|Europe's public libraries have an important role to play in the implementation of key policies central to the development of e-Europe. There is a pressing need to spread strategic initiatives adopted in countries across all of Europe and to support implementation in the form of innovative and relevant new services.
The objective of the PULMAN Network of Excellence is to strengthen the performance of public libraries in innovative new roles by:
1. consolidating, packaging and translating relevant social and technical standards and best practice guidance in the form of Digital Guidelines Manuals;
2. providing policy support and stimulating cross-sectoral strategic development between public libraries and cultural institutions, especially those operating at local level, within member and associate states at the European level;
3. disseminating information on innovation in public libraries and encouraging the transfer of knowledge about good practice in library policy making, service development and delivery and access for all.
In order to achieve its objectives, PULMAN will:
1. Produce a series of high-level DIGITAL GUIDELINES MANUALS covering technical and social policy issues in the development of services to achieve new public library objectives. Such guidelines are necessary in order to pull together policies, standards, and good practice in the rapidly changing electronic environment within which public libraries must now operate. Where such guidelines exist at present, they are fragmented and access to them is extremely dispersed and unevenly spread across Europe. The DIGITAL GUIDELINES MANUALS will build upon but move on from the sets of guidance for more traditional services (e.g. IFLA, UNESCO, national), which already exist. Other facilities to be developed will include a registry of distance learning materials for public library professionals and a Technology Watch.
2. Promote wide take-up of the DIGITAL GUIDELINES MANUALS. They will be made available via the Web, translated and promoted to practitioners. Their existence, potential for adoption and for extension to other public cultural institutions will be one focus of a major European Policy Conference and of the dialogue between PULMAN and policy makers.
3. Stimulate interaction at policy level between public library practitioners and policy makers, and between libraries and other cultural institutions through specific dialogue, lobbying, a series of national workshops and the policy conference.
4. Conduct wide-ranging and consistent dissemination activities across the whole of Europe to improve exploitation and impact of key activities, events and policies, including a web-based gateway facility - PULMANweb - and a series of training workshops for service managers.
Consensus on the social and economic policies which public libraries support;
definition of the services supporting these policies;
and widely available guidelines and standards supporting implementation.
Establishment of scenarios for strategic action and for knowledge-sharing between practitioners, policy bodies and stakeholders in European public libraries, museums and archives. A concerted and highly visible movement across Europe and a platform for continuation after the EU-funded project.