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Connecting libraries
Together we can save the world of knowledge

The most important thing in today’s world is to be connected, and only in that way can libraries overcome the difficulties that they encountered during the pandemic.

By Ejla Ćurovac

Libraries are not islands and we must not allow them to become so, especially today.

Libraries today are not just custodians of knowledge. Libraries are centres of knowledge and learning, they are meeting places and guardians of the community, and during a pandemic also places of comfort and strength. Today, more than ever, the world needs librarians. The experience of Emerging International Voices has shown how important the connection between us is, and how much we can learn from each other. The online environment and social networks allow us to get in touch with colleagues from all over the world, to overcome obstacles together and design new projects for our users.

Libraries are not islands and we must not allow them to become so, especially today. At this time, we need each other more than ever so that we can work together to ensure that our users are both happy and satisfied. There are a lot of projects we can work on, and the experience of sharing ideas from all over the world has been extremely valuable. We have heard from colleagues in Nigeria, Turkey, Russia, the Philippines and many other countries whose experiences are similar to our own. In fact, we are all in very similar situations and face the same challenges; the only way to overcome them is to act together.

Today, during a pandemic, we face many challenges related to financing, organising events and users’ satisfaction, but the virtual environment and social networks allow us to continue to be there for our members and their needs. Today we have the opportunity to offer our services even though we may be physically distant. The ideas and projects mentioned during the three webinars are things that all of us can implement in our libraries and that is wonderful. The connection between us has been established and now we can focus on trying to do our best to provide support and services to everyone who needs them. Together we can do a lot, we can host joint exhibitions, design projects for the elderly, for children, and for people with special needs – and it can all be online. It is an amazing fact that twenty-two people around the world can work on one joint project that will be successful and useful in completely different cultures and civilisations. This is the unique charm of this project, and the online environment that makes it possible.
 

At a time when doctors and medical institutions are extremely necessary for people’s physical health, libraries and librarians are hospitals and doctors for the soul.

Librarians must be aware that today libraries are not just storehouses, but places of interactivity, places of learning and entertainment, and that different types of media need to be involved in the work of libraries. We need to do everything in our power to become as desirable as possible so that people can understand how much we can offer.

This journey was a kind of adventure: crossing borders without a passport and visiting beautiful libraries around the world; encountering great librarians and information experts. These are strong people who are eager for knowledge, the exchange of experiences and advancement; they want to work and share their experiences in order to facilitate and help everyone.

At a time when doctors and medical institutions are extremely necessary for people’s physical health, libraries and librarians are hospitals and doctors for the soul, and as such they are more than necessary today.

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