From March 28 through April 2, Turkey’s 58th National Library Week was celebrated around the country, highlighting libraries’ contributions to society and encouraging library usage. This year’s theme was “Truth and Libraries,” chosen to focus attention on libraries’ ability to help individuals locate, evaluate and use information effectively in today’s “post-truth” environment.Here in Ankara, the Bilkent University Library celebrated Library Week with a series of activities in cooperation with the Turkish Librarians’ Association, the Association of University and Research Librarians, the Association of School Librarians and the Goethe Institut.
To open the week, International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions president Barbara Lison gave a talk at the Goethe Institut in downtown Ankara on Monday, March 28. The following day, the Bilkent Library hosted a webinar with Eray Özer of the Özgür Mumcu and Eray Özer “Yeni Haller” podcast. The session highlighted new information services’ role in sharing information, touching on topics such as research methodology and audience engagement in the digital era.
“Bring Your Book, Let’s Read Together” took place March 30 on the lawn between the Main Campus Library and the Rectorate building. By good fortune the noon hour was sunny that day, ensuring that many Bilkenters would turn up for the communal book-reading session. As a bonus, the Bilkent Library’s LibBear mascot was on hand to greet everyone.
On March 31, in conjunction with the Bilkent Library’s international librarian exchange program, a webinar by Dr. Frank Seeliger, library director at the Technical University of Applied Sciences Wildau (Germany) was hosted at the Bilkent Library Art Gallery. Dr. Seeliger’s topic was “Digitization and Libraries: The Impact of the COVID Pandemic and Lessons Learned”; highlights of the talk included his description of the Wildau library’s use of robots and virtual reality meetings.
In keeping with the “Truth and Libraries” theme, a session titled “Post-Truth: A New Era of Information Literacy” was presented on April 1 by Müge Yılmaz, a Bilkent University reference librarian. The session explored the way in which information literacy and library services can be leveraged as effective tools to empower library users in the post-truth era. Then, the Library Week Evaluation Meeting, moderated by Dr. Ebru Kaya, director of the Bilkent University Library, was held at the Goethe Institut, with Ali Fuat Kartal, president of the Turkish Librarians’ Association, and Dr. Ahmet Terkivatan of the Goethe Institut Ankara as leading participants in the discussion. A concert featuring singer and bağlama player Petra Nachtmanova, also held at the Goethe Institut, concluded this year’s Library Week events.