Kosovo Librarians Train at Harvard College Library

Kosovo Librarians with Nancy Cline, Roy. E. Larsen Librarian of Harvard College. Back row: Urim Sallauka, Barlet Berisha, Ramush Zeka, Ardian Haxhaj, Besim Kokollari. Front row: Shukrije Rama, Elhame Buzuku, Nancy Cline, Bedrije Mekolli, Bukurije Halita.

October 26, 2005 - Harvard College Library hosted information sessions twice this month for nine librarians from Kosovo who are in Boston for the fall semester to receive training in library science at Simmons College. The program is part of the U.S. government effort to support the development and modernization of Kosovo libraries.

"It's a very good experience because we don't have library school back home," says Bukurije Haliti, one of the nine participating in the program sponsored by the U.S. Office Pristina, an organization that represents the interests of the U.S. government in Kosovo.

At Simmons, the librarians' post-graduate level courses include specialized instruction in collection development and management, online information services, virtual reference, the benefits and challenges of digital information and current management techniques in American university libraries.

To supplement their classroom training, the group is visiting U.S. libraries — including Harvard College Library, but also libraries as far away as NYC and Washington, DC — to meet with field leaders. At HCL, the group spent time with Nancy Cline, Roy. E. Larsen Librarian of Harvard College; Susan Lee, Associate Librarian for Planning and Administration; Jane Ouderkirk, Head of HCL Technical Services; Brad Schaffner, Head of the Slavic Division; and Carrie Kent, Head of Research Services. At the Fine Arts Library they also met with Andras Riedlmayer, Bibliographer, Aga Khan Program for Islamic Architecture, and Jeff Spurr, Islamic and Middle East Specialist, who have worked with Kosovo libraries in the past. In addition to touring the Widener and Fine Arts libraries, they learned about HCL collection development practices from Alison Scott, Charles Warren Bibliographer for American History, and about Aleph use from Lynda Kresge, Associate Head of HCL Technical Services.

When the librarians return home in December, they will be the first in Kosovo with professional, state-of-the-art training in library science and will play an important role in sharing their knowledge with colleagues and in making information more available to the Kosovo public.

The participating librarians, all of whom hail from the National and University Library in Kosovo are: Shukrije Rama, Besim Kokollari, Bedrije Mekolli, Bukurije Haliti, Ramush Zeka, Elhame Buzuku, Ardian Haxhaj, Barlet Berisha, and Urim Sallauka.

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