We decided to inquire if many visitors come to the libraries these hot summer days and how the libraries are able to attract readers. We were very surprised when we learned that some libraries take the initiative and come to find their booklovers at the beach.
Nadiya Kmetyuk, director of the Library #134, Kyiv, Ukraine answered our questions.
How was the idea for the project Beach Reading born?
NK: This is not a new idea, I read about such events and I have always wanted to organize something similar. Our library is located not far from the beach near the lake Radunka in Kyiv. I could not miss this opportunity to increase awareness about our library.
What is the goal of the project?
NK: First, to increase awareness about our library and to make reading more popular, and second, to remind people about this option of spending their free time.
Did anybody help you?
NK: Near the lake there is the restaurant Carousel. They provided us with a table and chairs.
How did the people on the beach react?
NK: Differently. Those who were not interested passed by, but many people stopped by. It depends, in many respects, on the librarian, to make the audience engaged. How to get people interested, how to tell them about the library, to give them flyers, business cards, offer them books. Children were happy, running to their families, saying that some lady was giving free books. Some people later came to our library and registered.
Will the project become annual?
NK: Absolutely, we should not neglect this pleasant and helpful form of attracting readership.
How did you start working in the library? What has changed for these years?
NK: Library is my mission, not only the profession. I have been working as a librarian for 22 years. Many things have changed for these years. I started working when libraries were on demand by the society and government. Nowadays the situation is different. Libraries should prove that they are needed. It is not easy, because our readers have changed. Youth is well-informed and independent, but its priorities have changed. Ethical norms have become less strict, goals and objectives have changed. Reading is no more a requirement which makes a personality successful in life, career and brings him or her to self-perfection.
How do modern technologies help you?
NK: Modern technologies not only help. They change and improve our opportunities. Libraries must be equipped by office technologies, Wi-Fi, copy machines, audio and video technologies. The modern library cannot work without this.