The All-Russia Scientific and Practical Seminar ‘Topical Issues Facing Museum Libraries and Art Literature Departments’ was organised by the Russian State Art Library (RSAL) in partnership with the Section of Art and Museum Libraries of the Russian Library Association.
The library community’s high interest in the seminar demonstrated its importance and relevance. Over 40 specialists from various Russian regions—from Blagoveshchensk to Petrozavodsk—participated in the professional meeting. A wide range of issues were discussed: from the assembly of departmental collections to the creation of thematic catalogues and databases on art; from the traditional information service of readers to prospects for the innovative development of museum libraries and art literature departments in the digital age.
Art literature department specialists not only provide readers with carefully curated book collections on all types and genres of art and work with departmental audio/video libraries, visual materials, and periodicals; but also provide qualified information on various issues in the arts and artistic culture.
The growing role of libraries in the modern world in obtaining the necessary knowledge also includes the task of presenting their collections in a digital format. The interesting use of digital technologies in the music sector was shared by Olesya Kurdyumov, a specialist of the Kirov State Universal Regional Scientific Library named after A I Herzen.
Presentations by specialists from Krasnoyarsk, Novosibirsk, and Petrozavodsk discussed new trends and innovative forms of organising exhibition projects. Interest was aroused by reports on virtual projects that were created using a vinyl record collection.
Seminar participants showed particular interest in the presentation by Maria Ermakova, Director of the Specialised Departments of the Russian State Library. In her speech, she spoke in detail about the ‘Book Monuments’ project in the National Electronic Library, about the possibilities of participating in this project, and the documents that can be presented there.
The seminar made it possible to conceptualise the state-of-the-art departments of regional libraries, to get an idea of the main directions of their development, and to summarise the experience of those projects to promote art. Departments of the arts and museum libraries occupy an important place in the cultural space of cities and regions. A priority is the inclusion of readers in the artistic life. The professionalism of department personnel deserves the attention of the broadest possible audience and recognition of the professional community.