Alegre Eskaloni

Interview: Avgi Kalogianni | Photo: Antonis Vourexakis

We make plans not dreams!

Alegre Eskaloni, the dynamic Head of the Municipal Library of Paros tells us about the various library activities and discloses her immediate goals.

You have been the library Head since 2003. What has happened in these 13 years?
The creation and development of the collections, their processing and promotion, development of cooperation at local and Pan-Hellenic level with scientific agents and other libraries, enterprises and persons, events for the children (“Summer Campaign”), for adolescents (“Events for Adolescents”), seminars for various ages and interests, training courses, exhibitions, book presentations, speeches, music and astronomy evenings, the setting up of the Public Information Centre offering information and services at multiple levels, and many others! One should mention the contribution of Yiannis Georgoussis to the library since 2012.

Who supplies the books?
The Municipality of Paros finances exclusively the purchase of books at an annual basis. The follow up is related to the purely scientific work for which the librarians are trained. Continuous updating by authoritative sites and other electronic or printed sources, contact with publishing activities and reviews, loan statistics, being in touch with both internal and external events, contact with the public to get to know its needs and naturally donations by the public.

What can one do in the library, besides reading or borrowing a book?
The library serves as a reading-room, either with our books or the books of the users. The users have access to computers, printers, a scanner, a copying machine, Internet for their computers, table games, an inter-loaning service, etc.

In the recent years the library organized seminars on the use of computers and the social media. What groups were they addressed to and what was the response?
The programme was called “Swimming in the deep waters of the online sea” and was for adults. The first year it was implemented in six libraries in the Southern Aegean as a pilot programme. It was organised and coordinated by our library and carried out exclusively by volunteers. Later it was expanded to the nursing homes. In both cases the response was astonishing!

This year’s summer campaign for children and adolescents has been organized by the National Library. Which was your experience from the previous campaigns?
This year’s Summer Campaign is the fourth. In the first two years we were coordinators for the South Aegean Libraries- in my capacity as Pioneer Employee of the Future Library company, an urban non-profit company which started the difficult task of coordination and innovation of the country’s public and municipal libraries with the financial support of the Stavros Niarchos Foundation.

This year it is coordinated by the National Library of Greece. As Head of the Library, what plans do you have for the future?
I’m happy you asked about plans and not dreams!
I’ll try to digitalise the Closed Collection, with books on subjects about Paros and the Cyclades. I will streamline the premises so that we can hold events in its interior. My chief plan, however, is to further develop co operations which will benefit our library and strengthen our relations with the local society so that we can instill our vision -education at all levels- to many more of our fellow-citizens.

Summer 2016