15th October 2021

CENL: Hidden Stories and Covid-19 grant grantees announced

Last year, National libraries partially re-opened their doors through the summer to a different world. Covid-19 and lockdowns have had a huge impact on the financial stability of many national libraries and created many new challenges in how we welcome our readers and make our collections available digitally. In addition, the killing of George Floyd and the Black Lives Matter movement have challenged to the ways in which our institutions have been collecting, researching and telling stories.

To support its members in their answers to this new landscape, the CENL Executive Committee launched two new funds in the Summer 2020: the Covid-19 Support Fund and the Hidden Stories Fund.

Unfortunately Covid-19 is still part of our lives and creating additional costs and challenges for national libraries, so the CENL Executive Committee decided to offer two more Covid-19 grants of €2,500 in 2021 and to offer two more Hidden Stories grants with an increased amount of €5,000 per grant.

We are delighted to announce that the following applications were successful:

  • Covid-19 grant for the National Library of Malta: A digital presentation and accompanying info panels highlighting the rich collections and archival groups in the National Library of Malta’s trust, which will travel across the national and public libraries’ network as well as to book festivals and fairs.
  • Covid-19 grant for the National Library of Moldova: Improving digital technology equipment for the Center for Continuing Vocational Training in Library and Information Sciences within the National Library. The equipment will be used to record, process and promote training activities for librarians at national and international level (with English subtitles).
  • Hidden Stories grant for the National Library of North Macedonia: Enriching the Library with LGBTQ+ publications – Conducting research on the extent to which LGBTQ+ publications are present in the collection and what publications are needed, as resources on queer topics have not previously been acquired in an organised manner, leaving a gap in available literature.
  • Hidden Stories grant for the National Library of Serbia: A project to record and preserve women’s experiences of the pandemic. Collection Days where women are invited to share stories of their lives during pandemic, especially those in the front lines. A series of lectures from academia, culture and media will accompany these Collection Days.

Reports from each project will be available on the CENL website after completion.

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