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Ten Years of Change in Russia and its Effect on Libraries

Author(s): Galina Kislovskaye

Journal: Liber Quarterly : The Journal of European Research Libraries
ISSN 1435-5205

Volume: 9;
Issue: 3;
Start page: 266;
Date: 1999;
Original page

It is sure the custom while speaking about Russia to resort to wordings that have the evidence of common words. Still analysis is needed to check out to what extend they are correct. One of these wordings is backwardness of librarianship in Russia and its bad management. In general it seems that apparently nothing could be said against that, everything is correct. If it were not the circumstances under which a today’s Russian librarian works and lives, circumstances that are entirely abnormal from the point of view of a western librarian, circumstances that lay obstacles to ANY activity as such. This may seem a paradox but sometimes I think that Russian libraries had to endure a long and quite a severe shock to start reassessing their basic services, organizational charts, staff composition, attitude to state allocations and fund raising - actually everything which is embodied in the word „management.” Ten years ago when changes were introduced into Russian reality none of us anticipated that since then we were doomed to manage under force majeur circumstances. Latest developments in Russia do not leave much optimism for quick recovery from an economic crisis and this sad truth volens nolens had to be accepted by those who have connected their lives with Russia.
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