submitted by KCA Admin on 28.06.2011
On Friday, 25 June, municipal councillor Viron Protopsaltis, representing the Kytherian Initiative reform group, placed before the municipal council a proposal for the immediate functioning of the Municipal Library in Kontolianika and its administration by a team of dedicated volunteers. The proposal is backed by other interested organisations including the Kythera Cultural Association, the PTA and the Book Club.
We believe that this proposal represents a practical, effective and above all immediate solution which calls for neither financing nor manpower from the municipality, but which on the contrary relieves it of a heavy responsibility. We would like to believe that the municipality will embrace this proposal, responding positively and above all expeditiously.
Press & Publicity Officer,
PROPOSAL FOR THE VOLUNTARY ADMINISTRATION OF THE KYTHERA MUNICIPAL LIBRARY
We are all aware that the municipality faces enormous problems both financial and organisational. However, the magnitude of these problems should not result in all cultural activities grinding to a halt.
The municipal library building in Kondolianika has been ready for occupation for almost a year, while the necessary shelving and furniture is also in place thanks to the generosity of American Kytherians. It is of course clear that in view of the current financial crisis, the hiring of staff and the normal functioning of the library are not feasible.
Nevertheless, we believe the opening and operation of the municipal library to be absolutely essential for both cultural and educational reasons, above all in view of the definitive closure of the Children’s Library in Leivadi.
The immediate solution to this dilemma, as of so many others, can be found in volunteer action. Kytherian Initiative, in collaboration with the Kythera Cultural Association, the PTA, the Book Club and other associations, wishes to place before the municipal council a formal proposal for the organisation, administration and manning of the library on a voluntary basis, always of course on behalf of the municipality and under its control.
A crucial element of this proposal is the enthusiastic collaboration of Mary Kalligerou, who was for years director of the Children’s Library and has more hands-on experience of libraries than anybody else on the island. Equally important is the likelihood of having the entire holdings of the Children’s Library, including some 7,500 books, transferred to the Municipal Library.
We therefore propose the immediate creation of a Voluntary Committee for the Administration of the Municipal Library, consisting of active volunteers under the chairmanship of a municipal councillor. Such a committee, which could be assembled in a matter of days, could undertake the following tasks:
• Design and arrange interior;
• Classify books and place on shelves according to the Dewey Decimal System;
• Begin cataloguing the holdings;
• Open the library to the public at regular hours at least twice each week;
• Maintain and clean the building;
• Arrange cultural events in collaboration with interested parties and organisations.
Thanks to the personal contacts of several volunteers with cultural organisations and publishers, as well as with Kytherians of the diaspora and friends of Kythera, it will be possible to enrich the library holdings with new and useful books at no cost. Finally, it should also be possible to make available for sale the publications of the municipality and of the Kytherian Studies Association.
Teacher, journalist, poet and author, Sydney NSW Australia
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