The News Service
Russian librarians to meet with Brown counterparts Oct. 5-12
Five Russian library managers will spend Oct. 5-12 with counterparts from Brown University to examine the role of libraries in American communities. Their visit is sponsored by the Open World Program.
PROVIDENCE, R.I. — Five Russian library managers will spend Oct. 5-12, 2003, examining the role of libraries in American communities with counterparts from Brown University.
Russian library managers have played a major role over the last 12 years in promoting intellectual freedom in their country. Once charged with enforcing sweeping censorship, they have been converting closed stacks to open-access collections; acquiring formerly banned books; connecting patrons to the Internet; working to keep up with the burgeoning demand for business literature, foreign-language textbooks and other items once difficult to find; and providing access to information for the country’s fledgling small businesses, nongovernmental organizations and citizens’ groups, as well as for individual users and local governments.
The Russians will stay in the homes of Brown librarians and faculty members in the University’s Department of Slavic Languages. During their stay, the visitors will:
The Russian librarians are traveling to Rhode Island through the Open World Program, created by Congress in 1999 to enable emerging Russian political and civic leaders to work with American counterparts and to experience American-style democracy at the local level. More than 7,000 Open World participants from all 89 Russian regions have been hosted in all 50 states since the program’s inception in 1999. Delegates have included members of the Russian parliament, mayors, nonprofit directors, journalists and political party activists. The Open World Leadership Center at the Library of Congress manages the program.
Before arriving in Providence, the Russians will travel to Washington, D.C., to attend the National Book Festival, hosted on Oct. 4 by the Library of Congress and first lady Laura Bush.
Frederick Lynden, director of scholarly communication/library research for the University’s library, will host the delegation’s visit. The Russian participants are:
Earlier this year, five Russian librarians were hosted by librarians at the College of DuPage in Glen Ellyn, Ill. The visitors learned about the day-to-day operations and frustrations of a community college library, and learned about the roles and services of a state regional library system. According to the College and Research Libraries News, the group said it was impressed by the large roles computerization and automation play and by how patron-oriented their American counterparts were.