided into two activities following the same budget. The reason for this was for the regional specific – in 5 raions in the South are Russian speaking communities, thus it was decided to replicate the workshops in Romanian delivered by Mariana Harjevschi in Cahul city covering 5 raions and in Russian delivered by Natalia Cheradi, member of the Moldova BSLA in Comrat city covering the other 5 raions. The decision was a very much appreciated and welcomed by the Russian/Gagauz library community. Besides, majority of the participants haven’t been members of LAM for more then 6-7 years, as they felt ignored in the last years by LAM.
  2. to extend the BSLA team in order to deliver logistical activities more fruitful and efficient. Thus 4 more persons have been recruited in order to be involved into BSLA project activities.
  3. to extend the set of activities including a final conference.  LAM proposed it as a one day event where it were invited new and active members from territorial branches, as well LAM stakeholders. As well this activity gave the opportunity to have a different approach for LAM communication with the region – as the participants will be delegated according to the new branches that have been organized into the LAM structure. The agenda focused to raise the visibility of the association amongst its key stakeholders and broaden inclusion of the regions, to encourage active membership. Moreover all project results were proposed to be delivered and made public during the national seminar, this it covered survey and focus groups results, new products and services that LAM developed etc.
  4. to organize a governance visit tour to LAM branches was added. As the 1st survey undertaken during the BSLA Project was difficult to get from regions, LAM and the BSLA team proposes to undertake a study visits to branches in order to deliver as well the questionnaires for LAM members and non-members. This approach helped to involve members from the LAM Board that consist of 21 persons to have a more efficient dialog with LAM members. The visits were done in cooperation with the local LAM branches and Novateca grant libraries that hosted the meeting. Some events were organised jointly with the Department of Culture (Sectia Cultura) or Department of Education (Sectia Invatamint) thus librarians came as well for a professional event: training, workshop etc., delivered by LAM Board members.