Acting director of the Serbian National Library Dejan Ristic and director of the National Library of South Africa John Tsebe have signed in Belgrade the memorandum of understanding.
This is the first such document verified by Ristic and Tsebe, who is also the president of the Conference of Directors of National Libraries. After the signing of the memorandum, Tsebe has said that the connection between the media and modern libraries is very important, because the media are spreading the information, and then it is kept in libraries forever. He has also added that libraries change people’s lives, since in them the people read, become more critical, understand better, do not take things for granted, and it all contributes to better quality of life. During his stay in Serbia, the world’s leading librarian will visit the Belgrade City Library, library in Sabac and the Yugoslav Archives.
Dejan Ristic has stated it is a great pleasure to host the “best of the best”, having in mind the fact that his advice will immensely help all librarians in Serbia, because we still have a relatively small number of people using Internet and new technologies. Ristic has added that the quality of library services is very important for the Serbian National Library, especially in the year when it marks its 180th anniversary. According to him, this cooperation is of great significance for the National Library, because signing the referendum with South Africa open a new avenue of cooperation with the African continent and much better communication with the Serbian Diaspora there, as there are more than 100 thousand of them who have the need for the cultural programs in their mother tongue.
Serbian Minister of Culture Bratislav Petkovic has also talked with John Tsebe, discussing the care of the national library. The minister has said that the guest has listened with great understanding about the problems of the Serbian National Library, so that he could represent its interests in the international forums.
The Serbian National Library was established in 1832, and is the oldest cultural institution in the country. After 2000, the library has made significant steps in opening for the public, so the center for the international cooperation has gained in importance, and many new projects will be initiated. One of them is the founding of the Serbian Virtual Library center, to connect the electronic catalogues of the libraries in Serbia into a unified joint database.