As part of my Masters of Library Science, I'm doing some research (along with a Romanian professor of mine) at the National Children's Library.
A few weeks ago, I went to meet with the assistant director (who speaks English very well), and she showed me around their lovely library. In addition to the research I'm doing (which I'll talk about more below), we're both hoping to involve me in some English-speaking activities at the library this fall. So far, we're thinking about me being part of an English-language debate activity for teenagers, and maybe even doing an English-language storytime for Preschoolers. I'm very excited about the prospect of both!
A few years ago, they had the library renovated, and had a local artist paint this lovely mural. I don't recognize many of the storybook characters, but I spotted Pippi Longstockings!
I also briefly met the assistant director of the National Library, who was also incredibly kind and very talented. These women are doing the amazing work of spreading literacy and knowledge in Moldova, and it is hard to explain how much I admire them. On my way out of the National Library, I noticed the awesome book relief carvings on the doors:
As for the research I'm doing: I'm trying to gather statistical data about the Children's Library from 1990 to 2015, looking at numbers of patrons, book loans, visits, the size of the collection, language of the collection, and more. I've started some of this research by combing yearly reports put out by the library, some of which have statistical data in them. Unfortunately, they're all in Romanian! So I've been doing a lot of copying and pasting into Google Translate, and then a lot of scratching my head when the translation comes out gobbledygook. It's been slow going but I've gotten better at it, and the limited Romanian I've already learned has helped a little. Yay for technology!
And speaking of technology (but not speaking of libraries), we've been really grateful for google hangouts, whatsapp, and facebook messenger, which have all allowed us to contact our family, friends and loved ones while we've been here. It doesn't matter how many times I punch in my mother's number on google hangouts and hear her phone ring 5,000+ miles away in Utah, it always feels miraculous to me.
Thanks, family, for putting up with the 7-9 hour time difference and for calling and messaging at all kinds of hours of the day and night. We love you and miss you all!