In 2008, the Albanian Government announced the launch of “Albania in the Internet Age”; a strategy intended to push the country towards higher standards in new media and information technology. The then Vice-Prime Minister was appointed as Minister of Innovation, Information Technology and Information. Since then there has been significant progress in Internet services and mobile communications, an increase in the number of Internet users of both home and mobile devices, as well as a relative decrease in service prices.
There have been occasional projects, but no special programmes or policies to promote the use of new technologies for cultural purposes. Projects include the digitalisation of National Library entry databases (now accessible also via the Web), the production of some audio CDs with traditional music and the country’s oldest stills archive, the Marubi Phototheque.
Another ambitious project is the digitalisation of the Albanian Film Archive, in collaboration with Italy’s Istituto Luce. Yet, the only way to stream or download any footage of either feature, animated or documentary films for viewing purposes only, is to search online for private sources. Sadly, pirates offer for free what you cannot buy, even if you wanted to, from the legal owner.
Unfortunately, other important institutions, like national museums and art galleries, have not yet launched their web-pages and have no plans to start digitalising their bodies of work.
The situation is pretty similar with e-books. Albanian education or cultural institutions and publishers do not offer e-books in any format.