June, 22nd – arrival in Antwerp (direct flight from St. Petersburg to Brussels)
June, 23rd – program in Antwerp
A seminar will take place in the University of Antwerp. During the seminar Belgian colleagues will report about the development of research libraries in the country, about the orientations for rebranding of university libraries, about consortial activities for the creation of the union catalog and services ILL/EDD. The university library is member of the Flanders Heritage Library, a consortium of keepers of rare and valuable books. In conclusion there will be an exhange of ideas between the Antwerp consortium "Anet" and the Russian consortia.
During the seminar participants will visit the new library on the city campus of the University of Antwerp, opened in 2007 where some new concepts for the creation of the atmosphere of "library of the 21st century" are applied.
In the second half of the day the participants will visit the Hendrik Conscience Heritage Library in Antwerp.
This is the library of the Dutch literature, history of Antwerp, storage of Flemish cultural heritage. It is named after the 19th century Flemish writer, Hendrik Conscience. The library has been created in the 15th century, and the collection was constantly replenished. Today the collection is about 1 million volumes.
The library is situated in the building of the former monastery of the Jesuits and dates partly back to 18th century. The real pearl of this library is the Nottebohm room where parts of the collection of precious and rare books of art and science are presented, such as 2 Blaeu globes, the Egyptian office with Lepsius's books and busts of the nineteenth century.
Participants will not only see these rare objects, but will also get acquainted with the digitisation projects, including digital 3D - copies of these globes and a digital collection of newspapers of the World War I.
The library is the seat of the Flanders Heritage Library, a network organisation of 6 heritage libraries in Flanders of which you will be visiting no less than 4 during your stay in Belgium.
June, 24th – the program in Ghent
The participants will spend the second day of the satellite program in the University of Ghent. The library of the University is located in the Book Tower, which is 64 meters high and one of the famous towers of Ghent. The impressive modernist design is created by the Belgian architect Henry van de Velde. The construction of the library was begun before World War II. Nowadays, the tower is under reconstruction, and 3 million units of storage have been moved to a new subterranean storage complex nearby. The Book Tower is the center of all library activity in the University of Ghent. The new library of the humanities is located near the Book Tower in a renovated building of the 19th century.
The participants will be informed about the history and the present situation of the University of Ghent, (created in 1817) and its libraries, about the project of renovation of the Book Tower and the creation of the new underground book storage, about the participation of Ghent in the Google book program and the Flanders Heritage Library. The presentations will be followed by visits to the libraries, including the new library of the humanities with some rebranding elements for the "library of the 21st century".
But there will also be enough time left for a visit to the historical center of the city of Ghent.
June, 25th – the program in Bruges
Bruges is one of the most picturesque cities in Europe, its medieval shape has been preserved up to now, almost unchanged.
We will visit the Central Public Library of Bruges (Bibliotheek Biekorf, library ’'Biekorf"). It’s the central library of a network of 13 public libraries in Bruges’. However, 'Biekorf' is also an heritage library, member of the Flanders Heritage Library.
You will get information on public libraries in Flanders, their services and projects. The new library in the village of St. Andries will be documented (no visit). St. Andries is a good example of rebranding of public libraries. The unique collection of manuscripts will be presented together with the project of digitisation of rare and precious works in Open Access. And of course there will be a tour around the library.
Then – free time in Bruges.
June, 26th - the day off
June, 27th – departure to St. Petersburg (direct flight from Brussels).