The 10th Congress of Baltic Librarians (CoBaL10)

Libraries in Communities

12–13 October 2015

National Library of Latvia

Mukusalas iela 3, Riga


Working session 1


ST_portretsSilvija Tretjakova, Children’s Literature Centre of the National Library of Latvia

Silvija is the head of the Children’s Literature Centre of the National Library of Latvia. She has been an advisor to children’s libraries since 1984.

Silvija has acquired the Master’s degree of Library and Information Sciences at the University of Latvia. Her greatest personal achievements are connected with the development and successful implementation of the program for reading promotion in the whole state.

From 1997 – 2003 Silvija has been the first President of the Latvian Section of IBBY (International Board on Books for Young People), at present she is Head of the International Affairs of this organization. In 1993 owing to her initiative the Section of Children’s and School Libraries was formed at the Library Association of Latvia. From 2009 – 2014 she has been the President of Library Association of Latvia. In 1996 she helped to form the Association of Latvian School Libraries, which has productively assisted in the work of school libraries. Since 2005 Silvija is member of IRA (International Reading Association) – now ILA (International Literacy Association).

Silvija has been awarded for her contribution to the development of children’s literature and children’s libraries in Latvia, she is also known as a lecturer, an author of more than 40 professional publications and the co-author of many books.

Reading Promotion in Latvia: Development of Comprehensive Literacy Programs at All Levels

Since 2001, when the program “Children’s Jury” for reading promotion was developed and implemented for the first time, the improvement of children literacy and development of children literature in Latvia have been substantial. About 18 thousand children and young adults become active readers every year in Latvia and in Latvian Diaspora centers around the world. The best and most exciting books are distributed in almost 600 libraries and Latvian centers abroad. Latvian experience with reading promotion program “Children’s Jury” has been mentioned in the list of best European reading promotion projects.

The success of this program comes from regular innovations:

  • Establishing Big Reading Celebration tradition;
  • Development of online questionnaire;
  • 23 well known people involved in the project as ambassadors;
  • A publicity campaign for project is started in newspapers and electronic media, on national television and radio.
  • Establishing the parent jury;
  • Diverting integration funding to 38 Latvian centers abroad and more than 40 national minority schools in Latvia.

The task of the reading promotion program for preschool children “Book Start” in Latvia is to stimulate the interest in reading and books, to introduce pre-school age children and their parents with the opportunities offered by the library.

Triin SooneTriin Soone, Estonian Children’s Literature Centre

Triin is the director of the Estonian Children’s Literature Centre. She graduated Tallinn University of Pedagogy (now Tallinn University) as a teacher of fine arts. Between 2006 and 2008 she studied creative team management at the same university.

She has worked as a secondary school teacher and for 15 years in the National Library of Estonia as a head of public relations department and marketing director. Since 2011 she is the director of the Estonian Children’s Literature Centre which is a vital institution for subject-based information in the field of children’s literature. The Centre collects, preserves, and mediates children’s and youth literature to all enthusiasts as a part of Estonia’s cultural heritage, meant for use towards research, education, and entertainment.

She has been a member of the Board of the Estonian Publishers Association and a member of endowment panel for Literature of the Cultural Endowment of Estonia. At the moment she is a member of the Estonian Librarians Association and the Council of Public Libraries under the Ministry of Culture. She has been active as a coordinator of numerous cultural projects and a member of various juries. She is a lecturer in cultural marketing.

Who Cares Who Reads?

Children’s reading is standing on 3 pillars – the quality and selection of new children literature, accessibility of children’s books and promotion of reading. This presentation will be about the length and strength of those 3 pillars in Estonia today.

We are glad, that the number of books being published every year in Estonia, is more than 3000 new items including 800 books for children. Books are born for reading. But today, we feel a risk, that books are becoming more exclusive because our market is small, printruns are decreasing and prices are rising.

Many countries make efforts to promote literature and reading. Same in Estonia. Literature and publishing have a central place in our cultural and educational policies. We have still a lot of libraries and a good working libraries network.  Also we have a vital institution for subject-based information in the field of children’s literature – Estonian Children’s Literature Centre which task is to collect, preserve, and mediate children’s and youth literature to all enthusiasts, meant for use towards research, education, and entertainment. Our institution is quite small and I’m sure that our success lies in co-operation and not only in our own country but all over the world.

Egle B.Eglė Baliutavičiūtė, Children’s Literature Center of the National Library of Lithuania

Eglė is the chief librarian at the National Library of Lithuania. She got Bachelor degree in Lithuanian Philology at Vilnius University in 2012 and finished Master’s degree in Literature Anthropology and Culture studies at the same university in 2014. Through these studies her main focus and final thesis were about children’s literature. She is a member of Lithuanian IBBY section and as the children’s literature reviewer participates in National radio program ‘Ryto allegro’ and cultural press (‘Literatūra ir menas’, ‘Rubinaitis’,, In 2015 she started working at Children’s literature center at National Library of Lithuania.

