This year for the first time the Goethe-Institut, together with Bibliothek & Information International (BII) and the German-North American Resources Partnership (GNARP), offered a scholarship to those library colleagues who wish to take part in a professional stay at a library in the United States, Canada or Germany. We were very pleased to see that a good number of the applications submitted came from librarians in the US. In the end, we found so many of these applications interesting that one of the sponsors, BII, decided to offer a special stipend to one applicant who originally had been turned down.
The recipient of the 2011 GNARP Scholarship from Germany is Reinhard Feldman, head of the Historical Collections/Preservation and Conservation Department at the Münster State Library. Within the framework of his participation in the conference “Reestablishing the German Athens of North America Online: German-American Social and Cultural Life in Milwaukee”, he additionally wishes to exchange ideas with his colleagues on the theme of ”mass deacidification, ink corrosion and disaster preparedness“.
From the United States, Markus Wust, Digital Collections and Preservation Librarian of the North Carolina State University Libraries, will be traveling to Germany. In his application he emphasized the fact that: “Also, while libraries are increasingly facing questions about the relevance of libraries in a world where—thanks to the World Wide Web—free information seemingly lies at the fingertips of every user, libraries need to change their focus from merely providing access to information to the provision of durable access. This means that, unlike many commercial information providers, libraries need to focus on—and justify their continuing relevance by—finding sustainable ways for providing permanent access to our cultural and scientific heritage.”
In this context, Markus Wust finds the German contributions to Europeana and the Nestor Project particularly relevant, and his stipend will enable him to take part in a more intense dialogue on this with his colleagues in Germany. He will combine his professional stay with a visit to the “International Conference on Theory and Practice of Digital Libraries 2011” in Berlin.
The Goethe-Institut, Bibliothek & Information International, und GNARP are pleased to be able to award stipends to such engaged colleagues in this first round of the “GNARP Scholarship” and look forward to their reports on their experiences in this blog.