Ambassador John Tefft Opens Newly-Renovated American Library Expansion of Kyiv-Mohyla Academy Library System
U.S. Ambassador John F. Tefft participated in a ribbon cutting ceremony to mark the re-opening of the newly-renovated American Library at Kyiv-Mohyla Academy in Kyiv on February 18, 2010. The ceremony was hosted by Kyiv-Mohyla Academy President Kvit.
The American Library, established over ten years ago, strives to provide current and reliable information on U.S. government, history, culture, society, and values, the educational system, and the economy. The library offers readers up-to-date English language resources, free Internet access, and fun events like Friday night film showings. Its holdings include more than 10,000 items, a multi-media collection, and various internet services including access to more than fifty thousand electronic publications. The American Library is open to the public and is a resource for all visitors, including the public at large. It currently boasts more than 4,500 members. The library is also available virtually via its web site.
The American Library is named in memory of Victor Kytasky, who dedicated himself to the development and growth of the National University of Kyiv-Mohyla Academy and was instrumental in developing the American Library. Mr. Kytasty moved to Ukraine from the United States and worked in various governmental and academic positions, among them as senior consultant to the Economics Education and Research Consortium’s M.A. Program in Economics and faculty member of the Department of Philology at Kyiv-Mohyla Academy. He received an honorary doctorate from the university in 1998. On September 22, 2000, Victor Kytasty passed away suddenly and unexpectedly of heart attack.
The American Library’s renovation at the National University of Kyiv Mohyla Academy was financed through a grant from the Embassy of the United States in Ukraine. The American Library is one seven more libraries which form the Kyiv Mohyla Library network, which includes the Omelan and Tetiana Antonovych Library, the Research Library, the Philology Library, the Library of the School of Public Health, the Library of Pre-University Studies, the Omelan Pritsak Library and Archives of Oriental Studies and the upcoming Library of Fine Arts.
The Kyiv Mohyla Library collection includes over 650 thousand printed books, over 50 thousand electronic titles, 85 donated archival collections and over 50 private printed books collections, bearing the names of their individual donors. The Library hosts approximately 1,850 visitors daily. It serves primarily the members of the university, the University allows all visitors to use the collections.
Kyiv Mohyla Library is acknowledged as the country’s leader in library reforms, introducing contemporary library management systems and the “novel” principle of information-sharing that is inclusive in contrast to the traditional Soviet orientation of information-guarding. With the leadership of library director and university vice-president Tetiana Yaroshenko, university librarians participate in international conferences and lead continuous training seminars and conferences for all the universities of Ukraine.
In addition to the university libraries, Kyiv Mohyla Academy initiated the nation-wide Electronic Library of Ukraine project (ELibUkr), which includes infrastructure and access to many of the world’s academic data bases for Ukraine’s universities – a project which hopefully the government of Ukraine will finance for the good of the country, as governments of other countries do. Currently the E-Library project established the technical and management infrastructure and services Kyiv-Mohyla Academy, the national universities of Kharkiv, Chernivtsi, Volyn, Donetsk, Sumy and the Sumy National Academy of Banking. The E-Library consortium of universities is expanding and all universities are welcomed to join.
Without libraries there is no past and there is no future. Libraries are the heart of education and research. Great nations support and finance their libraries because they understand their indispensable role and consequence in nation-building.
In Ukraine, where libraries, archives and documents were destroyed throughout its history, the need to build, preserve, maintain, expand and innovate libraries is fundamental to safeguarding national identity, and the nation’s intellectual and spiritual growth.
Kyiv Mohyla Foundation of America (KMFA) is a non-profit, non-governmental organization established to support and assist the National University of Kyiv Mohyla Academy to reach excellence in education and research, to help students and faculty achieve personal and intellectual growth and to contribute to Ukraine’s democratic reform through education with a focus on the rule of law, sustained economic growth and academic collaboration with business and civic institutions within the global community of nations.