In 2015, Lithuania’s public libraries continued to implement the Libraries for Innovation 2 project initiated by the Martynas Mažvydas National Library of Lithuania. At the beginning of the year, the National Library, together with the Ministry of Culture, invited public libraries to submit community projects and receive partial financial support.
All of the library initiatives being financed by the Libraries for Innovation 2 project contribute significantly to informal education goals of national importance and to the achievement of the goals of the Life-long Learning program. These initiatives meet residents’ educational, self-expression and communication needs and encourage social and informational integration. The projects that received funding focused on youth – libraries have emphasized that visitors from this age group are the hardest to attract. By implementing these projects, public libraries and their partners keep the youth of the communities they represent occupied and encourage meaningful leisure time with creative and recreational spaces and various educational activities such as robotics, filmmaking, coding training, etc. The libraries’ projects have also paid considerable attention to problems faced by communities’ older members. The libraries’ projects fill seniors’ educational and creative needs. By offering new services, libraries are helping seniors learn to use ICT, speak foreign languages, participate in leisure activities, and learn about health, ecology and other relevant issues. By organizing common activities for both seniors and youth, the libraries also provide these two generations with the opportunity to interact. By implementing the measures provided in these projects, libraries also contribute to the solution of other problems important for their communities: supporting entrepreneurship, reducing unemployment, successfully integrating groups with special needs into social and cultural life, and reintegrating isolated communities.