Our motto - Inspire, engage, enable, unite!

The time from March 13 to May 15 was full of challenges for all of us, both librarians and readers. To a great surprise, even fear was quickly followed by an understanding, ingenuity, and reorganization of work to serve contactless readers and provide services remotely. During this time, each of the librarians spoke on the telephone more than ever, informing them about the possibility of receiving library services, and remotely advising readers at work on the computer. In these two months, the parish libraries issued a total of 9,550 books, and 4,394 people visited the libraries to the front door. 282 different e-services were provided remotely, helping to make various payments, write and send applications and submissions. Such consultations took place by telephone or e-mail. Compared to the same period in 2019, these performance figures are twice as low.

During this time, the local history of libraries became more active. Restrictions on access to the LNL digital library collections and archive materials were lifted. It was used to replenish local history materials. The library of Stāmeriena parish focused on the research of local history materials of the former primary school, about 200 photographs from the history of the school were researched, scanned and described. The head of the Līgo parish library went on an expedition to photograph the abandoned houses. In total, the electronic local history database with 287 entries has been supplemented in all parish libraries.

Librarians actively used this time for professional development by listening to various online seminars, courses, lectures, such as security in the digital world, presentation skills, X, Y, Z and A generations. Gulbene County Library organized an online seminar for employees and other interested people “Disinformation and Media Environment”, led by journalist A. Īvāns. Lizuma Parish Library together with Lizuma Secondary School organized online book reviews for groups of students of different ages.

A major challenge during this time was organizing the annual Library Week from April 20-26. This year its theme is "Inspire, engage, enable, unite!". Due to the state of emergency declared in the country, of course, the activities of the Library Week took place online, on social networks. Various virtual exhibitions and competitions were popular. The libraries of Gulbene parishes offered to remember the literary works according to the book covers, invited to answer one or more questions about the library, its collection and services. Photo competitions on various topics were popular in several libraries. Library Week was used to be particularly active in engaging and submitting a variety of useful materials to local libraries. Tirza Parish Library popularized the available stories of Tirza houses. Stāmeriena Parish Library had a virtual exhibition "A Little Breath of History", which moved people to the stories of memories. The libraries of Stradu and Druviena parishes made a film and an exhibition about the history of their libraries. In total, the parish libraries organized 25 different events this week.

The 13th Congress of the Latvian Librarians' Association was also held remotely. Anda Ješkina, the head of the Ranka Parish Library, was also on the list of candidates for the new board.

The words of Maris Jēkabsone, the chairman of the board of the Latvian Librarians' Association, can also be applied to the librarians of Gulbene region: “In every situation you can find both something bad and something good. And I am convinced that it is precisely thanks to Library Week in these special circumstances that there have been so many interesting and creative events that have demonstrated the courage and skills of librarians and strengthened their view of libraries as important and modern cultural institutions able to inspire, engage, empower and unite. Latvian society. ”

Iveta Erica,
Gulbene County Library