On December 12 participants of the pilot course on “Time management and defining work priorities” in the framework of the program “Library Network Support Services (LNSS): modernizing libraries in Armenia, Moldova and Belarus through library staff development and reforming library services” visited the US Embassy in Armenia. The aim of the visit of the group which consisted mainly of librarians was to get acquainted with the embassy library and library activities. Nerses Hayrapetyan – Head of Information Resource Center – met the Program participants.
John Goshert – press attaché of the Embassy – presented the Ambassador of the USA Richard Mils’ four practical priorities. They are: to introduce the US foreign policy as precisely as possible; to favour the improvement of economic relations between the USA and Armenia; to help Armenia in anti-corruption struggle; and to assist the civil society and NGOs. John Goshert believes that libraries play great role in realization of the latter priority. The libraries can promote the formation of civil society. And the Embassy directly communicates with the citizens through the American Corners in Yerevan, Gyumri, Vanadzor, Kapan and Charentsavan. They are American-style libraries, which, by means of various formats, provide with information about the USA.
Then, Anna Mkrtchyan – the Social Media Coordinator of the US Embassy – introduced modern platforms. The US Embassy builds communication with the society through these platforms.
The program participants noticed that the literature in the Embassy library was mainly informative. The Head of Information Resource Center Nerses Hayrapetyan reckoned it to be common, because there are many kinds of books today, and the word book doesn’t mean publication only. Along with the published books there are audio- and e-books, as well. Of course most people are troubled with the threat of new technologies against the published books. The humankind have got used to them over the ages, and the abolition of libraries is looming. Nerses Hayrapetyan agreed that the new generation quickly gets used to the new reading devices, nevertheless he thinks that libraries will always be required.
“I am not sure about the types of the libraries in 20 years, but I am sure that they will exist. Libraries do not only serve for the people, who go, borrow a book, take it home, read it and return it to the library again. Unfortunately, library activities in our society are generally limited in just these functions.”
Whereas, the functions are wide: meetings, lectures, academic consultation, films, etc. simply, relevant conditions are needed for these all.
And what about the possible “threat” of exclusion of published books by the e-ones? Nerses Hayrapetyan displayed statistic data on this issue. For example, due to 2016 statistic data, only 19% of adult Americans prefer e-books. And the comparison of number of advocates of different kinds of books have displayed that each kind has its own faithful reader.
The Head of Information Resource Center spoke about the privileges of libraries. If you need information on any issue, what would you prefer – to turn to librarian, or to search it on the Internet? The answer is unequivocal: library is the most preferable source to provide accurate, comprehensive and grounded information. Though you can find information on the Internet faster, but it will hardly be reliable, because a person usually doesn’t have access to information base, where s/he can find reliable and complex information on certain issue. And libraries generally provide this kind of potential.
The library of the USA Embassy is open for everyone. Simply you should know that you cannot find fiction or professional literature here. It provides you only with references.
At the end of the meeting Nerses Hayrapetyan presented the Program participants with books that were published in the framework of grants of the Public Affairs Section of the US Embassy.