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Libraries as Integral Part of Urban Space: Experience of Copenhagen Libraries

Libraries as Integral Part of Urban Space: Experience of Copenhagen Libraries
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From August 13 to 15 employees of the National Library of Belarus visited the leading libraries of Copenhagen (Kingdom of Denmark).

The purpose of the trip was to know more about the promising areas of development of Danish libraries, exchange views and results of scientific and practical achievements in the field of library, information and socio-cultural activities, develop international contacts.

The delegation of the “diamond of knowledge” consisting of Elena Dolgopolova, First Deputy Director for User Services and Ideology, Alexander Susha, Deputy Director for Research and Publishing, Radmila Bukach, Head of the Social and Cultural Center, Svetlana Kravtsova, Head of the Public Relations department, Marina Valchak, Head of the International Relations department, acquainted with the experience of the Royal Library of Denmark, University and Central Libraries of Copenhagen.

The curator of the visit to the Royal Library of Denmark, Anders Toftgaard, Senior Researcher at the Special Collections department, gave a fascinating tour around the library building, telling about the history of the library and activities at the present stage. The main tasks of the Royal Library today are the preservation and promotion of the national cultural heritage and research.

It is the largest library in the Scandinavian countries. The library collection contains all works printed in Danish upward the 15th century. In the seven-story building titled “black diamond” due to its architectural profile, there are four reading rooms, concert and conference halls, exhibition galleries, a bookstore, cafe and restaurant. The Royal Library is open to the public.

During the meeting with the Director General of the Royal Library, Svend Larsen, the Belarusian delegation presented a project dedicated to the 400th anniversary of the world's first publication called “Primer”, preserved in only two copies in the world. One of them is complete and conserved in the UK, in the private library of Middle Temple, closed to the public. A digital copy was made from it, which became the basis for the facsimile. The second copy is stored in the Royal Library of Denmark, its digital copy was also previously transferred to the National Library of Belarus. The facsimile edition enlarged the Royal Library of Denmark collections.

A visit to the new library building on the university campus in Amager impressed a lot the guests. The new building was opened in 2006. This is an extension to the existing building, where the library for the humanities is located. Hans Christian Mikkelsen, Director of the University Department of the Royal Library of Denmark, made a presentation about the new challenges that have arisen for the book storage after joining the Royal Library in 2018, and the modernization of library activities.

The third point of the program was a visit to the Central Public Library of Copenhagen. According to Mikkel Christoffersen, Chief Consultant of the public library, in modern conditions it is necessary to bring library services directly to the residents themselves and present the library space not as a book depository, but as a continuation of the cultural life of the city. The primary importance for the Central Public Library is that residents can always attend open events, there is a space for everyone in the library where he can get acquainted with culture and meet like-minded people, join a lecture or a seminar. Copenhagen Central Public Library is one of the most visited cultural institutions in the city. Annually about 840000 people come to the library.

The visit of the Belarusian delegation to Denmark was supported by the MOST (Mobility Scheme for Targeted People-to-People-Contacts) project aimed at expanding contacts between citizens of the European Union and Belarus in order to exchange best practices and improve mutual understanding.

We express our gratitude to the management and coordinators of the MOST mobility program for the opportunity to develop professional contacts.

Public Relations Department

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