This summer IREX Europe hosted Media Media and Information Literacy (MIL) summer fairs in the North, Centre and South of Moldova. Each fair had its own agenda but all brought media literacy to the local community and showcased the role of librarians in our media literacy programme.

The summer fairs were held in Drochia in the North, Ungheni in the center, and Cimislia  in the South, each hosted by our trained librarians: Ala Bugai, Aliona Manciu and Iulia Spinu. At each event, librarians and participants from 10 neighbouring communities in each raion attended.

Each MIL Summer Fair had 3 workshops on MIL topics: media propaganda, fake news and how to navigate safely the Internet, followed by practical exercise and networking events. The trainers at the workshops were all graduates of IREX Europe’s MIL Senior Trainers Program. These librarians known as Super Trainers are affiliated with the Moldovan Association of Librarians, and as part of our programme of institutionalizing MIL in Moldova, will provide training of trainers’ education at the Association starting in 2020.

8 Super Trainers provided training at the fairs, and some 40 librarians who’d participated in our MIL programme over the past years, drawn from the local raions benefited from top-up training at the workshops and networking with their peers. Some 150 people in total attended the three fairs.

The programme of Summer Fairs is part of IREX Europe’s efforts to institutionalise MIL in Moldova, which not only requires transfer of skills and expertise but also local financial support. Local librarians were tasked with seeking support for the fairs and Aliona Manciu from Ungheni managed to convince a local restaurant to fund a competition for her fair: the three most popular Facebook posts about the MIL Fair in Ungheni received an invitation for a free meal at the restaurant.

The Summer fairs is part of IREX Europe’s Strengthening Independent Media and Media Literacy in Moldova  funded by the US Department of State.