Training Program Overview


Are you an action-oriented and inventive team player, with a desire to apply your imagination and connect with peers to fuel a smarter library? If so, the INELI-Balkans Training program will open doors for you.

The INELI-Balkans Training program aims to enable high-potential public library employees to develop and sustain a network of public libraries in the Balkan region that will encourage knowledge-sharing, experimentation with new ideas and collaboration.

Trainees will be provided with the additional exposure and personal development necessary to progress rapidly within their organization, to introduce and run new library services, to form and sustain high-performance national and international partnerships and to engage actively in INELI-Balkans.

At the end of the program, trainees will have gained the leadership and practical skills to sustain the INELI-Balkans beyond the scope of the project.


Program goals

Customized to the needs of Balkan public libraries, as identified in the INELI-Balkans Needs Analysis Report composed by Future Library, the program is designed to accommodate the trainee’s own development aspirations and the library’s professional standards of performance.

The program will focus on the following objectives:

  • Development of leadership skills

Trainees will be led through a personal development process to identifying how their interests, values, skills and personalities combine with their leadership skills to create an informed vision of their future within the library field and to develop realistic action plans to achieve library innovation.

  • Development of new services

After an instructional term on the fundamentals of creating and implementing project plans, trainees will be invited to submit Project Plans for new library services. A number of the most qualified Project Plans will receive seed funding (Innovation Awards) and further guidance for their pilot implementation.

  • Network development

Trainees will be given incentives and guidance to build strong ties among themselves and between their organizations, to develop partnerships with external stakeholders and ultimately to undertake the development and sustainability of a vibrant network of public libraries in the Balkan region.


Program Activities

The program offers opportunities for the trainee to develop practical and leadership skills in a variety of learning environments and networking events.

It includes:

  • 1. Extensive online training

Τhe training will focus on further developing the ability of emerging library Innovators to share knowledge, provide strategic planning, collaborate and develop Project Plans for new library services. Trainees will be guided by expert trainers and mentors from the library field and beyond, through the dedicated e-learning courses, their participation in the discussion e-forum, webinars, practical exercises and through interaction and twinning activities.  The e-learning curriculum is developed by Future Library, in collaboration with INELI-Balkans Ambassadors and expert trainers.

  • 2. Networking events

Three annual Convenings, which will include live training workshops, study visits, mentorship by library field experts and time for socializing, will enrich the experience of INELI-Balkans participants and the trust between them.

  • 3. Pilot Library Service Implementation

Successful Project Plans for new services developed by trainees will receive seed funding and administrative support for their pilot implementation. The pilot trainee Project phase will be monitored and evaluated and the results documented and disseminated as ‘lessons learned’ and as a reference for future plans.


Program Schedule

The schedule of the program, which sets a challenging pace for each candidate, is based on the following phases:

November 2015 Introduction to the training and participant networking during the 1st INELI-Balkans Convening
December 2015 – June 2016 Online training period
June – September 2016 Production and submission of Project Plans for new library services. Continuation of online training
September – November 2016 Evaluation of Project Plans by Future Library and INELI-Balkans Ambassadors
November 2016 2nd INELI-Balkans Convening and Innovation Awards for the best Project Plans
December 2016 – June 2017 Pilot implementation of Awarded Project Plans and continuation of training for the other trainees
June – October 2017 Evaluation period
November 2017 3rd INELI-Balkans Convening & Open Conference



Future Library will cover all the agreed training costs; as well as the travel, accommodation and subsistence costs for the participation of trainees in the three INELI-Balkans Convenings.



Trainee Application & Selection Process (April – August 2015)

At the beginning of May 2015, interested parties from 11 Balkan countries were called to complete and submit the Training Application Form. The submission ended at the beginning of July.

Future Library, in cooperation with the INELI-Balkans Country Ambassadors and expert trainers, reviewed all applications and invited a shortlist of applicants to interviews. The trainees were selected on the basis of the quality of their Application and the Criteria outlined below, provided that their organization endorses their participation in the program and joins the Future Library Network (submitting the Future Library Membership Agreement).

Selection Criteria

The INELI-Balkans Training Program was open mainly to public library, but also other library, employees from the 11 Balkan countries involved in the INELI-Balkans project: Albania, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, FYR of Macedonia, Greece, Kosovo, Montenegro, Romania, Serbia, Slovenia

Candidates for the INELI-Balkans training were expected to be high-performing learners, with demonstrated potential to pursue personal development and excellence in their work (alternatively: library innovation) and with a clear commitment to the INELI-Balkans project.

In addition, there must be a clear commitment on the part of their organization to allow the candidates time to commit to the demands of the INELI-Balkans Program, consistent with the trainee’s goals.

To gain the most out of the training, ideal candidates were expected to meet the following criteria:

  • Preferable but not compulsory, four years of library work experience (or library-related experience in the information, culture or education sector).
  • Good written and spoken English, ability to process complex information delivered in English.
  • Intermediate ICT skills
  • Willing and able to devote additional time outside of normal working hours to fully participate in all activities of the training program.
  • Access to technology (computer, software, Internet connectivity) that will support interaction with other network participants and enable completion of network obligations.
  • Desire to learn in a dynamic environment.
  • Interest in developing skills in project planning, management and evaluation and applying these skills for library development work.
  • Demonstrated desire to work across different cultures and geographic boundaries.
  • Ability to drive new ideas and lead with strong analytical and problem-solving skills.
  • Ability to work with, inspire and influence others to achieve goals and to build partner relationships.
  • Self-motivated, with a passion for customer service.
  • Agile and adaptable to change.