Use and Adoption of Technology in Public Libraries

Project execution: January 2011 – 2018

Location: Colombia

Beneficiaries: 1254 public libraries and 20 mobile libraries, their library staff and users.


Biblioteca Nacional de Colombia, Ministerio de Cultura, Crown Agents and Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

Use and Adoption of Technology in Public Libraries

The Project “Use and Adoption of ICT in Public Libraries” arises from a donation made by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to the Ministry of Culture within the Global Libraries program. This project seeks to strengthen the National Network of Public Libraries through the provision of technology, training, development of innovative services, promotion and positioning. The strategy and implementation of the Project is developed by the Ministry of Culture, through the National Library of Colombia. For this project, MAKAIA is the representative in Colombia of Crown Agent USA Inc, fiscal and procurement agent. The main activity of MAKAIA is the acquisition of all goods and services required by the Ministry of Culture and the National Library for the implementation of the Project, following the guidelines of good procurement practices established by Crown Agents USA Inc.

Through this Project, MAKAIA has facilitated the provision of technology of 1254 public libraries and the training of 1500 librarians. Within the framework of this Project, 20 mobile public libraries were also acquired, following the model of the French NGO Libraries without Borders to promote spaces of education, knowledge and culture for reconciliation and peace building for the communities located near the Transitional Local Zones for Normalisation.

Uso y apropiación TIC en bibliotecas

Principles for digital development related to the project

Through training processes, librarians have received training to allow them to customize library services according to the needs of their communities.

This project is based on the national guidelines and strategies of the ICT and Culture Ministries that seeks to meet the needs expressed by the community.

This project was developed in a pilot stage, which provided learning to be replicated at a national level, going from intervening 26 libraries to 1254 libraries in four years. The project was designed so that technology becomes the mean not the end, prioritizing elements that allow the sustainability and appropriation of technology through the development of services and the training of librarians.

This is a project that invests in the development and growth of the communities, leaving installed capacity and infrastructure for the continuity of activities even when it has finished.