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Bucharest, September 21, 2020: Hundreds of innovators and decision makers from public libraries around the world gather, virtually, at Occupy Library 2020, an international training/funky/fab conference that will take place online from 22 to 25 September.

The challenges we have gone through together since the beginning of this year have once again shown us the importance of communities. Public libraries have traditionally provided community support through culture, education and social involvement, so their future success depends on how they understand and engage in their local and regional relations, with institutions and initiatives that support democracy and meaningful social processes of continuous learning of the general public.

Four keynote speakers and over 90 speakers from twenty-five countries will discuss hot topics related to the pressing needs of communities, but also about the bold ideas that librarians want to implement for the public.

Dr. Hannelore Vogt – Director of the Cologne City Library in Germany, Dan Perjovschi, Romanian artist, Asaf Bartov – lead program developer at Wikimedia Foundation, Loida Garcia-Febo – international consultant from the United States, Christine Mackenzie – IFLA President Federation of Library Associations), Gerald Leitner – IFLA Secretary General and Deborah Jacobs – former Director of the Global Libraries Initiative at the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation are just a few names on the fabulous guest list at Occupy Library 2020.

The main themes for this edition are: Serving communities in times of crisis; Partnerships for strong democracies; Active citizenship in analog and digital format; Emerging technological trends for community empowerment; Public spaces and community involvement.

The first edition of the Occupy Library 2020 conference aims to bring together examples and innovative ideas through which public libraries support the development of their communities. We have internationally renowned guests, successful Eastern European projects and we have selected the best speakers and fabulous content to help libraries reach their full potential as strategic partners in the development of democratic societies.” –  dr. Claudia Șerbănuță, Project Manager Progress Foundation, organizer of the Occupy Library 2020 conference.

More than 800 participants have signed up for Occupy Library 2020 and look forward to seeing unique presentations and participating in interactive debates and workshops. Professionals passionate about public library services are ready to reveal inspirational case studies for librarians.

See the full schedule here:

Registration and participation in the conference are free of charge! Details here:

Contact person: Andreea Dumitrescu – Progress Foundation Communication Coordinator

About Occupy Library 2020

Occupy Library® 2020 is an independent event organized by the Progress Foundation, with the support of Next Library® and in partnership with the National Library of Romania and the Goethe-Institute, conference partners and sponsors.

Occupy Library was born from the need for development in libraries and in the communities of which they are part, in Central and Eastern Europe, the Black Sea area, the Caucasus and the Caspian Sea. The conference will take place every two years and aims to bring together innovators and decision-makers who believe in the power of public libraries to support active citizenship, build partnerships for strong democracies and get involved in community life. This initiative aims to create a space for learning and information, bringing together in the same place specialists who can help the harmonious development of public libraries.

The event is part of the project “Occupy Library Innovators Hub” organized by the Progress Foundation, in partnership with the Center for Cultural Management (Ukraine), the Association of Libraries of Ukraine (Ukraine), EduAct (Greece), the Association of Libraries of Moldova (Moldova), the National Library of Moldova (Moldova), Ashoka Romania (Romania) and the National Library of Romania (Romania) within the “Black Sea NGO Forum Sub-granting Scheme For Activities That Support The Development Of CSO Regional Networks”, within the project “Development of CSO capacity for regional cooperation in the Black Sea area ”, implemented by the Romanian Platform NGDO – FUND with the financial support of the European Union. 


About Progress Foundation

The Progress Foundation is an NGO established in 1996, which leads local initiatives in the field of education, (e-) inclusion and community development. We use public libraries as lifelong learning hubs and centers for social innovation. We contribute to the development of community institutions, vulnerable individuals and groups and help people to be stronger through education, technology and research.

The project “CODE Kids – Children are coding in public libraries” aims to create an active community of children, young people and librarians by setting up coding clubs in public libraries in different areas of Romania and the Republic of Moldova. These clubs contribute to the development of children’s digital and STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics) skills and to their involvement in the life of the community they come from, by solving creative digital themes. We encourage children between the ages of 10 to 14 to learn programming and even pursue a career in technology.

The Time to KNOW is an international initiative that aims to stimulate the interest of children, between 3 to 10 years old, for reading and for subjects in the WE KNOW area (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics). The methodology involves the integrated learning of all scientific disciplines. It is characterized by an active, applied, constructive method of “learning by doing”.

The main objective of the Learning circles in libraries project is to improve and expand the complexity and effectiveness of educational opportunities for adult students, by facilitating access to useful online content, effective study and improving lifelong learning skills.

The Public Libraries as Active Citizens Hubs project aims to create a support network, consisting of public libraries and NGOs, which will support the establishment in libraries of public spaces for learning and practicing active citizenship.

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