National Library of Latvia e-services rated an outstanding example internationally;
visitor numbers increased steeply.
An extraordinary meeting of the Executive Committee of the European Bureau of Library Information and Documentation Associations (EBLIDA) was held online at the end of March this year. Its purpose was to discuss the state and experiences of libraries in the context of the Covid-19 pandemic, current operating models and services, including innovations, and to explore options in international solutions for a gradual return to normal life.
Subsequently, EBLIDA produced a report summarising the experience of library associations and libraries in 17 European countries, including Latvia, in the face of the Covid-19 crisis. Complimenting that the National Library of Latvia (NLL) and its package of e-services were judged an excellent example in this international document.
Like other European and world libraries, the NLL re-directed the provision of services to the digital environment from the beginning of the state of emergency. However, it is particularly significant that, in addition to the usual range of digital services (databases, catalogues, audio and video recordings), an agreement was reached with the Copyright and Communication Consulting Agency/Latvian Authors Association (AKKA/LAA) to make the Latvian National Digital Library (LNDL) collection’s Periodika.lv periodical collection and Book Portal freely accessible outside now-closed libraries. Such a turning-point is most directly in line with the role of the library as a securer of democracy in society – to provide comprehensive access to information and knowledge for every individual, regardless of their social status, technological or financial resources, or other circumstances. It should be added that the agreement is underpinned by the first-rate cooperation between the NLL and Latvia’s Ministry of Culture.
It is now known that both LNDL collections will continue to be freely accessible until the services provided by the NLL and Latvian public libraries (including access) are available to a limited extent due to various Covid-19 restrictions. This opportunity has been greatly appreciated by students, teachers, researchers, journalists and academics.
A statistical overview of key indicators on usage rates of the periodical and book collections, as well as the National Encyclopaedia for the period from 12 March to 31 May 2020 (Covid-19-emergency period), compared with those from 12 March to 31 May 2019, is attached.
The statistics were generated using Google Analytics.
Information prepared by:
Head of Public Relations
National Library of Latvia
Phone: +371 26472501