- Transforming more than 500 Public Libraries in 99 Districts and 451 Villages into Information and Communication Technology-based community learning centers -

Bali,  14 April 2016  –  After completing two phases of partnership with more than 118 District and Village Libraries, the Coca-Cola Foundation Indonesia (CCFI) through the PerpuSeru program continues to expand the scope of its partnerships. Between 2016 to 2018, there will be at least 550 public libraries in 99 Districts and 451 Villages that will sign on to become PerpuSeru partners. As a first step, PerpuSeru has invited 100 Regents to become involved and provide real support to this library development program. The 100 Regents declared their commitment in front of more than 500 staff and supporters of Districts and Village libraries during the ‘Signing of Joint Commitment’ event held today in Bali.

The expansion of this program is expected to boost the quality of life of at least 10 million Indonesians over the next three years through the transformation of public libraries into innovative community learning centers, which will be based on the Information and Communication Technology activities and services in libraries.

Titie Sadarini, Chief Executive of the Coca-Cola Foundation Indonesia said: “Expansion of the PerpuSeru program is a continuation of the previous phase where, since 2011, the PerpuSeru program has succesfully encouraged positive changes in more than 3.5 million Indonesians through service improvements and ICT-based trainings in libraries. We hope to embrace even more regional libraries, so that libraries can eventually fulfill their potential as community learning centers, particularly in support of regional economic development.”

By taking advantage of existing public libraries, the PerpuSeru program is focused on empowering millions of people, encouraging new innovations and creativity, as well as providing relevant knowledge and practical skills, particularly for women, young people and micro entrepreneurs (UKM). This is also in line with the role of libraries in achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) which have also been adopted by the Indonesian government in relation to health, education and economic development programs and policies.

Erlyn Sulistyaningsih, Director of the PerpuSeru Program added: “One of the main pillars for the continuation of the PerpuSeru program is the establishment of strategic partnerships amongst all library stakeholders, primarily to secure support of the Local Government as part of the driving force of libraries in their region. This commitment becomes very important because eventually each library partner of PerpuSeru must be able to stand on its own by cooperating continuously with all the devices in its respective region. This is to ensure the relevancy of the program and its presence to their regional development goals.”

During the joint commitment signing, Yoyok Riyo Sudibyo, Regent of Batang, Central Java said that libraries has a strategic role in community development and therefore not to limit the role of libraries as only a place to borrow books. Furthermore, libraries can become a driving force for change through its function as ICT-based community learning centers. “I strongly support this program. Even in 2015 and 2016, the Batang Local Government has allocated its Regional Development Budget for the expansion of similar programs to 15 villages in 15 subdistricts in Batang,” explained Yoyok Riyo Sudibyo.

Since its inception, PerpuSeru has continued to open itself to strategic partnerships. One of these ongoing partnerships is support from Microsoft in the form of software for PerpuSeru partner libraries. PT. TELKOM, as Indonesia’s largest telecommunications provider, has also established long-term partnerships with PerpuSeru, in particular regarding the provision of free internet access for library users.

PerpuSeru is part of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation’s Global Library Initiative program which, within more or less 2 decades, has reached at least 253 million people through 28.000 libraries in more than than 144 countries. Throughout the world, libraries have been shown to provide opportunities for the community to develop themselves out of inequality and poverty through open access to digital information and knowledge. In many places, libraries are even the only places that serve to provide access to informal education, internet services and other key services.

Through the provision of information technology access and services in libraries, PerpuSeru aims to realize its long-term vision of helping to improve the lives of at least 20 million Indonesians by 2025.