Together We are Stronger and More Creative. Youth Associations in Russian Libraries: Aims, Values and Results

Today youth library public organizations of different institutional-legal forms (associations, councils, guilds) work in most regions of Russia –there are more than 100 organizations. First youth library councils appeared in the beginning of the 2000s when the staffing situation in library sector was not positive since young people did not strive to work for libraries.The most active councils work now at specialized libraries for young adults (for instance, in Novosibirsk, Irkutsk, Ekaterinburg).

Young librarian’s membership in a youth association (or council) fosters his/her social activity, professional development and creativity, helps to adapt to the community.

The activity of young librarians becomes more and more noticeable in the last years: new groups of young librarians appear; regional and inter-regional forums, conferences, laboratories and other events, including virtual, take place. New professionals participate in big national youth forums.

The all-Russian platform for consolidation and coordination of young library professionals is the Youth Section of the Russian Library Association. The headquarters are at the Russian State Library for Young Adults. The Section has organized many large-scale community events in Russian regions initiated by young librarians. Many events are designed as educational to help participants to learn from each other by using interactive and practical techniques. The Youth Section supports these events providing the organizers with methodical assistance; members of the Section’s Standing Committee together with its activists take part in all forums (including online events), delivering presentations.

The Section has compiled the Register for youth library organizations and is working on manuals for professional associations of young librarians.

Every year, in the framework of the Russian Library Association Congress, the Youth Section holds a solemn ceremony entitled Becoming a Professional giving out certificates to young librarians of the host region supporting their choice.

Ms. Marina Zakharenko, deputy director on research and methodology of the Russian State Library for Young Adults (RSLYA). For more than 10 years, she has been working in the RSLYA, managing programmes for young library professionals and various projects for young patrons. Besides, Ms. Zakharenko is a chairperson of the Youth Section of the Russian Library Association.

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