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08 October 2018
Forging New Partnerships in Savonlinna
Olavinlinna Castle in

On 27-28 September 2018, the Komi National Library took part in the XIX Russian-Finnish Cultural Forum in Savonlinna, Finland.

This is an annual gathering arranged alternately in Finland and Russia to activate and promote direct cultural cooperation between civic organizations, cultural institutions and artists. The 2018 forum was attended by about 400 people and discussed more than 100 draft projects.

By the invitation of the Rovaniemi City Library, the Komi National Library joined the project for the revival of the Barents Library Conference which was last held in 2011. This international partnership embraces libraries of the Arctic region in Sweden, Norway, Finland and Russia. The Russian regions are represented by Murmansk, Arkhangelsk, Karelia and Komi.

The initiative to arrange an international conference of librarians in the Barents region was fully supported by the Russian participants of the forum. There is a strong demand to elaborate a common vision of the libraries’ future in the ever-changing digital environment. It is important for libraries to clearly define users’ expectations and not only survive the wave of changes, but benefit from them. To make the Barents Library Conference a regular, rather than a one-time event, the project participants agreed to start developing its conceptual framework, including general principles, goals and agenda.


During networking activities of the forum, the representatives of the Komi National Library, Rovaniemi City Library and the Arctic Centre of the University of Lapland reached an agreement to conduct joint cultural activities and provide access to electronic resources of the libraries in view of the planned establishment of the all-Russian Finno-Ugric center of library and information services under the umbrella of the Komi National Library. 

The Russian-Finnish cultural forum was an effective platform for forging new partnerships. Representatives of educational and cultural institutions of Russian Finno-Ugric regions spoke about prospects for cooperation.

Sani Kontula-Webb, the new leader of the Institute of Finland in Saint-Petersburg, and Tatiana Martseniuk, Head of Foreign Language Literature Department at the Komi National Library, discussed possibilities for joint projects. The Institute of Finland presented books by Finnish authors to the the Komi National Library enriching their growing collection of literature in Finno-Ugric languages.

The Institute of Finland presents books by Finnish authors to the Komi National Library
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