March 4, 1998 Library of Congress-Soros Foundation's Visiting Fellows Program Hosts Sixth Class of Librarians and Information Specialists
Contact: Guy Lamolinara (202) 707-9217
Beginning March 31, the Library of Congress will host the sixth class of librarians and information specialists from Central and Eastern Europe and Central Asia sponsored by the Regional Library Program of the Open Society Institute in Budapest, Hungary.
The 1998 Library of Congress-Soros Foundations Visiting Fellows Program is a three-month program designed to introduce foreign librarians to libraries and librarianship in America. At the Library of Congress, the Fellows will receive a general orientation on the Library and intensive Internet training and will participate in a management skills institute. An additional week of orientation and training will be held at the Mortenson Center for International Library Programs at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign.
Each Fellow will then spend seven weeks at one of several host institutions in the Washington metropolitan area. These institutions will provide training, work experience and Internet access. The Fellows will observe firsthand how national, university, public, research and special libraries in a democratic society operate and serve their constituencies. The network of 17 host institutions includes the medical library at Georgetown University, the law library at George Washington University and the Institute for Christian and Oriental Research/Semitics Library at Catholic University of America for the first time.
Before departing for home, the 1998 class will attend the American Library Association Conference in Washington, June 25-July 2. They will be joined by approximately 20 colleagues from their region who will be sponsored by local Soros Foundation offices in Europe and Asia.
This year the number of countries participating in the application process increased to 26, and Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Haiti, Mongolia and Uzbekistan participated for the first time. Bosnia and Kazakhstan have participated before, but this will be the first year that they will be sending participants to the program.
Prospective candidates submitted their applications to their local Soros Foundation offices in September. The local offices administered Teachers of English as a Foreign Language examinations to test the applicants' knowledge of English and conducted interviews with the applicants. Sixty-eight applications were forwarded to the Library of Congress for final selection. An eight-member committee of area and language specialists at the Library selected the group of 12 librarians scheduled to arrive in Washington on March 31. The selection was based on the librarian's professional merits, essay content and recommendation from his or her library director.
The 1998 Library of Congress-Soros Foundations Visiting Fellows are: Anna Abrahamian, American University of Armenia Department of Law and Legal Resource Centre (host library: George Washington University Law School Library); Galina Abramova, MIRAS University Library System, Shymkent, Republic of Kazazhstan (host library: Catholic University, Mullen Library); Inna Babayeva, Small and Medium Enterprise Development Agency KOSIA-SMEDA, Baku, Azerbaijan (host library: Joint Bank Fund Library); Nada Bezic, Croatian Music Institute, Zagreb, Croatia (host library: Library of Congress, Music Division); Lenka Danevska, Central Medical Library, Medical Faculty, Skopje, Republic of Macedonia (host library: National Library of Medicine); Gansukh Ganjav, National Library of Mongolia, Ulan Bator, Mongolia (host library: Library of Congress, Asian Division); Irina Kuznetsova, Samara Region Research Library, Samara, Russia (host library: Alexandria (Va.) Library); Miroslawa Modrzewska, Gdansk Technical University, Main Library, Gdansk, Poland (host library: George Washington University, Gelman Library); Miriam Peknikova, Comenius University, Library of the Faculty of Medicine, Bratislava, Slovakia (host library: Georgetown University Medical Center Library); Zijad Sarajlic, Public and University Library of Tuzla, Tuzla, Bosnia and Herzegovina (host library: Arlington County (Va.) Central Library); Merita Selmanllari, Scientific University Library, Tirana, Albania (host library: Library of Congress, Cataloging Directorate); Maia Vasadze, Tbilisi State University Library, Tbilisi, Georgia (host library: Catholic University, Semitics/Institute of Christian Oriental Research Library).