International Library Dialogues as an Effective Tool of Professional Development and Exchange

On December 23, 2022, M. Rudomino All Russia State Library for Foreign Literature (LFL) and the Russian Library Association Section on International Cooperation (RLA SIC) held a round table devoted to the world libraries’ collaboration in the framework of the LFL project “International Library Dialogues”. More then 40 library specialists from 20 Russian regions took part in this hybrid event.

IFLA CPDWL SC member (2017-2021) and current Advisory Group member Svetlana GOROKHOVA moderated the meeting and delivered a presentation on the US-Russia Library Dialogue, CPDWL SC member Daria BELIAKOVA presented Rudomino Award for the best international library project and acted as a key discussant. IFLA SET Chair Albyna KRYMSKAYA moderated the hybrid brainstorm of the second part of the meeting.

The meeting was divided into two parts. During the first one the participants analyzed the work of two oldest and most elaborated dialogues – German-Russian Library Dialogue and US-Russia Library Dialogue, trying to single out characteristic features of the dialogue as a specific form of professional communication.

German-Russian Dialogue is primarily devoted to the issues of book collections looted during the World War II and goes back to the 1990-ies. During the years of its existence the Dialogue involved about 500 specialists from Germany and Russian regions, aiming at collecting data on looted collections and generating joint projects allowing to restore their original state in hybrid formats.

US-Russia Dialogue was launched in 2016 and since then developed into a dynamic professional space producing new forms of communication centered around the issues of libraries working with their communities. 5 meetings of the Dialogue took place in the USA, Russia and online, covering such burning issues as libraries supporting their communities during the pandemic and role of the libraries in the achieving the UN sustainable development goals. About 200 specialists from the USA and Russia took part in the work of the Dialogue enhancing competencies related to better understanding of the communities our libraries serve.

The second part was built as a brainstorm of offline and online participants in order to group the characteristic features, suggest ways of further development of the project including new types of dialogues and possible themes for discussion.

Based on the results of the discussion LFL Rudomino Academy and RLA SIC plan to develop a training course for CIS and Russian libraries on how to initiate, launch and realize Library Dialogues in their professional communities.

At the end of the meeting the second round of the Rudomino Award for the best international library project was presented to further stimulate the international activities of the Russian libraries.

Recording in Russian is available here: видеозапись круглого стола.

We would be glad to provide additional information if needed.

Written by Svetlana GOROKHOVA