Library World Events

Russian World state foundation donated a new collection of a few hundred books to the South Korean private center of Russian language called Pushkin House. According to Kim Son Meon, the director, they will be of great help to the Koreans studying Russian. Apart from teaching Russian, the center publishes a lot of Russian textbooks and books about Russia.
“Russian World foundation works worldwide, and South Korea is one of its priorities as a dynamically developing country. Even if somewhere the trend is negative, in South Korea it is vice versa. Upsurge of interest in studying Russian in the country coincided with the establishment of diplomatic relations between Moscow and Seoul. Nowadays, we see a great progress: thousands of people speak Russian and study it,” Georgy Toloraya, representative of the foundation, told Rossiyskaya Gazeta (“Russian Newspaper”).
In his opinion, the strategic partnership between our two countries and the desire to achieve high performance in bilateral cooperation implies a great demand for developing collaboration in this sphere. “It is impossible to further and to deepen our partnership without knowing each other,” the foundation’s employee stressed.
Unfortunately, information in Korean mass-media is still biased, there is manifest lack of knowledge about Russia. So, the main goal of Russian World foundation is to encourage the acquisition of knowledge about Russia and to provide Korean citizens with unprejudiced information about the country. Spreading printed editions among the centers of studying Russia and the Russian language in South Korea should help to reach this goal.
However, donation of the new book collection is not the first of such events. Three centers of the Russian World foundation opened in the Republic of Korea last year, and many books were donated to them. At present, the foundation supports a wide-spread net of Russian centers abroad, gives financial support to foreigners studying Russian through various programs and internships. On the whole, there are 57 Russian centers.
Source: Rossiyskaya Gazeta (“Russian Newspaper”)
The first people’s literary award was established by Imhonet recommendation service. Readers themselves will set the sum of the award, which will be given in two nominations: “Favourite Writers” and “Favourite Journalists”. Long lists were made by specialists of RAS (Russian Academy of Sciences) Vinogradov Institute of the Russian Language, RAS Institute of World Literature, Institute of Linguistics of the Russian State University for the Humanities, RAS Institute of Linguistics, as well as by famous literary critics, philologists, and sociologists.
The list of nominees for “Favourite Writers” award includes fiction authors whose books are of a comparatively limited circulation. Among them: Vladimir Makanin, Andrey Slapovsky, Dina Rubina, Linor Goralik, Andrey Gelasimov, Pavel Krusanov, Alexander Ilichevsky, Mikhail Elizarov, Zakhar Prilepin, Olga Slavnikova, Mariam Petrosyan, Lyudmila Petrushevskaya, Leonid Yuzefovich, Elena Chizhova, Roman Senchin, and others.
Famous essayists were included in “Favourite Journalists” list: Alexander Arkhangelsky, Lev Rubinstein, Andrey Nemzer, Alexander Genis, Dmitry Bykov, Slava Se, Kirill Kobrin, Lev Danilkin, and others.
All Internet users can participate in the polls which will take place from August 23 to October 24, 2010. Imhonet will transfer 50 roubles to the account of anyone who has assessed no less than twenty nominated literary works. The reader can divide the money between the nominees and add his own money, if he wishes. The money will serve to create a bonus pool for each writer. If a user wants to award a writer not included into the long list, he has an opportunity to add him to “Readers’ Nominees” out-of-competition list and to vote for him using his own money.
At the press conference in RIANovosti information agency, Alexander Dolgin, founder of the award and head of Imhonet service, observed that the aim of the award was not to elect a winner, but to give readers an opportunity to thank the authors on the postpaid basis for the pleasure of reading their works. He hoped that the award would develop and spread post factum payments which would counterbalance piracy. According to his words, creative production authors had been working at promoting post factum payments for over 10 years, but it generally ended up in one-time actions. It is an item on the agenda to make postpayments a mass phenomenon. The award is a step towards this goal. Dolgin added, that the award founders were planning to buy copyrights to download a numbers of literary works wholesale, and then to give the copyrights to people for free. Certainly, they hoped that readers would be willing to pay post factum for the works they liked.
Large Moscow libraries closed temporarily because of abnormal heat will start working their ordinary hours on Monday, August 16, 2010.
Moskovites have been suffering from anomalous heat for almost two months already. The heatwave beat 20 records during the summer. After a small fall in temperature on Thursday, weather forecasts predict another increase in temperature. The ecological situation in the metropolis was made even worse by the smoke from wild fires in the region. It was hard to breathe in the capital for more than a week, smog was in flats, offices, public transport and even underground. Since Tuesday the air in Moscow has become clearer, on Thursday concentration of carbon monoxide in the air fell to the level five times lower than maximum permissible value. However, weather forecasters say that smog can return at the weekend.
Russian State Library closed on August 9. “We announced we would have cleanup days because of unhealthy weather conditions. The library will open on August 16, but if the temperature rises, we will have to postpone its opening,” said the representative of PR department of the Russian State Library.
According to her, the mean temperature in library reading halls was about 36 degrees Celsius. She noted that one could imagine the state of readers and employees taking into consideration that the largest reading hall could accommodate 437 people. She added that service works were carried out on cleanup days: electricity was switched off to avoid overcharge, equipment was cleaned and new items were installed.
M.I. Rudomino All-Russian State Library for Foreign Literature which closed on August 4, will also reopen on August 16, as one of its employees informed. “On the whole, the situation is unfavourable. Library collections are not damaged, of course, but the library had to be closed for technical reasons for some time,” she said. She added that some of the library halls were equipped with air conditioners, bur most were not.
