The primary objective of the project 'Connected Lithuania: effective, secure and responsible digital society in Lithuania' is to promote the advantages of information and communication technologies (ICTs) and motivate them to develop their digital skills using Internet effectively, safely and responsibly.
The project, which started in 2018 and is due to finish in 2021, is aimed at a large section of the Lithuanian population (around 500,000 people) who are either not yet using the Internet, or lack basic digital skills to do so.
A 'Community Digital Leaders' network enhances the impact and awareness-raising prospects of the project. The network brings together close to 2,000 people, including librarians, who have a direct non-formal influence on their local community. A separate network, comprised of young volunteers and e-scouts, brings together another 1,500 people. 1,200 public Internet access points (library branches) provide a place for e-scouts-organised activities, such as offering guidance to local community members on e-services and smart phone use. Public libraries, engaged within the framework of the project, host digital skills training classes directed at adults from the local community, with more than 12 topics being offered for 100,000 citizens. The project's scope is especially large: it involves over 750 local communities and has been implemented in all of Lithuania's municipalities. Connected Lithuania’s website features a database of more than 60 online courses for self-study, related to digital activities and digital skills needed in everyday live.
The Connected Lithuania project targets also staff from public and education libraries, teachers, educators and administration staff by offering good practices, implemented successfully by the project, with lessons learnt and suitable approaches that have the potential to be replicated in other contexts and settings. The material consists of methodological frameworks and themes, motivational programming sessions, digital competitions, educational video lectures and materials on hackathon organisation. The resources and good practices, provided by Connected Lithuania can be of use to other projects that share the same goal: improving the overall digital competency and skills for all citizens.
The Connected Lithuania project achieved successful results, involving 15% of the total Lithuanian population. In addition, the project ensured a good reach through the involvement of voluntary community leaders. The digital literacy training, established by Connected Lithuania was attended by almost 79,000 citizens, with more than 50,000 classes already held. The project can be adapted and replicated in other countries due to its reliance on public libraries, which are already established throughout the EU. In addition, Connected Lithuania contributes to making knowledge available and accessible through a well-designed website, which provides a good overview of online and offline trainings and results.