Developments in
Greek Public Libraries and
the Future Library Project
Dr. Emmanouel Garoufallou
[email protected]
Department of Library Science and Information Systems,
Alexander TEI of Thessaloniki, Greece
Veria Central Public Library
Presentation Layout
• Public Libraries in Greece
• Good Practices
• The Future Library Project
Public Libraries in Greece
• Two kind of Public Libraries
• “Public libraries” as part of the Ministry of
• “Municipal libraries” as part of Municipalities
& Local Authorities
• Children libraries, Mobile libraries, Community
libraries that are part of local authorities from
villages to Counties and Regions
Many times in the same area are serving
different kind of ‘public libraries’ without
having any collaboration
Greek Public Libraries in numbers [1]
• 46 Public Libraries as part of the Ministry of
 29 of them have mobile libraries
 9 of them are historical since they serve the
public for more than a century and have rare
collections with manuscripts, maps, etc.
 “Central Public Historical Library of …”
 Some from the 17th century, some from 18001830
Greek Public Libraries in numbers [2]
• 686 municipal and community libraries
• There is a number of small libraries, children and
community libraries that are not part of an official
• Total budget [my estimate]:
2007 = appr. 1.500.000 €
2010 = appr. 900.000 €
2013 = appr. 500.000 €
Public Libraries at the
Ministry of Education Gateway
by National Documentation Centre
• A Greek LMS
• 1986 till today
• Free to all Greek Public
• Multilingual
bibliographical data
• Training courses
• 2400 appr. People
• 2500 all kind of libraries,
in total, used ABEKT
• 670 libraries use the last
two versions
Source: ABEKT,
Union Catalog for Public Libraries
• Establish a Greek Union Catalog for Public Libraries
• Launch 1999, financed by EC structural funds:
• Union Catalog for Municipal and School Libraries :
• ..and a blog:
InfoLibraries: Public Libraries Gateway
• A project of VCPL
• the portal for Greek
Public Libraries
• Completed by 2004 &
it’s been updated
since then
• Public, Municipal,
Children, Cultural
• Also a list with
Digital, academic and
special libraries
the map of Greek Libraries
By choosing Halkidiki
Digitizing Content from Public Libraries
• «Digitization project of the material of
Public Libraries» by the Ministry of
• Budget: 5.600.000€
• 80% by the European Community Fund and
20% by national resources
• Materials from 46 public libraries
• Digitized materials: 16.200.000 pages, which
correspond to 41.444 titles of books,
newspapers, magazines and manuscripts
• Most of the materials are published before
• Some public libraries establish their own DL,
some others with the support from NDC
• All content is Free for the
National Information System for
Research and Technology (NDC)
Wealth of digitized material
Collections of significant
cultural and educational value
NDC (EKT) is the organization
responsible for the
development and technical
support of digital libraries
presented in its site
“NDC (EKT) addresses all
public Libraries which are
interested to provide their
content online and with this
initiative seals its longstanding
collaboration with libraries in
Public library digital libraries
supported by NDC (EKT)
Veria Central Public Library
the Medusa DL & the AccessIT Plus Project
• Participation in EC
• Collaboration with
cultural organizations
such as the Sismanoglio
Megaro of the Cons. Gen.
of Greece in Istanbul, a
National Folklore Dance
Group, a Monastery, etc.
• New skills for librarians
• AccessIT and AccessIT
Plus Project
Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation
Access to Learning Award (ATLA)
2010: Veria Central Public Library, Greece
“Making creative use of information and technology services, Veria offers a range of programs
that meet the economic, educational, and cultural needs of more than 180,000 people”
Social Networks and Public Libraries
• Strong presence
• The majority of PL have
established a variety of Social
• Librarians with high skills on
Social Networks
• Facebook, Blogs, YouTube and
Twitter are the most common
• Users tend to
• Public Libraries of Veria,
Levadia and Serres have
established the stronger
The Future Library Project
• The Future Library is a
non-profit organization
• Established in Veria in
• It spun out of the Veria
Central Public Library
• Future Library is open to
all public and municipal
libraries of Greece
• The Stavros Niarchos
Foundation is Future
Library’s exclusive donor
• It aims at developing a
sustainable network of
public and municipal
libraries across Greece
• To be linked to the National
Library of Greece, when this
moves to its new premises
• To reinforce the significance
of libraries, as knowledge,
creativity, and interactionpromoting institution in
people’s minds.
Future Library
Future Library:
“Read about our vision. Share our dream.
You might want to follow it”
• Public/ municipal
libraries registered:
• 2012: 87 libraries
• 2013: 117 libraries
• Members:
• 2012: 3923 members
• 2013: 4767 members
• 2012
• 87 public and
municipal libraries
across Greece
• 5 major projects
• promotion of creativity,
reading and innovation;
• training the future
• network of children
• digital services; and
• raising awareness.
2012 projects [1]
• Promotion of
creativity, reading
and innovation
• 1,450 events in 64 cities
• 26,000 participants
(children and parents)
• 2,900 hours of creative
• 10,600 books donated
to 68 libraries
• 99 librarians trained
• 291 volunteers
2012 projects [2]
• network of
children services;
• training the future
Renovated (redesigned, refurbished and
re-equipped) the children sections of
8 libraries
(997 square meters) based on the idea of
“Magic Boxes”
Trained 16 leaders
88 hour series of empirical workshops
New skills developed: leadership, project
management, advocacy and
10 proposals for new library services
2012 projects [3]
• digital services
• raising awareness
• 3923 registered people
• 87 public/ municipal libraries
• 11 libraries receive access to
premium newspaper content (press
• 2826 blog posts written by the
Greek community
• 27419 Facebook users per day
• Un-Conference
• 98 creative events wit h5946
participants, workshops, keynote
and creative speakers
“Find a job via the library”
• 2013
• By one example
[train library staff]
• Library supports job
Greek Public Libraries
have achieved to change the way of thinking
about libraries
Public Libraries in Greece developed considerably the last few years
Fast growth, change the way in which people considered libraries
Libraries as a meeting place
Libraries as innovation centers
Libraries as knowledge centers
Libraries inspire people
Libraries make people more creative
Libraries interact with people
Libraries promote reading, motivate people for “learning for life”
Libraries stimulate people’s minds
What the future holds?
• Financial crisis
• Severe Budget Cuts
• Municipalities can’t support libraries
• New plan to merge public libraries from the
Ministry of Education
• Library closures?
• Annual cost of the entire public
library service is getting down, so
expect closures to be happen soon?
“Children is the real power
of libraries”
12 years old
A library fan and enthusiastic user
Developments in
Greek Public Libraries and
the Future Library Project
Dr. Emmanouel Garoufallou
mgarou[email protected]
Department of Library Science and Information Systems,
Alexander TEI of Thessaloniki, Greece
Veria Central Public Library

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