Changes in the Reading Tradition Revealed in Librarians’ Life Narratives
Keywords: librarians, life narratives, reading, professional groups
AbstractThis article analyses librarians’ life narratives about the importance of reading in their professional and personal lives during the Soviet period and the years of independence. Forms of popularization of reading and reading traditions that have changed in the course of time are discussed as well. The narratives show that librarians who worked during Soviet times popularized reading by organising various events: they brought books to travelling libraries, they personally took publications to people’s houses and various institutions. In the years of independence, librarians are more involved in various projects and non-traditional activities, and popularize their activity by using different modern technologies. The children’s reduced need for reading that nowadays is frequently replaced by information technologies was also observed in the narratives. Librarians of two age groups named reading as one of the most important things in their lives. The influence of children’s libraries and parents on the formation of the reading hobby was revealed. Most of the respondents used to read or still read to their children and grandchildren, which shows that attempts are made to maintain the tradition of reading in librarians’ families.