Tuesday, 18 September 2018 10:00

Moldovan Library Law and Successes in the Spotlight at the International Next Library Conference in Berlin

On September 13, Evan Tracz, the Novateca program Director, Andrei Chistol, Moldovan State Secretary for Culture, Eugenia Bejan, Secretary of the Moldovan National Librarianship Council, and Swedish Library Expert Inga Lunden attended the 2018 edition of Next Library Conference in Berlin, hosting an interactive session and panel discussion highlighting the way the new law on libraries supports the development of modernized public libraries in Moldova that has been facilitated by the Novateca program over the last 7 years.

The ‘Bridges to Development: Reinvigorating a Public Library System from the Bottom-up’ interactive session brought to the international library community’s attention the seven-year process of revitalizing the entire Moldovan public library network, from investments in technology, training, data analysis and promotion to a new library law that incorporates all of the key elements of the modern vision of public libraries, and recognizes their role as multi-functional public spaces addressing community needs with access to IT, non-formal education and networking services.

During the interactive session, Moldova’s Ministry of Education, Culture and Research Secretary offered an encapsulation of that effort and what it means for Moldova’s overall development. “This is a law that responds to the needs of both communities and librarians, and contains all changes that we, with ongoing support from Novateca, managed to achieve in the last years,” mentioned Andrei Chistol, State Secretary for Culture. “We managed to invest in librarians’ capacity and really transformed their perspective. Libraries are no longer about reading and cultural activities only--they are offering services tailored for communities and are great platforms for implementation of government priorities,” he added.

Other key Moldovan library leaders and international experts also led a panel discussion of some of the most important aspects of library redevelopment--from infrastructure and professional development using emerging trends in non-formal education and integrating IT in libraries, to community-based advocacy and legal frameworks--facing communities and countries around the world. “Over time, the modernized Moldovan libraries formed a new coalition of community hub organizations, and the law was created to ‘codify’ that change of perspective and culture into a framework that will support the continued development of libraries into the future,” concluded Evan Tracz.

In addition, Oxana Andreev, director of the Chisinau Polish Library, had presented during the Ignite Talks session one of the innovative library services provided by her library -- creating Sensory Books – and highlighted how the library identified the need for such a service, how it was tailored for the expectations and possibilities of young mothers, who used to come to the library with their kids, and how these books were created, becoming a great tool for non-formal education and creativity boosting.

For a more detailed insight from the Next Library Conference, we invite you to watch the interview of Novateca program Director and State Secretary for Culture, and to find out Oxana Andreev’s impressions.

In 2017, the Moldovan Parliament passed the Library Law No. 160 which goes into effect on February 18, 2019, and aims at strengthening the Moldovan public libraries and supporting them to remain useful and more integrated into the communities they serve. The law provides for free public access to the Internet, as well as training and modern inclusive services, and obligates central and local public authority participation in continued library development, and support for ongoing professional development for librarians.


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