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    Ukraine Joins World Digital Library Building a Global Partnership WDL

    World Digital Library The World Digital Library is a non-profit project, initiated by the Library of Congress of the United States

    On June 21-23, 2010, the First Four of Ukraines Principal Libraries Joined the International Project Known as the World Digital Library

    The World Digital Library (WDL) (http://www.wdl.org) is a project in electronic information which makes available on the Internet, free of charge and in multilingual format, significant primary materials from countries and cultures around the world. The principal objectives of the WDL are to promote international and intercultural understanding, expand the volume and variety of cultural content on the Internet, provide resources for educators, scholars, and general audiences, and build capacity in partner institutions to narrow the digital divide within and between countries. This major project was established on April 21, 2009 and it promises to have important implications world-wide.

    On June 21-23, 2010, four principal libraries of Ukraine joined the World Digital Library at an international conference and gathering of library directors from around the world. The four Ukrainian libraries who were represented by their directors in Washington D.C. were National Vernadsky Library of Ukraine, National Stefanyk Library of the Academy of Sciences of Ukraine in Lviv, National Parliamentary Library of Ukraine, and Kyiv-Mohyla University Academic and Research Library. These libraries joined 85 other libraries from 54 countries as equal partners.

    Four Ukrainian library directors and Mrs. Marjorie Billington, wife of Library of Congress Librarian James Billington. Four Ukrainian library directors and Mrs. Marjorie Billington, wife of Library of Congress Librarian James Billington.

    The World Digital Library is a non-profit project, initiated by the Library of Congress of the United States, with the personal support of the director James Billington, in cooperation with institutions in various countries and UNESCO. The World Digital Librarys mission is to support and develop a better understanding among nations, with emphasis on multi-cultural understanding, expansion of knowledge throughout the world, diversification of access and free equal access to information to all countries for use by researchers, academics and the general public.

    At this beginning stage, the World Digital Library is collecting digitized materials from all participating countries. There are 444 entries from Europe, 325 from Latin America, 134 from Russia and 22 from Ukraine. Digitized materials include maps, photographs, books, scripts, journals and all meaningful materials which can be digitized. A search on the World Digital Library portal is user friendly and easily accessible. A unique feature of this data base is the multi-lingual possibilities in both visual and audio formats. Special programs search by geographic, chronological, publication and other classifications.

    During the meeting in Washington, new Bylaws were adopted which are aimed at global free equal access to the worlds information. Ukraines presence in this global network will depend on the participation and collaboration of Ukraines libraries, archives, and museums. The materials presented for inclusion will be the face of Ukraine to the world. That is why the four library directors who attended this international forum determined to establish the National Coordinating Committee for Presentation of Digitized Materials to the World Digital Library. This Committees mission will be to establish procedures, share information about the project among libraries and research centers, promote the project, and locate financial support for Ukraines participation in the project (digitization and technical compliance) from the Ukrainian government, sponsors, and foundations. A first meeting of the World Digital Library Coordinating Committee of Ukraine is planned for September 2010. The results of the gathering will be published and shared in order to encourage participation and support.

    On behalf of the first four participating libraries,
    Yaroshenko Tetiana Oleksandrivna
    Vice-president of IT and Library Director of National University of Kyiv-Mohyla Academy
    Executive Director of ELibUkr Electronic Library of Ukraine
    Member of the Presidium of the Association of Ukrainian Libraries
    yaroshenko@ukma.kiev.ua
    .: +380-44-425-6055

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