Library Technology and Digital Services Help Spur Social and Economic Revival in Greece

One non-profit organization is finding a way to keep the lifeblood of libraries pumping despite challenges in the Greek economy. The Future Library, a non-profit organization, was established in Veria in 2011. It spun out of the Veria Central Public Library, recipient of the 2010 Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation “Access to Learning”. Future Library has a clear vision and goal to develop a sustainable network of public and municipal libraries across Greece.

And they’re making good headway, too.

As knowledge centers, libraries are one of Greek society’s most vital institutions. Future Library aims to bring libraries to new heights, transforming them into “unique centers of creativity, innovation and learning” that will contribute to the economic and social revival of Greek communities. And one of the key ways that they’re doing this is through technology and digital services.

At their 87 member public and municipal libraries located across the country, premium digital content is made easily accessible to Greek citizens. Eleven of their largest libraries offer many e-Services, including Library PressDisplay – an online platform that allows library patrons to read digitally-enhanced replicas of newspapers and magazines from around the world.

Perhaps most aligned with Future Library’s goal to foster economic and social revival via their innovation-learning-center-libraries is PressReader for Libraries. With PressReader for Libraries, Greek patrons can connect to the library WiFi network and are able to access and download digital replicas of their favorite newspapers and magazines to their personal tablet and smartphone. They can read them while at the library or anytime, anywhere, compliments of Future Library. Currently, there are more than 2,000 publications offered on PressReader including quality learning resources in international titles, business journals and trade magazines.

While libraries fund intellectual and social growth, Future Library is generously funded by The Stavros Niarchos Foundation, one of the world’s leading international philanthropic organizations, making grants in the areas of arts and culture, education, health and medicine, and social welfare.