From user to volunteer in the „Get Online Week” campaign!
The campaign Get Online Week! (branded in Romania as Hai pe Net! ) has brought to the public library in Dumbrăviţa, Braşov county, from the first day (26.03.2012) and to the last day (01.04.2012), a total of 240 users. I must add that Dumbravita is a locality inhabited by 3532 people and our story is linked exactly to these two numbers.
The library is equipped with five computers and two laptops with Internet access, which facilitates free and unconditioned access to the Internet for our community.
In the fourth campaign day, the number of Romanians’ votes did not satisfy the children who were present there. A competitive environment had formed in our library; all who accessed the vote page have consulted call centers in Europe as well hoping that our country would reach the top of the list (they wished for the same thing last year). One sixth grader, Anghel Ionuţ, who has a computer at home but comes to the library together with his friends to participate at diverse activities or just to be around them, hearing that I blame myself that we may not have promoted this campaign enough within the community, had an idea towards which I myself was reluctant to at first and I quote: „Missis librarian, I was thinking to go to our friends’, relatives’, neighbors’ homes who have a computer with Internet access and promote the campaign page”. He also took the flier with the inscription „Hai pe Net!”, the charts we used for the list of those who participated in the library and, with a contagious enthusiasm, he left in a hurry. At the door, he turned towards me and told me: „You will see tomorrow, I have another idea, I won’t tell you what it is, but I will get more people involved”. I smiled lovingly, kissed his forehead as a parent would do, wished him good luck and for him to be respectful with those who he would talk to as well as to thank them for their understanding. After closing the library, as soon as I got home, the phone already rang.
It was someone on behalf of a family who wanted me to confirm that Ionuţ was doing this with my consent. The kid really started working!
He also convinced another friend of his Olaianoş Gabriel, and they split the village in two. The first thing next day, they walked in the library, their eyes glittering with enthusiasm. They had 105 signatures – people that now were aware of the campaign, involved in the campaign together with first names, last names, and age and employment status. What was the idea he did not want to disclose when he left the library?
He thought that for persons who could not come to the library out of various reasons (work on the field, jobs outside the commune, health concerns) and who did not have computers with Internet access, to offer the following service: to take the laptop, show them how a computer works and in return, if they felt interested about knowing more, to come to the library!
After they came with the lists they sat in front of the computer and finished their mission as volunteers with the votes of those who mandated them. I also took a picture which I will attach to their story.
The result of Ionuţ’ action: 54 persons came to the library afterwards and more than that became users of our library and learnt to use the Internet.
The little volunteers presented them the library’s services, showed them how to scan and print a document and thus, in the most natural way, inter-generation teaching became a reality here, at Dumbrăviţa.
Ionuţ Anghels’ mother called to thank me for the way in which I managed to involve him actively in the community life and for the trust I’ve shown to the kid.
I congratulated her for the way in which she raised him and I gained the agreement to co-opt him as a legitimate volunteer for the future actions of our library.
Ionut's commitment and desire to help the community members to benefit and facilitate their lives through ICT, made him from user to a devoted volunteer of our telecenter, bringing in the telecenter and in the campaign almost 25% from the total of 240 participants!
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