The city authorities recommended libraries to create favourable conditions for readers, for example to install air conditioners, within the framework of measures aimed at helping the citizens to cope with the heat.
City district libraries continue to work in spite of the abnormal heat and recently dissipated smog. However, many of them reduced the opening hours. One of them is the Russian State Art Library. One of its employees said: “Our reading halls work according to the ordinary summer schedule. However, where they used to be open up to six o’clock in the evening, they now work till four because of weather conditions.”
Adolf Shayevich, the chief rabbi of Russia chosen by the Congress of Jewish Religious Communities and Organizations in Russia, considers that it would be right to donate the legendary Shneerson Collection to Chabad-Lubavitch Jewish religious movement which demands Russia to return its major shrine.
At the beginning of August 2010 Washington judge Lambert resolved that Lubavitch Hasidis’ directing agency Agudas Hasidei Chabad in USA had proved its right to books and manuscripts forming the so-called Shneerson Collection, and that they were kept in the Russian State Library and the Russian War Archive “illegally”, according to his words. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federations considers the decision of the US court null and void and declares there will be no “returning” books from this collection.
“Rabbi Shneerson, who owned the book collection, had been the head of the movement (Chabad-Lubavitch) for many years. His disciples would like to have his library to themselves, certainly. It is priceless for them. It is of great importance not only for them but for the whole Jewish world. It is only a question of law intricacies,” Shayevich said when commenting on the new details of the case of Shneerson Collection, not settled since perestroika time.
Adolf Shayevich, the chief rabbi chosen by the Congress of Jewish Religious Communities and Organizations in Russia, added that he had been into this problem since the time when the collection was found somewhere in the storeroom. “It’s a wonder that mice haven’t eaten it there. It wasn’t kept in normal conditions,” he said.
Murmansk regional office of the Russian Peace Foundation prepares a Commemorative Book with the names of workers on the home front who lived in the cities of the region. Publications devoted to war veterans who fought in the Murmansk Region and in Kandalaksha direction are already completed.
The lists are already being created in cities and settlements of the region. Anatoly Kholosha, Deputy Administration Head of Kandalaksha urban settlement, said: “Our employees in cities and settlements are gathering information about these people. “Harmony” center, a youth movement, has started to help us. They will also gather information about workers on the home front at war time.”
“Everything for the front, everything for victory” – this motto was seen in many plants and factories. At that time, almost each Soviet enterprise started to produce military goods. It is no secret that the Victory was forged not only on the front; people toiling for the needs of the front also plaid a great role in it.
Nikolay Senchenko, Chair, Veterans’ Council of Kandalaksha, says: “Adult men were called up to defend their Motherland. Plants, factories, fields were left to women, young people, children. Without their help, the Victory would have been impossible.”
At present many commemorative books have been published. They contain information about those who died during the Great Patriotic war. The publications have already helped many people to find their relatives’ tombs. There is a commemorative book in Kandalaksha, too. It contains data on Kandalaksha residents who died on the fronts of the Great Patriotic war. There are over 6.5 thousand names of our countrymen there. 1270 of them died defending their native settlement.
There are 900 workers on the home front in Kandalaksha. The commemorative book will contain information about their work before and during the war. Each hero’s biography will be supplemented with a story about his or her most vivid recollection of the war time.
“Bulletin of the Orlov Eparchy” of 1886, the Gospel according to St. Matthew in the Aleutian language,calendar with addresses of the Irkutsk province published in 1902. Not long ago one could find these documents only in archives and large libraries. Now any Internet user can see them in “Docusfera” project, opened by the National Library of Russia.
“Enter the site, click on “Collections” section”. Irina Galeyeva, Head, Department of Digital Technologies, National Library of Russia, acquaints the Russian Newspaper’s correspondent with the library’s new project. “This is a list of documents that can be found in electronic form at present. It includes author’s abstracts of theses, manuscripts, maps, printed music, provinces’ memory ticklers, etc. A registered user can not only read the necessary document, but also add it to their personal collection, so that they do not have to look for it next time.”
While the visitors to the library are watching the site, Irina uses a special program to put scanned pages of 19th-century newspapers on the Internet. Now the digital fund contains 270 thousand publications. The only “Docusfera”’s rival is a similar project of the Russian State Library, which includes about 400 thousand books.
“As for our foreign colleagues, it will take us a long time to catch up with them,” shrugs his shoulders Vladimir Skvortsov, Head, Department of Automated Technologies, National Library of Russia. “The volume of British Library’s electronic fund, for instance, is six times larger than ours. They started scanning their collections in the early 1990s.”
At present the National Library of Russia uses both its own money and money received within the framework of “The Culture of Russia” federal special target program to scan books. “Not long ago we tried to establish contact with one of American companies,” Skvortsov says. “It offered to scan some of the books at its own expense. Unfortunately, we did not get to any concrete agreements.”
‘“Docusfera” is still working in test mode, one may say, much should yet be done for the site,’ Mikhail Ionov, site programmer, says. “However, even now the electronic fund of the National Library of Russia is almost not inferior to similar western sites: readers can discuss books, bookmark them, sort search results in different ways.”
“In future “Docusfera” will be like a social network,” Ionov promises. “Users will form special interest groups, see which documents are viewed, put their photos on the site.”

