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Computers, services and Wi-Fi Internet for rural libraries

Armenia Chapter

There is a large number of rural libraries in Armenia, but the overwhelming majority do not have computers. Book circulation is manual as there are no computers and library management programs. There is a need to provide libraries with computers equipped with library management programs that will enable them to subscribe members, register books, organize the book circulation, search requested books, track the movement of books, and control book check-in and check-out as well as quickly receive any required information for the books in the library.

In 2015 Armenia Chapter, aware of the poor state of rural libraries, started a pilot program aiming to help rural libraries with computers, software, training and services. It became clear that they also need help in troubleshooting and repair, operating system, and application program installation. Thus the following plan of support was developed: develop a lightweight library management program; provide computers to libraries; train librarians to use the library management program; and troubleshoot and repair library computers. The Armenia Chapter finished the pilot program with 20 computers and library management programs installed in rural libraries. They provided timely access to requested materials, simplified search/discovery of library resources, and increased library outreach. However while working on the pilot program we estimated that rural libraries need about 1,000 computers. This project aims to install 50 more computers and provide maintenance and training services to rural libraries. We also plan to set up WiFi access for library visitors.

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