The Public Library Radislav Nikcevic in Jagodina won the prestigious award by the Erste Foundation for Social Integration 2013 for the agricultural libraries project in Jagodina. It started in 2010 with the support of EIFL (PLIP program) and local authorities of Jagodina.
At the award ceremony in Wien, Austria on 27 June, 35 winners of prize money were declared. They were selected by the jury which consisted of 16 members from 13 countries of Central and Eastern Europe. Out of some 2,000 candidates for the award, the jury selected 130 finalists for the Erste Foundation award for Social Integration. The jury made a decision based on the impressions in the field the jury representatives had when visiting the organizations that implemented these projects), innovation, sustainability and the project results.
There were 92 project proposals for the Erste Foundation Awards from Serbia, out of which the jury selected six. There were more than 700 business, civil society and media representatives. The Erste Foundation Awards promote the work of organization dealing with social integration of marginalized communities in Central and Eastern Europe.
1st Prize Winner (EUR 40,000) was the organization „Little People Romania“ from Romania, for the project „I Am Not Afraid“, which supports children battling cancer. 2nd Prize Winner (EUR 30,000) is the organization „Slovene Philanthropy“ from Slovenia, for the project „Social Integration of Migrants “, which promotes human rights of migrant workers in Slovenia.
One of 26 project winners of honorary prize (EUR 16,000) was the Public Library Radislav Nikcevic from Jagodina for new services in rural agricultural libraries in the municipality of Jagodina. The director of the Jagodina library, Vesna Crnkovic, received the prize.
Thanks to this project, rural residents in five village libraries have agricultural magazines and books, free Internet access, possibility to acquire computer skills, to talk to best agricultural experts, exchange examples of good practice, and use the online portal for marketing and selling their produce. Thanks to the project, the attitude of rural residents and farmers towards new information technologies, and the role of libraries in modern society changed.
The Erste Foundation Award for Social Integration 2013 is the third award that the Jagodina Library received for the project of Agricultural Libraries in Jagodina. This award, like other awards of Serbian libraries for similar projects, shows that modern public libraries contribute to achieving both local and national goals of the Government.
Vesna Crnkovic and Ivanka Sokolova from Macedonia, who introduced the Erste Foundation call for proposals to the Jagodina Library director. Ivanka was happy to celebrate with her the success of libraries which together with NGOs have a significant role in the development of the society.