During November the 6th – 17th I was travelling as a delegate with the group of librarians from Ukraine - Open World Leadership Program 2013 participants.This professional trip has become a tremendous experience exchange in Library and Information Science sphere.
On this program we visited the most outstanding American Libraries such as: The Library of Congress in Washington DC, Harold Washington’s Library, Regenstien Library, Mansueto Library in the University of Chicago, Newberry Library, The Library of North – Western University in Chicago, Illinois.
Except professional meetings at libraries we also had meeting with Municipal and State authorities and very rich cultural program which included visits to the best museums, remarkable places and theaters in Chicago.
Talking about the libraries that we have seen, I can not but admit the technical equipment which is probably one of the best I have seen, though I have seen not so many technical devices at Ukrainian Libraries. All equipment is aimed to assist librarians in doing their usual work not only digitazing but also bookshelfing as we could see at the University of Chicago Library.
The second very important thing about American libraries academic as well as public ones is architecture and design which is so called “mobile” – changing according to the users needs.
The third thing I mentioned to myself is orientation at the library user , building a system where, for instance, a “university citizen” has rights and duties as it at the North – Western University Library.
We were amazed by really unique collections as private collections at Newberry Library or Thomas Jeferson collection at the Library of Congress. The work done on digitizing these collections and turning it into powerfull project is really amaizing.
The collections of the most of American Libraries do contain Ukrainian materials, Diasporiana and Slavic culture materials, so we had a chance to see the books or periodicals on our native language.The libraries we have seen are like the libraries of the future. It looks unreal but we have to tend to their level of development.
It is crucial point in our practice because nowadays library can not just be a mere depository for books it is powerful consultative and informational center which offers cultural services.
One of my colleagues compared modern libraries with supermarkets where everything easily can be found, where everything is clear and user – friendly. Well, the policy can be similar – the user is always right.
Such programs are perfect chance to explore the world of innovations and bring them to ones country in general or at least library in particular. So, I would like to thank to host organizations, host families, professionals who dedicated their time and attention to us and helped to make this visit possible!
Special thanks to Kyiv – Mohyla Foundation in the USA; Open World Leadership Center; The Embassy of the USA in Ukraine; American Councils of International Education.
National University of Kyiv-Mohyla Academy,