International experts discussed advancement of National Library of Latvia project
On 18 March 2010 a group of world renowned professionals in library administration and development met in Riga, Latvia, for the 7th meeting of the International Commission of Experts set up by UNESCO for the National Library of Latvia (NLL) project. The aim of the meeting was to assess the progress of the project and to examine current challenges and constraints.
The 7th meeting of the International Commission of Experts was organized by the National Library of Latvia with the support of the Latvian Ministry of Culture, the National Library Foundation and the National Commission for UNESCO. The main topics discussed during the meeting were the current challenges in mobilising financial support from both governmental and private institutions, the overall communication strategies and the respect of the planned time schedule of the project.
The Commission advised NLL to approach international companies based in Latvia with very concrete proposals about the forms of cooperation. Involving internationally acknowledged people as advocates for the project might raise the interest for it on the local level as well, thus contributing to the mobilisation of financial resources.
The NLL project started ten years ago under the auspices of UNESCO. The International Commission of Experts, comprising nine members, was set up following the <a target=blank href="http://unesdoc.unesco.org/images/0011/001185/118514e.pdf#38">resolution 38 adopted by the UNESCO General Conference at its 30th session</a>. The role of the Commission is to contribute to the successful development of the project, with a particular focus on financial and communication aspects. The NLL project consists of the new library building (Castle of Light) designed by Gunnar Birkerts, the Repository in Silakrogs, the State Unified Library Information Network (Light Net) and the Digital Library (Lighthouse).
Since its inception, the project has significantly advanced. The construction of the new library building started in 2008 and its opening is planned for 2013-2014. The experts, therefore, highlighted the importance of the inauguration ceremony and acknowledged the quality of various communication activities, aiming at promoting the role of libraries in the society development, that are already taking place in Latvia. According to them, such work has to be continued and enhanced by more specific messages and a wider participation of the public. The launch of the new National Library of Latvia is expected to be an important event of national and international significance.