I have been known to joke at times that my life feels a bit like The Amazing Race, but the past few weeks have not been too far off. 6 weeks, 6 countries and 60,000km later my evaluation visits have ended on a very bright note in Vilnius, Lithuania.
Lithuania has taken every opportunity in their path and made the most of it: Libraries for Innovation has modernised libraries and built partnerships with government and industry. The association has forged a strong relationship with the Ministry of Culture and the President of the country, who is the patron of library week. That’s right, the nation’s President has libraries firmly on her agenda. For countries and associations who are not sure what they can achieve with 2500 members and all volunteers – Lithuania is a wonderful model of how cooperation, confidence and hard work can really pay off.
Something very special in Lithuania is the care of members of the profession, from the newest professional to senior, retired members. They actively encourage new professionals to take part, and listen to them as equals. Seniors are cared for, and have their own activities even in retirement. Those who have died are not forgotten: the association contributes to the maintenance of their graves. This exceptional level of community and care in the profession means they move forward stronger, together, able to face challenging economic and social situations, changes in technology, changes anywhere.
Libraries have a very bright future in Lithuania, and so does the association. There is one area in which they need to improve: speaking up to the world about all that they have achieved!
Originally published on the semanticlibrary.net blog