A widely and easily accessible information point in the settlement or in a part of it, where reliable and up-to-date messages are posted about the most important public utility questions (local, every day, public interest, community, general) that may have an effect on the life of the community. The information point may be attached to a cultural institution within the municipality or appear as a community-based service as a result of a development process (it is up to the community to decide on the location of this information point).
Information is of public interest or serves public utility, when it offers help in the citizens’ everyday life and problems or direction in their official dealings or in their social life.
Libraries are useful venues for servicing public interest/public utility information, as they normally have all the necessary documents and an up-to-date technical background. Any community venue within the settlement is equally suitable if it has appropriate opening hours and is easy to access for the locals.
Based on the literature, Gyula Gerő6 points out the following areas of public utility information services:
- Local government documents and news (decisions, members of the board and their office hours);
- Events, programmes (in the cultural centre, concerts, exhibitions);
- Culture, leisure, sports (culture including the library as well);
- Education, training (institutions, career choice, adult education, transition schemes);
- Services, company information (about entrepreneurs and craftsmen);
- Travel, tourism, shopping (timetables, opening hours, offers);
- Health care, social services (including doctors, pharmacies, opticians, family support services, day centre for the elderly, support for the unemployed);
- Institutions, organizations (parties, groups, associations, churches);
- News, current events.
These may be supplemented by further information on public administration, legal, consumer protection, agricultural and environmental issues.
The public utility information service gives information or can produce the following when asked to do so:
- social media pages;
- mobile applications;
- operate terrestrial transmission or internet radio stations;
- operate cable or internet televisions;
- publish printed or electronic newspapers or newsletters;
- install billboards, advertisement pillars and information surfaces;
- establish other forms of information.
Possible information services:
- free information services based on traditional and electronic sources
- free internet access to ensure up-to-date information
- information publications and flyers for private persons and institutions
- tender information
- press reviews
- subject reviews
- selective information services
Accessibility and opening hours of the information point needs to be announced everywhere.
This article based on the following document: Community development methodological guide