Moscow libraries will soon complete the first phase of a major reform. By fall, five libraries will have been transformed into modern media centers and district clubs, to welcome those wishing to discuss not only literature but also politics.
The project started with five regular district libraries. The reform will involve changing the appearance of these spaces: Bars and heavy blinds, which create an oppressive atmosphere, will be removed from the windows; rooms will be rearranged so as to meet all reading requirements; new areas will be divided and designated for reading, recreation, conferences, lectures and displays. Organizers stress that people come to libraries not only to read, but also to communicate, listen to lectures, get advice, discuss their problems and work.
The reform aims not only to promote reading and improve the quality of reading, but also to turn libraries into community centers, Kupriyanov says. Where else can you get relevant information and discuss vital problems?
“You can’t issue an order to create a popular club, but you can create an environment for people to perceive a library as their own space. It is a great place to meet, discuss books, communicate and talk about what is happening in the country and around the world. Moscow has 480 district libraries, which is a very impressive number.