Phone: (203) 432-1861
Fax: (203) 432-7231
Mailing Address :
Yale University Library
P.O. Box 208240
130 Wall Street
New Haven, CT 06520-8240
SEEC Library Fellowships at Yale allow librarians from East European countries to spend several months in the United States and learn about American librarianship within the setting of a major American research university. The Fellows see daily demonstrations of how modern academic libraries operate, and receive hands-on experience in acquisitions and cataloging. Fellows have an opportunity to understand American librarianship more broadly through instruction at Yale and training visits to other institutions.
The Training Program
The Fellows are based in the Reading Room of the Slavic and East European Collections (SEEC) working with Curator Tatjana Lorkovic and her staff of three library professionals. The faculty Chair and staff of the Council on Russian and East European Studies at the Yale Center for International and Area Studies assist with scholarly networking and information exchange in the Slavic and East European field in general. Since different members of the Yale community make regular use of the Collection, the Fellows receive ample opportunity to meet with faculty, students and visiting scholars involved in studying Russia, Eastern and Central Europe and the former Soviet Union.
The Fellows are trained in the Library of Congress Machine Readable Cataloguing (MARC) system which is a world standard for catalogs of all sorts among computerized library facilities. Additionally, the Fellows are encouraged to attend Teaching Seminars organized each term to update library staff on the latest in methodology and information technology. There are seven curators of international collections with whom the Fellows meet to share information, including the African, East Asian, Judaica, Latin American, Near Eastern, and Southeast Asian Collections in addition to the SEEC. The Fellows are introduced to scholars well beyond the library staff in order to understand the roles of the Yale Library and the SEEC within the University community. They are introduced to the faculty of the academic departments of relevance to their individual backgrounds, such as Slavic Languages and Literatures and Russian Language. The Council on Russian and East European Studies also plays a primary role in introducing them to relevant faculty members since the Council consists of an interdisciplinary group of faculty members whose scholarly work focuses on Russian or East European Studies.
Additional Training Opportunities
The Fellows make three scheduled trips to other libraries, including the Library of Congress, the Harvard and Columbia University libraries and the New York Public Library. At the Library of Congress the Fellows usually spend a full five days learning about the inner workings of the national library of the United States. At Harvard the Fellows spend three days training with academic librarians at another of the great research institutions in the U.S. The Fellows also spend two days at the New York Public Library learning about the art of public librarianship in the U.S., and during the same trip will have the opportunity to visit the Columbia University Library. All of these experiences make it possible for the Fellows to establish new contacts and learn different methods of librarianship that they will then be able to take home and share with others. Furthermore, while in the U.S., Fellows are given travel stipends to attend a professional conference outside New Haven where they will have the opportunity to mix with other members of their profession, experience an international conference in a U.S. setting, and further expand their networking system.
Toward the end of each Fellow's term, the Curator and her staff discuss in detail strategies that can be used for successful transmission of information, making sure that each Fellow understands and can apply the necessary skills, taking into account the specific elements of the individual's home institution and administration. Upon returning home, the Fellows will be prepared to give professional lectures to colleagues, sharing with them the educational aspects of the experience. They also are encouraged to attend national and regional conferences to more fully establish a network among their colleagues. It has been our experience with past interns that colleagues within their home institutions frequently ask the returnees for information and assistance, and the professional networks the interns established during their stay in the U.S. proved valuable in responding effectively.
Conclusion of the Program
Experience has shown that the training program developed by Ms. Lorkovic produces exceptional results. She has visited four of the former interns at their home institutions and has witnessed the variety and quality of work undertaken since their return. One former intern from the Slavonic Library in Prague, Milusa Bubenikova, gave a talk about her experience entitled "Zprava o studijnim pobytu v Yalske univerzitni knihovne, New Haven, Connecticut, USA, v dobe od 21. 2. do 20. 5. 1994" which was reported in the Informacni bulletin Narodni knihovny v Praze [No.16/17 (1994) p.21, 24]. While at Yale, Munevera Zeco, the intern from the National and University Library in Sarajevo, published an article in The Library Quarterly entitled "The National and University Library of Bosnia and Herzegovina during the Current War" [v.66:no.3 (July 1996) pp.294-301]. Each of the former interns has been asked to give lectures to colleagues upon returning, representing just one of the many ways the training program at the Yale University Library has a multiplicative effect on library professionals in their respective countries.