E-book “Librarians Around the World” published

In February 2017, the New Professionals Section of the Library Association of Latvia started a project “Librarians Around the World”. Where librarians were asked to take part in adventure and to write about themselves, their libraries, library system, education opportunities, library related organization, etc. The project has come to an end in December 2018. An e-book “Librarians Around the World” (PDF) has been published. E-book is supported by funding from the State Culture Capital Foundation (Latvia).

There were many responses received from all over the world. 46 librarians from 27 countries applied: Armenia, Bangladesh, Estonia, Finland, France, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Netherlands, Nigeria, Philippines, Qatar, Serbia, Slovenia, South Korea, Sweden, Thailand, Turkey, the United States of America, India, Myanmar, Tanzania, Ukraine, Spain, Slovakia, Vietnam, and New Zealand. Unfortunately, some participants due to the  various reasons cancelled their participation in the project, which is understandable, because we, librarians, know that there is no more than 24 hours in a day. Nevertheless, it could be possible to continue the project. There are 19 articles from 34 librarians published in the e-book. We plan to translate e-book in Latvian and we are open to cooperation to translate it to any other language.

Daniela Skokovic from Serbia emphasizes, “Since I am working in a small public library, I was trying to demonstrate that it is not an obstacle to have a successful career even at an international level.” Yujin Hong from South Korea mentions that she wants “to act as the bridge between Korea and the world to create this librarian community by partaking in “Librarians Around the World”.”

For myself personally, this project has been a proof that a one single library enthusiast from such a small country like Latvia, is able to unite the librarians from all over the world to share experience and gain new knowledge. While managing this project, I have gone through all the process of publishing e-book from A to Z – from the call for authors and editing the articles to graphic and layout design development.

I kindly invite everyone to peek in to the book pages and to gain inspiration to go to the various libraries all over the world! Additionally, when traveling, you are always welcome to the libraries represented by the authors!

 

Elīna Sniedze
Project “Librarians Around the World” manager

 

E-book supported by the State Culture Capital Foundation (Latvia)

Statement of Librarians of Baltic States on Library Services for Refugees

Riga, 13 October 2015

We are librarians. We cannot stop all the war, unrest and conflict on our planet. We cannot make up for all the suffering and horror the people who have been forced to leave their homes have had to endure. What we can do is what we do the best – to open the doors of our libraries for everyone.

There are currently 60 million displaced people worldwide. Europe is now facing the biggest humanitarian crisis since the World War II, with more than 4 million Syrian refugees seeking safety abroad.

We cannot predict how this crisis will unfold. We hope that our governments will find a way to eradicate the conflicts which are driving millions people away from their homes. But we have also to consider a scenario where humanitarian situation in the war ravaged countries keeps deteriorating, the pressure on Europe to deal with the refugees crisis mounts, and the Baltic states, who have been relatively little involved with refugee crisis so far, will have to face increasing numbers of people looking for safe place away from their homes among us.

We, librarians of the Baltic States, have to be ready to welcome those people in our reading rooms.

We recognize that the brutal events of the 20th century have left painful scars in the minds of our people. We realise that for this reason our local communities might be vary to welcome refugees among them, and we are aware that an increased influx of refugees in our communities might lead to some tensions between refugees and their host communities.

But we strongly believe that the Universal Declaration of Human Rights provides very clear moral ground for approaching current refugee crisis. “Everyone has the right to seek and to enjoy in other countries asylum from persecution”. This means that it is our obligation to take responsibility of refugees, and treat them in a humane and inclusive manner.

“Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; this right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers”. This is another line from the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which has been a guiding light for libraries for last decades.

UNESCO Public Library Manifesto states: “The services of the public library are provided on the basis of equality of access for all, regardless of age, race, sex, religion, nationality, language or social status.” Therefore we recognise that it is our moral obligation to welcome the refugees in our libraries, whenever they will need our assistance. We have to hold in high regard our principles of inter-cultural dialogue and cultural diversity. We have to make sure libraries are welcoming, inclusive spaces, and to be ready to provide specifically tailored services for refugees and to help them to feel at least a bit more at home.