A beach library opened in Odessa (Ukraine). Bookshelves with books were installed on the beach of the 16th station of the Great Fountain. Holiday-makers are invited to read over 1000 publications.

People may read the books completely free of charge, there are no security precautions or control over books. Sergey Kosodubsky, one of the project organizers, noted that there were no security measures because the project organizers relied on readers’ honesty. “Beach attendants will survey the books at night, and volunteers, if there are any, - at daytime,” he said.

The first readers came to the library even before it was opened. According to Grigory Tripulsky, deputy of Odessa City Council, who opened the library, surprised local residents and tourists had been coming to the bookshelves since early morning.

Similar bookshelves will soon appear in Luzanovka and on one of the beaches in the center of the city. “This summer the whole Odessa will start reading,” Tripulsky said.

On June 29, 2010 the Government of St. Petersburg approved of the draft law “On Librarianship in St. Petersburg”. According to the correspondent of Regnum news agency, Valentina Matvienko, St. Petersburg Governor, announced that St. Petersburg Legislative Assembly will consider the law during its autumn session.
The draft law stipulates that St. Petersburg government shall ensure financial support to library acquisition and maintenance of library collections in the city. It shall also organize library services to the population and realization of citizens’ right to library services in St. Petersburg.
The law also stipulates the establishment of central special libraries and specialized libraries for various user groups: children and young adults, the blind and people with print disabilities. Application of the law will not demand additional funding.
“It is important that the city government should consider the law on librarianship. If we speak of St. Petersburg as of the cultural capital, we imply that libraries play an important role in it. We have adopted library modernization program, and its first stage is over. Libraries have become cultural and information centers, they have become closer to the population. I support the idea of this draft law, it defines the main activity directions for the authorities in this field, we have approved of the second stage of library modernization program,” the Governor declared. She charged Alla Manilova, St. Petersburg Vice Governor, with absolute execution of this plan.
Source: REGNUM News agency
A digital library will be established in the Tver Region soon.
“2010 will become a decisive year for realization of “Tver E-library” project, which stipulates the creation of united information library network,” Dmitry Zelenin, Governor, stressed in his message to the Legislative Assembly of the Tver Region.
There are 856 libraries open in the region, including 714 in rural areas. The region holds the third place in Central Russia for the number of libraries according to the population numbers. But technical facilities of these libraries leave much to be desired. Many of them do not have Internet access.
The new project will give an opportunity to provide Internet access for all the libraries, so that each resident in the region would be able to use not only the local library funds, but also Russian and foreign information sources.
United information library system will enable the residents to learn quickly about new arrivals not only to library funds, but also to museum collections.
On Tuesday, June 15 2010, the public prosecutor of Michurinsk district appealed against the decision of the Academic Council of Michurinsk State Agricultural University, that made the use of university library paid.
Inspection showed that in 2005 the university had financial difficulties. So, the library did not have enough scientific and educational literature necessary for additional education.
Then the Academic Council decided to charge first-year students 5000 roubles for using interlibrary loan facilities. Using literature form other libraries’ collections, reading journals in the reading hall, bibliographic, reference, and information services, consultations in selecting literature were all paid.
“Charging money is against the laws “On Education” and “On Librarianship”. All these services should be free of charge for students,” said Nadezhda Istomina, senior assistant to the public prosecutor of the district.
Source: Komsomolskaya Pravda
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