Old Ways for 21‘st Century Challenges: Book Clubs for Reading Promotion and Social Skills Development

In 2014 Children’s Literature Center of the National library of Lithuania carried out a survey on children and young adults needs and expectations from the library. We learned that most of our visitors are great readers – they read a lot, but they can’t find place where to discuss books, they don’t know how to talk about it, they are seeking for authoritative figure, who could help them not just to understand literature as an art, but also be critical, learn how to express their inner thoughts, feelings, learn how to find good, long lasting literature etc. To sum up, they are lost in information and internet can’t help them in such matters, that is why we came up with an idea to resurrect old, traditional ways to accommodate new generation’s needs – we started book clubs for all the children at school age.

This presentation will try to answer how book club meetings changed children’s social and reading skills, behavior, what opportunities was given to them, how now they can act on the internet, when they are looking for books or information about it.

_M__8048Hela Ojasaar, National Library of Estonia

Hela is the Training Manager and the Head of the Training Centre of the National Library of Estonia. Since 2004 Hela has  been  responsible  for developing and conducting the user training program for various target groups. She has also been involved in the activities of professional continuing education for the librarians of the NLE as well as other Estonian libraries in the areas of management, team work, adult education, information literacy, library services etc.

Her areas of interest: librarians as teachers, teaching information skills  to various target groups, incl Net Generation, development of cooperation with educational sector aimed at integration of information literacy into educational and training programs.

Teaching Information Literacy to Generation Z

This presentation gives an overview of the principles, activities and experiences of the National Library of Estonia aimed at developing of  information literacy of young information users who belong to Generation Z.

Most fundamentally, the acquisition of key information skills cannot be assumed simply to happen. The information literacy skills are best taught rigorously and at the point of need and of relevance. Such education should  be integrated into the subject courses or curriculum. When information literacy is integrated into the curriculum, it becomes meaningful. Considering the abovementioned principles we have developed in collaboration with various secondary schools a special programme for high-schoolers which objectives are:

  • to develop the user’s knowledge and abilities to determine their academic information needs  and to find, evaluate, select and use information either on the Web or in the library environment;
  • to provide learners with quality information for research from traditional library sources and Internet resources;
  • to show the users how to save time when searching.

The presentation includes arguments in support of the viewpoint that teacher-librarians could successfully teach, attract and better serve young information users of Generation Z.

_MG_0049webKristel Palk, Tallinn Central Library

Kristel is the head of the Department of Literature in Foreign Languages of Tallinn Central Library and the mastermind behind the “Skype book club” project. She has been working in libraries for the past 6 years. She started as a part-time librarian in the small Sõle raamatukogu in Northern Tallinn while studying anthropology at the Tallinn University. She also has experience working in the smaller Torupilli and Kadriorg libraries in Central Tallinn. Each new place offered different challenges which turned into opportunities of trying various methods of making libraries stay relevant and on the cultural and educational forefront of society.

Alternative Methods for Promotion of Literacy and Integration

The presentation will describe a selection of various pro-literacy and/or pro- integration projects that have been successfully implemented in the Tallinn Central library system. Libraries have long stopped being mere places for borrowing books. From the inspiring “Skype book club” to the rewarding “Read your own book”, good ideas have been turned into practical solutions for bringing peole, young and old, into the library and have them fall in love with the world of the written word.

dal (2)Dalia Pupšytė, Fridrich Bajoraitis Public Library of Šilutė’s Region Municipality

Dalia works at Šilute’s region municipality, Frydrich Bajoraitis Public Library, librarian at customer’s service department since 2009. She organizes meetings with book authors and editors, scholars, lecturers from educational institutions, university, creative artists and managers from the art galleries, exposing their professional art exhibitions. Participates in the National/International seminars, conferences, partnership based projects with other countries libraries, professional qualification courses. Dalia organizes events and educational activities for community children and youth.

Library Events – Innovative Way to Promote and Encourage Reading Among Šilutė’s Region Community Members

Besides traditional library services Fridrich Bajoraitis Public Library offers specific to type of institution services i.e. wild range of digital and interactive services. It is focused on users and with purpose to educate the community, especially the ones located in the Municipality of Šilutė, through the discovery of state-of-art technical solutions and innovative working methods. The policy of the library is its functioning as public place, wherein variety of user-oriented events are organized, which are meant not only encourage reading but like wise to meet community needs.

Kristiin Meos 2Kristiin Meos, Tallinn Central Library

Kristiin is the chief librarian of information service at Tallinn Central Library Department of Estonian Literature. She has a bachelor’s degree in information sciences and currently is studying for a master’s degree in digital librarianship at Tallinn University. Her job at Tallinn Central Library is to develop and improve our e-services and user education programmes.

Patron Training In The Digital Era

To help reduce the digital divide, Tallinn Central Library is offering new and innovative free user education programmes. Beside the basic computer and e-service courses patrons from all age groups can learn to use different smartphones, tablet PCs, image scanners, e-book readers and even digital drawing tablets. We are also collaborating with Microsoft and Estonian Free and Open-Source Software Association on offering workshops to help people understand and use various types of software and hardware, for example Windows 10 or Linux. This presentation will give an overview of how and why we develop such courses and how they take place.

Latvijas Bibliotekāru biedrība