In an interview with our program on Monday, April 15, 2019, the Deputy Minister of Education, Research, and Religious Affairs, Mrs. Meropi Tzoufi, outlined the initiatives and next goals of the Ministry of Education for the support of the Public Libraries. Specifically, she mentioned:
- The “effort to integrate a project into the ESPA Program, a project that requires the cooperation of 46 Public Libraries and the National Library for the development of a unified catalog in the Program “Public Sector Reform”.
- “Investigating a series of possibilities to meet the urgent need for automated systems at the 46 Public Libraries.”
- Additionally, Mrs. Tzoufi noted that “both the Minister Mr. Gavroglou and I recognize the need to strengthen the library personnel and I think that we will be in a position to speak more specifically about this issue in the very near future.”
Mrs. Tzoufi referred specifically to the International Library Conference, IFLA, which is being coordinated by the Association of Greek Librarians and Information Scientists (AGLIS) and by the National Library of Greece and which will take place in Athens August 24 – 30, 2019. Mrs. Tzoufi said that “we are trying to motivate librarians to go this very important event.: Specifically, she noted that “we are looking for solutions to cover the registration fees so that there will be a large enough number of librarians from the Public Libraries.”
In conclusion, Mrs. Tzoufi emphasized that “the Europeans reality shows that Public Libraries can and should play a key role in life—long learning and in adult education. Based on this, “we should do whatever we can to restore and modernize the libraries”, keeping in mind always that the country’s financial circumstances are still difficult.
Also on the program was Mrs. Eugenia Vasilakaki who is the coordinator for the group of volunteers at the 85 th International Library Conference, IFLA WLIC 2019, which will take place from August 24 t0 August 30, 2019 at the Megaron Athens Conference Center. Mrs. Vasilakaki referred to the training for herself and Christina Katsinika in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, during the 84 th International Library Conference. In September 2018, a group to manage the volunteers was set up including Matina Tsafou, Christos Papatheodorou, Eleni Mamma, Aristea Protonotariou, Athanasios Kotsovos, Fotini Abdelli, and Mariangela Christopoulou. The group was set up to define a professional approach to organizing the 300 volunteers who will volunteer for the 10 days of the conference – their privileges, the posts to which they will be assigned, and the values of offering to volunteer, teamwork and cooperation, that should characterize each volunteer.