Visiting Russians Learn about American Libraries
Morning Call (Allentown, PA)
Posted on January 30, 2003
By Angel R. Ackerman
|Librarians visiting from Russia (from left) Tanya Yermakova, Natalia Dybina, Raziya Sirayeva, Tatyana Vechkutova and Rita Tsarakhova look over materials in the children’s section of the Phillipsburg library.|
Photo by Betty E. Cauler/TMC
The women, who are staying with Phillipsburg Free Public Library employees, will tour the Easton Area Public Library at 5 p.m. today.
''The main goal is to see American libraries, how they are organized and how they work,'' said Natalia Dybina through a translator, Tanya Yermakova, a librarian at the American Embassy in Moscow.
The visit is sponsored by the U.S. Congress Open World Russian Leadership Program, established in 1999 to expose Russians to life in America.
The five librarians arrived in Phillipsburg on Tuesday from Philadelphia, where they attended an American Library Association meeting. They join 50 other Russians librarians who are visiting libraries in the mid-Atlantic region. The librarians visiting Phillipsburg serve as directors of their library's children's departments.
''We want to find out what the good sides are and see how they would work for us,'' said Dybina, who works for the Kareliya Republic Children's Library.
The Phillipsburg Library was selected after library Director Patricia Lawson made an offer to the visit organizers.
''These librarians are very distinguished in their profession and very charming,'' she said. ''They are winning a lot of hearts in Phillipsburg, and we are learning some of the differences between being a librarian in Russia and here in the United States.'' For example, she said, rare and old books are available in Russian public libraries while those books generally are not available in American public libraries.
During their four-day stay, they will shadow the Phillipsubrg librarians throughout the day.
In addition, the groups' visit included a basketball game at Phillipsburg High School and a musical performance by the Takacs Quartet at Lafayette College's Williams Center for the Arts. Later today, they will hear guitarist Bill Miller perform at Godfrey Daniels in Bethlehem.
Angel R. Ackerman is a freelance writer.
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