Monday, April 23, 2012

Book Clubs come to Crimean libraries

One of my fellow Peace Corps Volunteers here in Crimea has come up with a great idea for cooperation among the libraries in Crimea who have Volunteers assigned to them. There are six Volunteers scattered across the peninsula, all of us working with the central library in our district, or in my case, a specialized library. Sometimes it is difficult when a Volunteer first comes to her/his library. Most of the libraries have not had a Peace Corps Volunteer before and are somewhat befuddled about what “to do” with us. That is not the case here at the Gasprinskiy Library where projects ideas abound, but some of the other libraries depend greatly on Volunteers thinking creatively and suggesting possible projects for their libraries.

Anne Jasperson, a young and enthusiastic Peace Corps Volunteer who came last June to the village of Pervomaickoe in northern Crimea, came up with a great idea on how we can take advantage of the fact there is a relatively large group of Volunteers assigned to libraries in Crimea. Starting at the same time, each Peace Corps Volunteer library would form a book club of ten participants. The club would pick a book to read and discuss, and after a set period of time, the books would be passed on to the next library, via the Volunteers. So over the course of a year, all six book clubs would have had the opportunity to read and discuss six books. At the end of the time, each library would receive a copy of the six books, and sixty library patrons would have been introduced to the idea of a book club and had an opportunity to read some new literature.

Book clubs are a long standing and popular idea in the United States but are slow to take hold in this post-Soviet world. Even harder to take hold is the cooperation required among the libraries to promote this interactive book club idea. But if the Gasprinskiy Library is any indication, the idea will be received with enthusiasm and eagerness to try this idea guaranteed to promote greater use of our libraries.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Some of the new library acquisitions

This week in the library we had a staff meeting which happens every three months in which each department gives a presentation of the work they have been doing. It is a good opportunity for the whole staff to become acquainted with the work of their colleagues and to see in what ways we can collaborate.

The Acquisitions Department hard at work.
I was particularly interested in the presentation from the Acquisitions Department where they highlighted some of the recent additions to the library collections. Here are some of the books they discussed:

Яш Несильге (translated from Crimean Tatar as To the Young Generation)
This book is the second in a series on “interesting people” from Simferopol Crimean Tatar publisher Krymuchpedgiz. It is dedicated to the 105th anniversary of the teacher and poet, Zeynep Abbasova. The book includes poems of the author, a song written from her poems, and recollections of friends and followers.

Russian-Siberian Tatar Dictionary. 15,000 words. Compiled by M.A. Sagidullin.
This dictionary includes some of the most commonly used words of the indigenous people of Siberia, the Siberian Tatars. It also includes vocabulary needed to created artistic and journalistic works and is designed for a wide range of readers and as a tool for translators and members of the media. It is also of interest to Turkologists.

Seitumera Emin.
This book is a celebration of the life and work of poet, novelist, and essayist Seitumera Emin, a veteran of the Crimean Tatar national movement. It is fourth in a series on famous Crimean Tatars from a publishing project of the Crimean Tatar political party Milly Firka, who gifted the book to the library.

Atlas of Tartary: Eurasia of the Old Maps--Myths, Images, Places. I.K. Fomenko
This book is the first compilation of historical and geographical descriptions of a vast territory--the Great and Little Tartary--based on cartographic materials from the XI-XVIII centuries. The book also contains a CD with additional information.

Bakhchisaray in Lithographs, Engravings and Postcards: An album. B. H. Prokopenko. In this beautiful album are both known and little-known historic lithographs, prints and postcards from Bakhchisaray, the home of the Crimean Khanate, as well as contemporary photographs of the city and its environs.
The images are accompanied by quotations in Russian and English from the books of travelers and writers of XVIII - early XX centuries.

This volume contains two works: Blumenfeld, GF Crimean Tatar Land Tenure by G.F. Blumenfeld and Rural Communties in the Crimean Khanate: A Collection of Documents on the History of Crimean Tatar Land by F.F. Lashkov
This book contains the first works on the history of land relations on the Crimean Peninsula. The publication is illustrated with engravings and lithographs of the land documents of the XIX century.