Functioning of Romanian Rural Libraries – Between Tradition and Contemporaneity
The present work has the goal to depict a real image concerning the present functioning conditions of the Romanian Rural Libraries – an important institution of adults’ education in rural environment. The elements of the legal nature are presented in a slight opposition that resides or should reside at the base of organizing and functioning of this institution. Because, while making this research, the traditions of the Rural Libraries have drawn our attention in a positive way; we also considered necessary to present them in this work, because this deserves and it has to be a part of the present through their reminiscent power.
Rural libraries cannot operate at national and European standards required by the legislation in force due to lack of premises, equipment and personnel. This library crisis is so advanced that some of the rural libraries have started to disappear. Lack of financing, as highlighted in the statistic analysis of indicators, has placed most Romanian librarians into such an involution state that computerization of libraries is regarded as a utopia. On the other hand, due to precariousness of nowadays libraries it is impossible for the common citizen to have free access to information and training through written and digital documents in accordance with European democracy standards. Rapid acceleration of all sorts of problems (lack of new books, newspapers and magazines, personnel cuts) specific to librarians requires profound and professional content interventions from those responsible or able to provide solutions.
Significant information about the functioning of the institutions has been obtained through application of interviews and repeated discussions with ten communal library directors. Discussions have been oriented toward the following points: age, sex, qualifications, previous work experience and experience in librarianship, training in librarianship, problems encountered, traveling to commune villages, collaborations in the villages and in the commune, and other responsibilities than those incurred by the position of librarian. There findings are necessary for the organization, development and assessment of educational processes targeted towards the population of each commune.
The objective information concerning the functionality of commune libraries was obtained through quantitative and qualitative analysis of statistics existing in these institutions, and played an important role in the research.
The results of our study conduct us to the understanding of rural library as a complex cultural institution, diverse and flexible in terms of adaptation to social environment conditions. Libraries play a major part in the development and dissemination of modern knowledge, science and culture, which is even more important in the case of rural libraries, where new evolutions penetrate more difficultly. Moreover, compared to the information advantages that the urban areas benefit from (mainly the access to internet), the rural population is rather marginalized. Therefore, presently books represent the only means to compensate for this shortcoming in the rural regions, and to keep up with new developments.
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Soitu, L., (coord.) (2003), Institutions of Adult Education. Specifics and characteristics. Iaşi: Spiru Haret Publishing House;
***The law of Libraries, no. 334 from 31 may 2002,