Sunday, 1 December 2013

Lithuania's fans, we have now got a dedicated bookshelf for you

Opening the new Lithuanian literature section. Left to right: Lithuanian charge d'affaires for Bulgaria Darius Gaidys, Sofia City Library's deputy director Spaska Tarandova, EVS volunteer Agne Drumelyte. 

Sofia City Library is known for its international and otherwise eclectic character. Downstairs we have a bar, on the first floor a gallery and a theatre, and on the fourth floor there are multiple reading resources in foreign languages.

So far on the fourth floor there have been books in English, Portuguese, Chinese, Turkish, Spanish & Latin American, German, and in four Scandinavian languages, most of them donated by the respective countries' embassies and cultural institutions.

Although I am officially a UK volunteer and do my best to represent the sending country, I am also a Lithuanian. Since there already were many books at the library donated by the UK, I decided to have a look if there would be any resources from/about Lithuania.

Surprise surprise, with the help of my tutor I found only several dry-ish (and, often, dated) information materials. Looking at the aforementioned countries' example, I thought, it would be nice to have a dedicated Lithuanian book shelf at the library too. I set up (besides the shared EVS blog and my free time Bulgarian travel etudes) a third personal project. 

An email and then a trip to the Lithuanian Embassy in Sofia followed; I was invited to meet the Lithuanian Charge d'Affaires Darius Gaidys. The Embassy took the matter enthusiastically. Soon afterwards Mr Gaidys came to visit the library and to meet the deputy director Spaska Tarandova.

After arranging the place for the new book shelf and the opening date, the donation of books & CDs from the Embassy and from a few people of the local Lithuanian community was brought in. Then the official opening event happened, with speeches from Mr Gaidys and Ms Tarandova, and a small wine reception.

The books will now have to be registered at the library's catallogues. They should be available for everyone to borrow from 15 January 2014.

The new book shelf is at the Nordic & German reading room (402) on the fourth floor. The present reading resources are in Lithuanian, English, Bulgarian, Russian. There are quite a few books for children & beginners in Lithuanian language. The collection is likely to expand in the future.            

The Embassy and the Library have plans to continue the recently set up collaboration.

In the nearest future, at 5 pm on 11 December at the American Corner there is going to be a presentation of a new book, the Bulgarian translation of Lithuanian classic poems by Justinas Marcinkevičius ('Mindaugas', 'Mažvydas', 'Katedra').

In the second half of 2013 Lithuania held Presidency of the Council of the EU.

The new book shelf. In the future I would love to see there also English/Bulgarian translations of 'Vilnius Poker' by Ričardas Gavelis and of novels by Jurga Ivanauskaitė & Kristina Sabaliauskaitė; 'The Jungle' by Upton Sinclair; 'Lost Vilnius' by Vladas Drėma; 'Forest of Gods' by Balys Sruoga; works by the Lithuanian-American anthropologist Marija Gimbutas; arts albums & music recordings by Mikalojus Konstantinas Čiurlionis; photography album 'Unseen Lithuania' by Marius Jovaiša; materials about Lithuanian artists such as Fluxus persona Jurgis Mačiūnas, filmmaker Jonas Mekas, designer Juozas Statkevičius; film 'The Other Dream Team'; Lithuanian jazz music recordings; more history books & memoirs, especially about/from the 20th century /.../ To mention a few.      

Opening, wine reception.
Opening, having a look at the new book shelf.

1 comment:

  1. Great collaboration with Lithuania, expanding connections are always welcome in globalizing world, hope that translation of novel 'Vilnius Poker' will appear on your shelves soon.