The actions of PULMAN and of PULMAN-XT, a Thematic Network funded under the European Commission’s IST programme Fifth Framework, were targeted at both policy makers and service managers. The goals of the network were to strengthen the performance and help achieve the potential of public libraries in these new roles by:
- disseminating information affecting innovation in public libraries and encouraging the transfer of knowledge about good practice in library policy making, service development, delivery and access;
- providing a platform and encouragement for future joint actions in support of integrated activity involving public libraries, museums and archives operating at local level;
- assisting in the reduction of disparities in provision across countries and identifying the agenda for wider international co-operation.
A vital tool in this process was the development, within the main PULMAN action, of Guidelines on innovative new services in an easily usable electronic format. The Guidelines were intended to be used right across Europe in promoting new strategies and the implementation of new services.
By the time of its conclusion in August 2003, the PULMAN network (including PULMAN-XT which extended the network to Europe’s neighbouring countries) helped set the agenda for the next generation of local public cultural institutions, making an important contribution to the overall goals of e-Europe and setting the scene for a new-style of public library and bringing about significant strides into the digital era for public libraries right across Europe. Perhaps the most important result of PULMAN was the influential Oeiras Manifesto and 10 Point Action Plan for local cultural institutions, issued following its policy conference, held in Portugal during March 2003.
MDR was Project Manager of PULMAN and Co-ordinator of PULMAN-XT.