When entering the reading room, you can’t help but notice a colorful exhibition stand. This month’s display is dedicated to the World Animal Day. The exposition is prepared by Ulyana Sidorovich, a librarian at the Interlibrary Loan and Document Delivery Department, who has been working here for four years. In the interview, we are talking about creativity in her work, the love of reading and the promotion of the National Library of Belarus on social media.
About working multitasking
The National Library wasn’t a random choice. In my childhood, I especially liked two professions: a teacher and a librarian. I loved reading and I could spend the summer in the library. I remembered that when looking for work, so I decided to try. My first pedagogical education helped me get this job. And as an employee of the National Library, I graduated from the Institute of Culture with a degree in Librarianship.
Our department provides services to both libraries and individuals, PhDs, doctors of science. You can take away books as well. We directly interact with library users and our colleagues from other departments.
I work at social media. The National Library has a page on "Vkontakte" where I keep several headings (including about the famous film adaptations of books), and promote the services of our department, the exhibitions which I prepare. We also resumed bookcrossing in the library on the last International Book Donation Day, which I additionally cover in social media. People take and bring books; sometimes there is not enough space on the shelf to place all of them. Also, I periodically moderate the chat on the library’s site.
The creative component in the work of the librarian
At the end of the year, an exhibition schedule is planned for the next. The expositions are prepared in advance; for about three weeks I select literature to reveal the topic and look for the necessary accessories to complement it. I find something at home, something from my parents and friends. Often I turn to colleagues from my own and other departments of the library for help, so that they borrow certain things for the exposition. These can be photographs, hand-made objects, parts of collections, souvenirs or anything that would make the book exhibition “sound.” It all depends on the subject.
Now, I am drawing up a schedule for 2020. I track the anniversaries of writers or some events and select the most interesting and diverse topics. This year I have already made about ten exhibitions. The current, "Our four-legged friends," is illustrated with my pictures of cats.
My seventy percent work consists of creativity. This is the preparation of exhibitions, as well as the activity on social media.
The most pleasant thing in the work of a librarian is helping the user. I like it when the reader comes to return the book and says “thank you” because he or she liked it. In a conversation, you ask them about their preferences, and they leave satisfied. Plus, we talk about various services of the library, helping users to figure out what they really need, and direct them. Sometimes, our users have no idea about certain features or services offered by the library.
Libraries act today as socio-cultural centers. Much is available on the Internet, but not all. Libraries are especially needed for those who write scientific papers, for the sake of good sources too. Here you can ask for help in compiling a list of references, check your paper for plagiarism, etc. During the Library Night, visitors are amazed to discover how many options the National Library has. We need to continue to develop so that various events, for example, quizzes and intellectual games, take place not in the city bars but in a place called the repository of knowledge.
I think everything that is now published on the social media pages of the National Library is quite interesting. The operation of the book depository, the restoration of books and so on, everything that is usually hidden from the readers. Such publications attract the most attention.
Reading is more than a hobby
I inherited the love of reading from my parents. In childhood, I often spent evenings reading. When a book series about Harry Potter appeared, we read it at class, passing the books to each other as soon as possible. When I went to my granny on vacations, I always brought with me a bag of books for summer reading. My home library contains the books of my parents, books bought by myself and books I received as a gift from my friends who know my preferences. My parents follow the novelties and often ask my advice in choosing books.
I write about screen versions of books on social media, so I devote free time to reading books and watching films in order to write a good review and interest our subscribers. My hobby and my work have combined into one. This allows me to love the job even more.
I’ve never thought what is better, a book or a film. These are different things, and I try not to compare them. At one time, I really liked the screen version of the Portrait of Dorian Gray (2009). The films about Harry Potter is a delight; it's great to plunge into this world on the screen. The Crimson Rivers, based on the novel by Jean-Christopher Grange, is a good one. The director was well able to convey the atmosphere of the story.
I really like detective stories as a genre of literature and cinema. My favorite authors are Peter James, Jean-Christopher Granger, and Stieg Larsson.
Interviewer: Yana Poleshchuk.
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