Today’s post comes to us from Magda Gomułka, our country coordinator in Poland. Magda is a great friend to the ILN and has been with us as a volunteer since the very first call for help went out soon after we launched the program.
I am a librarian in the Silesian Library in Katowice and have been since 2011. The place where I had started was the Acquisitions and Cataloguing Department, basically in a Legal Deposit Section. It is the first step of the books way into a library because all books, newspapers and special collections are given individual accession numbers which distinguish items from various documents. It is worth noting that the Legal Deposit Section works on the basis of a Decree from the Minister of Culture and Arts. Working there I had learnt a lot about the book market and an acquisition system.
How does my work look now? My new office, the Advisory and Training Department, has very different tasks than previously. Officially our main goal is providing help and exercising substantive supervision over activities of the network of the public libraries in the Silesian Voivodeship. I know it sounds very strict. But really, truly we try to help and advise librarians in their work.
Sometimes it could be an area of acquisitions, cataloguing, management, library automation, reporting and statistics, especially in January and February – the months of library statistics. Promotion of reading is a frequent topic in vocational training, which is organized for librarians by us just as other topics of professional development. A huge challenge is initiation and coordination of a library project. It often involves reading, however my department had started to work on the “Performance Analysis for Polish Libraries”. It’s the Polish Librarians Association’s initiative which has been implemented since 2001 by the Standardization Group for Polish Research Libraries. In my opinion it is very interesting due to the possibility of comparing libraries in the same criteria.
Many people say that working in a library is boring and has no perspective to develop a career. Not always. I am sure it will be interesting and rewarding for the future.
The photos are from winter Katowice.