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Rana Haj Yahia
Emerging International Voices

The reflective librarian.

Rana Haj Yahia private
What’s a library to you?

A library is a storage where many conflicts secretly reside. As a librarian I might be the keeper, sometimes the one who ignites such a conflict. While as a user, I feel as one of its packages.
 

What’s the single most essential thing you need in your everyday work?

It might sound conservative, but it's the shelves. They must be in order, so in case the online catalogue goes down or I have a blackout when someone asks for a recommendation or a consultation I can just take a walk between the shelves to find books. I feel I need the books to be visible to me, for my own sake sometimes, it always been pleasurable to me to 'meet' books, thoughts, in particular.
 

What was the most memorable experience you ever had in a library?

There was a day when I missed the work trip, so I took my day off at Tel Aviv municipal library- Beit Ariela. I just went to the shelves, looked for whatever might interests me in philosophy, cinema studies and arts, found me a corner with my selection and started reading and taking notes until the closing hour. It was a kind of peaceful out-of-space experience.
Rana Haj Yahia - Emerging International Voices for Library Advocacy. The Goethe-Institut Programme with IFLA Goethe-Institut | created with Canva | CC BY 4.0

Statement on digital libraries
"IT'S NOT ABOUT THE BOOKS, IT'S ABOUT COMMUNICATING"

Much improvisation was needed when her library shut its doors due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Rana Haj Yahia on difficult programmes, grateful visitors and the importance of listening to customers' needs.

Rana Haj Yahia - Emerging International Voices for Library Advocacy. The Goethe-Institut Programme with IFLA Goethe-Institut | created with Canva | CC BY 4.0

Is there a recipe for a successful digital library?
Digital or no digital, where is the library?

Everyday difficulties with juggling different priorities at work can make thinking about future libraries challenging. How to find the right balance between resources, platforms and users' needs?

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