According to the ILNA correspondent, the international virtual conference of the Jean Monnet project entitled "The Role of Public Libraries in the Social, Economic, and Cultural Development of Iran with Emphasis on the Experiences of European Countries" will be held on May 19, 2014 at Allameh Tabatabai University with Glensa Glynini Moghaddam.
Glensa Gholini Moghaddam graduated with a PhD in Information Science and Science from Mysore University in India in 1989 and is a member of the faculty of Allameh Tabatabai University. He has published many articles in Persian and English in Iranian and international journals in the field of information science and science. One of his papers won the International Library Competition in the United States in 2020. He has been praised several times as a top researcher in Iran, has published several books, given various scientific lectures at conferences inside and outside the country, and in 2019 won the international grant of Jean Monnet from the European Commission.
The Jean Monnet project entitled "Applying the EU Experiences in the Field of Public Libraries in Iran" is an international project that is being implemented in collaboration with the European Union and Allameh Tabatabai University. Glensa Glini Moghaddam, together with Farideh Asareh and Rahmatullah Fattahi, are in charge of implementing this project. The international conference of Jean Monnet in line with this project will be held in a virtual way in the online forum of Allameh Tabatabai University on May 19, 2014.
What is the purpose of the Jean-Monet International Virtual Conference and what is the need for it?
The purpose of holding this conference is to transfer the experience of European librarians to Iran and vice versa. The main goal is to share the experience of European countries in the field of public libraries for the cultural, social and economic development of the country. Iranian, European and other librarians are expected to share their experiences at the conference. This conference is held in line with the commitments of the Jean Monnet International Project entitled "Application of EU Experiences in the Field of Public Libraries in Iran". This international project is being implemented with the financial support of the European Commission and in cooperation with Allameh Tabatabai University. The proposal to implement this project in 2019 was sent to the European Union by Allameh Tabatabai University and in August 1398, it was announced as the winner of the Jean Monnet grant from Iran. (Jean Monnet is a French politician and diplomat who was one of the founders of the European Union and was named in his honor, and Jean Monnet's activities are considered part of Erasmus' plans in Europe.)
It can be said that the conference is in response to the development needs of Iranian society. The need to do this is that we use the potential of public libraries for the development of the country, and this conference tries to answer the question of how we can do this.
What is the result of the activities of public libraries in the social, economic, and cultural development of European countries, and how has the impact of public libraries on the development of these countries manifested itself?
Studies conducted by the project team (including me, Dr. Farideh Asareh, a full professor at Shahid Chamran University in Ahvaz, and Dr. Rahmatollah Fattahi, a full professor at Ferdowsi University in Mashhad) on European public libraries, show that there are many programs in They have performed in public libraries over the years and have achieved very good results. One of the things that European public libraries do is need assessment. In each country and each region, the composition of the population is studied and the ancestors of different groups, especially the different immigrants who are in Europe, are examined, and for each of them, according to their needs, many educational programs are put in place. These programs are repeated and evaluated regularly and have good results, this is the part that is done for the immigrant community. Many programs have been seen for the rest of the audience, such as ordinary people and different groups of the elderly, children and adolescents. One of the ongoing programs is lifelong learning programs, which are more than two decades old in Europe and almost all European libraries are involved in this issue, and information literacy programs are implemented at the school level and at all levels of education. In the context of Corona, European libraries have also carried out activities in these fields, their main role is educational, and they try in various ways to help the development of their community with various educational items.
Public libraries in European countries get involved and try to help with any social issues that may arise. In the case of Iran, if we want to look at how to use this method; We have many social problems in Iranian society, each of which we can plan in the form of various educational programs for specific audiences, and this leads to improving the quality of life of people in Iranian society. It is possible to raise the level of public awareness about social problems such as divorce, addiction, delinquency, etc. through educational programs in the library, for parents and adolescents, and to teach appropriate solutions to these issues.
In these countries, what platform do public libraries provide for the general public, and how different is the function of these centers from what is seen and expected in the academic community?
Iranian public libraries are different from European public libraries because, first of all, we are different from other countries in terms of organizational structure and the way public libraries are formed. We see decentralization in Europe and we see less centralized management in the form of the country's library institution in Iran. Public libraries in Europe have tried to adapt to technology, especially in terms of location. That is, libraries used to be a quiet place, but now libraries are being established in shopping malls. They set up public libraries in crowded places that people visit. Europeans have also created spaces inside libraries and made many computers available to the public so that people and teenagers can test different computer programs. They try to draw people to libraries with various programs. Libraries in shopping malls are very popular. They even help businesses, public libraries help job seekers find the job they are looking for. And another thing that European public libraries do is pay taxes. They help people figure out how to pay their taxes. Provide facilities for them. We see very few such activities in Iranian libraries.
