THE CHALLENGING ROLE OF PUBLIC LIBRARIES AS PROVIDERS OF LIFELONG LEARNING OPPORTUNITIES FOR PERSONAL AND SOCIAL SKILLS DEVELOPMENT
Public libraries have been for centuries an integral part of the society offering free places and equal access to resources for leisure and educational purposes. They support both organised and self-conducted learning in all education forms, i.e. formal, non-formal and informal learning for all age groups. However, the global technological developments have changed the demands for easier access to knowledge and the new socio-economic conditions affected informational, educational and training needs throughout life. Nowadays, they have to find ways to overcome the challenges of the competitive environment, which will enable them to redefine themselves as a vital part of the knowledge society connected to the emerging community needs by becoming more active in lifelong learning. This paper presents an overview of public libraries’ role as providers of lifelong learning opportunities. The review is focused on the value-added services provision, including information literacy and other educational programs and activities for personal and social skills development. Additionally, provides some brief information on Greek public libraries and their role in lifelong learning over the last decades. *The fulfilment of the paper was co-funded through the Hellenic State Scholarships Foundation (ΙΚΥ) from funds coming from the European Social Fund and the Educational Program “Education and Life Long Learning” (NSRF, 2007 – 2013). ** This paper is a revised version of the paper entitled “Lifelong learning opportunities and challenges for public libraries”, presented at the 15th International Academic Conference in Rome, 14-17 April 2015.
public libraries, library services, lifelong learning, lifelong education, skills development, information literacy, social inclusion, Greek libraries
AIKATERINI BALAPANIDOU (2015). The challenging role of public libraries as providers of lifelong learning opportunities for personal and social skills development. International Journal of Teaching and Education, Vol. III(2), pp. 1-16. , DOI: 10.52950/TE.2015.3.2.001
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