The National Library of Latvia: Book Exhibitions & Their Audiences


On 10-11 May 2018, the National Library of Latvia in Riga hosted an international seminar titled “Book Exhibitions and their Audiences”.

Representatives from 13 libraries and three museums, as well as museology theoreticians and artists, came together to share and discuss their experience in creating and managing visitor-centered book exhibitions, particularly focusing on challenges they have faced and solutions with which they have experimented.

The seminar achieved its goals of promoting collaboration among book museums and exhibitions in CENL libraries; fostering the development of new approaches in working with audiences by revising permanent works of book museums and library exhibitions; and sharing innovative practices and experiences. The seminar also worked to increase the knowledge within libraries on developing book exhibitions as a powerful tool for building responsive and continuous relationships with a wide range of target audiences.

The international seminar proved that the national libraries themselves, as well as independent book museums and galleries, have accumulated a remarkable reserve of experience and knowledge of audience-oriented work strategies, which can help in widening the range of our target audiences. The seminar proved to be a knowledge-intensive experience that has evolved into far-reaching cooperation and hopefully, long-term networking.

Presentations were made by:

  • Inga Surgunte, Head of the permanent exhibition Book in Latvia, National Library of Latvia
  • Stephanie Jacobs, Director of the German Museum of Books and Writing, German National Library
  • Bernhard Fetz, Director of the Literature Museum of the Austrian National Library
  • Christina Back, Exhibition, Coordinator of the Royal Danish Library
  • Tigran Zargaryan, Director of the National, Library of Armenia
  • Sanna Asikainen, Educator of the Museum of the Finnish Book Pukstaavi
  • Elīna Kalniņa, project coordinator of the permanent exhibition Book in Latvia, National Library of Latvia

Participant Comments

Vanessa Braekeveld

Head of the Education Department, Royal Library of Belgium

It was really a fantastic expereince, and I do hope to see everyone again in the near future!

Marion Wallace

Lead Curator Africa, Asian and African Studies, British Library

A wonderful job by the organizers and facilitator, and an inspiring forum for us to exchange views and ideas.

Stephanie Jacobs

Director of the German Museum of Books and Writing, German National Library

Thanks for the fantastic days, thanks for openness of mind – and soul, thanks for the trusting atmosphere, thanks for the hospitality!

Sanna Asikainen

Educator, Museum of the Finnish Book Pukstaavi

Huge thanks. It was really a great pleasure to get to know everyone in this unique way. I really enjoyed it all, the companionship, the discussions, the opening of problems and finding solutions together.