Is the development process dependent on the scope of study in these countries or has the academic community taken on this responsibility?
The academic community has not taken on this responsibility. But there is cooperation between the academic community and public libraries, and this is not the responsibility of the academic community because academic activities are educational and research; Public library activities vary. However, librarians grow up in universities. It is not just universities. In principle, European public libraries have a great deal of freedom of action and have delegated their organizational responsibilities to local institutions; This means that each library can have different programs depending on each province or state, and these work with all local institutions, including universities. The university is one of the institutions with which public libraries cooperate, and in addition to any other institution that is needed, they can enter into direct negotiations and have various programs together. They have had many collaborations at the educational level, especially for education. Teachers and librarians have very specific and codified programs for their programs in schools, and they carry them out regularly, and it is also interesting that they evaluate them. What we do not do in Iran. They regularly evaluate and improve the programs they run, and the effectiveness of their libraries is significant in this regard.
What is the gap between public knowledge and their effects on the development process with the academic community?
In these countries, each institution performs its tasks, and in principle, the European Union outlines the main macro-development plans in general. That is, they set a number of long-term goals. Libraries are moving towards specific goals. The academic community is associated with these. In fact, comprehensive development is taking place in the European Union. All institutions All organizations work together and move in a comprehensive way, not one-dimensionally. The connection between these institutions and organizations is very strong and they do not have an island state and they act in harmony.
Development is something that is more intuitive in the context of theoretical sciences or basic sciences, and from this perspective, what is the place of Iran in the world? What results does the Iran-Europe scale show in this area?
Certainly, development plans have a theoretical part, and if we talk about Iran, the development plans that exist theoretically on paper in Iran are excellent in our institutions. What is written on paper is great. But the problem in our country is that we have problems in implementing programs, perhaps because our structures have not yet developed. Another point is political development. All development programs must have political support, and if they do not have the political support of governments, not much progress can be expected. In Iran, a lot of activities have been done from the theoretical aspects, and these programs are very good programs, but they do not have enough support, that is, from the political and economic aspects. Development plans must be supported politically and economically; if this does not happen, development will not take place. The workshops we had with librarians in 5 provinces of Iran because of this project The biggest problem they raised was the economic problem, they said that most libraries in Iran have budget problems and can not implement simple programs because these programs require money to implement. Training programs are free. We cannot rely too much on volunteering. Because the economic issues of public libraries cannot be ignored. That's why we don't see much development or it is very slow
What we have learned from comparing Iran and Europe is that a lot of work has been done in Iran in terms of library activities, although we are a long way from reaching the desired level. But the problem is that the activities are not reflected at all and the activities of the Iranian Public Library are not seen outside of Iran at all, which requires more media activities and cooperation. On the other hand, the situation will change if structural problems are resolved and sufficient political support is established and economic support is provided to Iran's public libraries. If we can convince the legislature and the higher authorities to support the programs that librarians are considering. I am sure that Iranian public libraries play a very important role in the development of the country. It is not a difficult task, we can make better use of the current situation and facilities that are currently in the country; Provided that we can support these activities and open the hands of libraries and librarians and have political and economic support for their activities. We can use the European experience very well and we will present these experiences in this conference. We can use these experiences in a localized way inside the country. The growth potential in Iran is high, but the experiences are not used enough or the existing obstacles slow down the development movement.
What is the perspective of the recent conference on the process of applying this type of development in the academic community and the general context of Iranian society, and how are these practical results going to manifest themselves?
The purpose of this conference and the purpose of this project is to increase the level of awareness of the Iranian community about the experiences of the European Union. The European Union supports this project. Our goal is to introduce these programs. We first tell librarians what programs are available in Europe, and then we do our own research on the localization of these programs. We will ask Iranian librarians how feasible these programs that are done in Europe are in Iran, and then we will publish the results of this research. In addition, we are cooperating with the public libraries of the country and we have held workshops with the cooperation of this institution and the directors of this institution will be present in our conference. We are going to have meetings with the directors of the institution and talk about how to implement these programs, how they will be localized and how they will be implemented in the country. We have had very good feedback from managers so far. But more work is needed, which we hope will be reflected in Iranian society. This conference will both increase awareness, ultimately lead to practical and operational activities at the library level, and when perspectives change, activities will certainly change and ultimately lead to development.
Tell us about the papers presented in this conference and which professors from which countries will attend this conference?
We have 7 foreign guests from France, Germany, Finland, India and the United States who will share their experience of public libraries. We have also received articles from Iran that include the experience of public libraries in different cities of Iran such as Tehran, Isfahan, Shiraz, Ahvaz and Mashhad, etc. We have also asked experts to share their experiences with public libraries at the conference; All these experiences are to be shared at the conference.