COOPERATION BETWEEN PUBLIC AND SCHOOL LIBRARIES: SITUATION IN LATVIA, EXAMPLES OF GOOD PRACTICE, FORMS OF COOPERATION

Madara Freivalde

The last three years in public and school libraries for children and young people have passed in a sign of gathering and meeting. Children and young people perceive the library not only as a place where books and other information resources can be received, but also as a place to spend free time. Libraries are regularly looking for ways to encourage children to come to the library: improving reading rooms and creating an environment to make it possible for the library to rest and learn, organising creative workshops and other activities, along with teachers and other partners.

School librarians are enthusiasts of their own work and they do their work outside of their working time, over their resources. Only 34 % of Latvian school librarians work full time. In public libraries, the situation is much better, but there is still a lack of staff to offer high-quality and innovative services. Problems involving children and young people in library services in public libraries are mainly related to the demographic situation in the country and population migration, as well as school closures and mergers.

Not all public libraries work with school libraries and not all school libraries work with public libraries. Everything depends on people who work in libraries. If they are enthusiasts of their own work, the cooperation is and appreciated by everyone, but if there is no cooperation, the both libraries work as independent institutions, and children and young people suffer from it.

Estonian Librarians Association

ela@nlib.ee

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