The first international conference of Armenian libraries was held at Holy Etchmiadzin from August 25-27, 2009.
Under the auspices of His Holiness Karekin II, the Supreme Patriarch and Catholicos of All Armenians and with the support of Archbishop Khajag Barsamian, Primate of the Diocese of the Armenian Church of America (Eastern), Rachel Goshgarian, Ph.D, Director of the Krikor and Clara Zohrab Information Center and Rev. Fr. Asoghik Karapetian, Head of Archives at Holy Etchmiadzin, organized an event that fostered dialogue and discussion about library organization and cataloguing as well as book preservation and digitization, among other relevant topics.
The conference was the first of many cultural programs to take place in Armenia as part of the 500th anniversary of the establishment of the Armenian printing press.
Below are excerpts from an interview with Rachel Goshgarian, conference co-organizer and director of the Krikor and Clara Zohrab Information Center. Taleen Babayan is Program Manager at the center, who also assisted with preparations for the conference.
Taleen Babayan: Why did you organize the conference?
Rachel Goshgarian: When I started as director of the Zohrab Center a little over two years ago, I benefited greatly from discussions with my colleagues who were heading similar libraries in the United States. Little by little, I realized that many of the heads of Armenian libraries and collections were not in contact with one another although I was sure we could all benefit greatly from conversations with one another. I started asking my colleagues if they thought a conference would be a worthwhile endeavor and everyone agreed that it would.
TB: What were the objectives of the conference?
RG: At the most basic level, the objective was to create better links between Armenian-oriented libraries in the Diaspora and in Armenia, and to create a forum in which we can discuss issues of importance to all of us. At the conference this first step was realized, and we began to discuss issues such as book preservation, digitization, the exchange of duplicate books and how to send books from the Diaspora to Armenia and from Armenia to the Diaspora. The conversation has just begun. Now we must ensure that our links remain strong and that all of these issues continue to be discussed in detail.
To read the whole interview, please click here: http://wp.me/PMtLq-2g