The competition awards both the individuals and organizations implementing initiatives aimed at promoting good practices in the use of new information and communication technologies as well as those counteracting digital exclusion.
Almost 300 hundred initiatives from 35 countries were submitted in two competition categories: “I am part of IT” (for individuals) and “Be part of IT” (for organizations). The Information Society Development Foundation was awarded in the second category for the implementation of the Library Development Program. The award-giving ceremony took place at the seat of European Parliament in Brussels on June 22nd, 2012, during a two-day Digital Agenda Assembly conference aimed at inspiring discussion on information and communication technologies and their impact on European countries’ economic development.
“The Foundation feels honored with the European Commission’s award. We are glad that the Library Development Program was appreciated in Brussels as well as the libraries themselves as important centers for access to new technologies and digital education. Our research shows that 37% of those who visited libraries taking part in the Library Development Program had for the first time an opportunity to use the Internet. So first of all this award honors the librarians who encourage and teach in a friendly manner residents of their neighborhood how to use modern technologies,” said Rafał Kramza, President of the Information Society Development Foundation and the Director of the Library Development Program in Poland.
Before the award-giving ceremony was started, the Library Development Program had been presented to Ms Neelie Kroes, Vice-President of the European Commission responsible for the Digital Agenda. The Program was also presented to all conference participants in the form of a short film titled “Library Development Program: Technology and People”.
The Library Development Program is intended to facilitate access to computers, the Internet and the training opportunities for Poland’s public libraries in order to fulfill library users’ individual aspirations and develop local communities. The Polish-American Freedom Foundation is a partner of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation in this undertaking. The Program is managed by the Information Society Development Foundation established by PAFF.