Taking this into account we urge all the libraries of Baltic States:

  • To draw on the best practice developed in libraries of other European countries already dealing with refugees first-hand;
  • To develop and plan in a timely and well informed manner services for refugees, taking into account their specific needs;
  • To develop consultation and outreach services for refugees, helping them understand how do our societies and social services work;
  • To help refugees to develop the necessary language skills;
  • To specifically target the children audience, helping to heal the traumas of displacement;
  • To disseminate information to our local communities about the realities of refugees lives, their cultures and reasons why they have become refugees;
  • To open libraries as spaces for dialogue and reflection, and work towards community cohesion.

We urge policymakers of our states:

  • To consider the role of libraries when drawing up plans for integrating refugees in our communities.

 

This statement was prepared by Librarians Associations of Latvia, Estonia and Lithuania and unanimously adopted and endorsed by 85 participants of the 10th Congress of Baltic Librarians and 250 participants of the 17th Conference of Latvian Librarians in Riga, October 13, 2015.

Call for interactive sessions, engaging discussions and creative labs

During the 10th Congress of Baltic Librarians “Libraries in communities” and 17th Conference of Latvian Librarians “Dynamic libraries: access, development and transformation” we will allocate time for enganging, interactive and creative sessions, labs and discussions about topical library activities that relates to the main theme of Congress or Conference.

Apply if you have an idea and you are ready to lead an interactive session!

Each session is planned to be 50 minutes long. There will be parallel sessions and conference participants will be able to choose which session to attend. Working language will be English.

Learnings 2 day
What we are looking for?

  • Interactive sessions where participants have a possibility to engage and to get an inspiration
  • Engaging discussions where participants have a possibility not only to learn but also to share their own ideas
  • Creative labs where participants have a possibility to learn and to try something new
  • Whatever you propose should be related to the main theme of either Congress or Conference

What we are NOT looking for?

  • Long presentations with no option for participants to ask questions and get answers
  • Discussion with no option for participants to engage and share their experience

Timeline:

  • September 4th – Deadline for proposals (application should describe the general idea of the session including some information why session’s topic is important to discuss as well as should explain the session’s format and planned methods that will be used to engage with participants)
  • September 11th – Final decision
  • September 14th – Announcement of agenda for interactive sessions, discussions and labs

Applications shall be sent by September 4th to e-mail: bibliotekarubiedriba@gmail.com with subject “Application for interactive session”.

Call for papers for 10th Congress of Baltic Librarians (CoBaL)

We are proud to announce that on October 12-13 the 10th anniversary Congress of Baltic Librarians (CoBaL) will take place in Riga, in the new building of the National Library of Latvia. The main topic of the congress is “Libraries in communities”, and in this framework we will discuss the role of libraries in today’s changing society.

Libraries are taking on more and more new functions, offering innovative services that respond to specific needs in society, often stepping outside the usual framework of library services. This trend has been discussed widely for many times already. But this time we want to take an outside look on libraries, looking at how do libraries and their services look in a wider context of societal changes, how do libraries respond to the social trends identified in the IFLA Trend Report. At the same time we want to hear some examples on how have libraries responded to specific changes in society and introduced innovative programmes and activities.

Cobal karogs

We invite you to share your experiences, focusing on following subtopics:

  • Libraries as supporters of formal and informal education;
  • Libraries as drivers of information and media literacy;
  • Libraries as promoters of reading;
  • Libraries as platforms for skills development;
  • Libraries as cultural spaces;
  • Libraries as maker spaces;
  • Innovative services for society;
  • Communicating the library.

You can propose your report on any of those topics by August 31, sending your proposal to e-mail address bibliotekarubiedriba@gmail.com. Your report will be 10-15 minutes long and it will be delivered in English. Authors of accepted reports will be offered a free attendance to the congress (except the social program).

The congress is organised by the Latvian Librarians Association in co-operation with Estonian and Lithuanian library associations. It will be followed by the 17th conference of Latvian Librarians Association, which will take place at the National Library of Latvia on October 13-14.

12
Latvijas Bibliotekāru biedrība