Today we presented a poster at the Concordia Library Research Forum - "The importance of mother tongue and the rebirth of a community library". The poster describes the project of the complete reorganization of the Serbian community library in Montreal. It explains how - from an almost forgotten and outdated small collection of books lingering in a church attic - a new library is taking shape with no budget and no staff, but with passionate volunteers. Four of the volunteers are current or recently graduated students from the McGill School of Information Studies.
Why does this topic matter?
There are many institutions/community centers that lack financial resources for their projects. With a low or inexistent budget, but with knowledgeable, committed, innovative, and enthusiastic volunteers little miracles can happen. This project consists of the weeding of an outdated collection; collection development with no budget; selection of an open-source Integrated Library System to catalogue library materials; library promotion and activities. The library’s mission is to preserve the Serbian language and culture, by offering access to books in Serbian language. There is a connection between the mother tongue and a people's cultural heritage. In an environment where the mother tongue assumes a marginal role, cultural heritage is likewise threatened.