Ekaterina Genieva

Picture of Ekaterina Genieva

Citizenship: Russia

Internet begins to devour us

- How the Internet, electronic media affect the role of libraries? The number of people coming to you?

- Of course, they became much smaller. They become, as they say in "remote users".

- What then is the function of libraries today?

- You see, if the library does not take seriously what is happening to them, and will take place, their role as a traditional library community, in my opinion, is quite sad. If they themselves perestrukturiruyut in certain entities that are able to respond to the needs of the time - for example, in the discussion platforms, in cultural centers, in a dialogical community, I think, their role will be different. And most importantly - the library will be saved.

- But how to regard this process as a whole: a positive or ..?

- How do you assess the fact that today we are talking on the phone? .. Before, people in my favorite XIX or more favorite XVIII centuries did not talk on the phone, and wrote wonderful letters, then they went to the post office for a long time, contemplating nature, then pondered about life, then even a nice conversation. The world was very different. But there was the phone, and then other means of communication. So what? How can the phone? Nothing. It`s a fact of life.

-Thanks To the Internet, we have access to such a wealth of information that was previously unavailable.

- You`re right, of course. We can for one minute to obtain an amount of information that is in the time of Charles Dickens Coleridge or received within six months, and, perhaps more. But, you see, it is quite another matter, what awaits us at the end of the boom etogoinformatsionnogo? And this, I think, a great question. Yes, it is convenient. To pay the money, and in a minute talking about London. And the money and not so much. But to achieve these changes the perception of the space of human life. It turns out to be compressed and thus yadroobraznym that I am not convinced that the human mind will be able to stand it.

- Meanwhile, many older people have not mastered the computer and the Internet.

- On the Internet, I remember my conversation with a man who had a huge influence on me. It was Dmitry Likhachev. He was very interested in this piece - the Internet. And so he came to us in St. Petersburg, when we discussed the philosophy of this strange structure for him, sat and listened - he was clearly interested. But in his eyes I saw fear a man who probably came to this issue with a global dimension. What is this system? In my mind the image of the Internet is associated with the image, which is created in Andrei Tarkovsky "Solaris". Although I do not think he understood that creates the image of the Internet.

- Ocean - it is still the image of Stanislaw Lem`s first ...

- Yes, of course, but for the majority of our people he is connected with the name of Tarkovsky. So, this is the ocean, which makes its own laws and impose their inhabitants terrestrial craft, regardless of their desires, and eats them by these laws. And the Internet - we created it, but it starts to eat us.

- Even so?!.

- I was scared or worrying that it leaves almost no possibility for man to be alone, does not give the possibility of being alone. Of course, if you turn down the screen - for God`s sake! But it`s a narcotic effect. Well, if I need to know the temperature outside - I you look at the thermometer outside the window. And my daughter - just get into the Internet. And my staff will not look any thermometer or the weather outside the window. They quickly poshurshat keyboard and instantly know the temperature around the globe.

- But then who is now walking in the library?

- In our run a wide variety of characters.

- And a lot of them among young people?

- I would say average. It might be more. Many, when they go to a well-defined purpose. To learn foreign languages, to meet with the writer, especially with an interesting, young, writing in French, English, and did not understand the languages ??...

- And here it is in the library, as such, for the book?

- And here they have computers.

- Is all that comes out is now published in book form, immediately falls into the Internet?

- Of course not. Otherwise, I think the library would already be empty. And then all the same and now there are still people who want to work with the live page. Especially in the provinces, because this technique is booming there not reached. He will come, but later. And because the information - is valuable in itself, it is the reality of it is different.

- Once the "foreigner" was a kind of intellectual center of free ...

- I think it was and remained. The combination of academic and public libraries with five million fund and an amount of foreign centers, which operate at a library in the common cultural space - is evidence and tolerance, and freethinking, ivpolne progressive thought that has always distinguished our library.

- And where libraries are funded?

- Primarily through the Ministry of Culture.

- And in the West?

- It is not comparable with our funding.

- It is a state or a sponsorship?

- Mainly state. But even the Library of Congress attracts sponsorship structure, and she still earns. I got a lesson from Dr. Billington - Director of the Library of Congress in the late 80s. When I was at his invitation in Washington, then I asked, though in polite society do not, show me the library budget. Due to our many years of friendship he showed me his. Then I realized that a little in this budget, but noted that even this giant receiving huge amounts of money from the US Congress, two thirds received from somewhere else. It was a "fundraising" - the word for me when absolutely foreign. Now I know the term well. In Russian, such a short word to define attract extrabudgetary funding is not. Finally, in the West there is a structure, which includes the very rich, they make their donations to the development funds, etc. on the assent of the heart and mind. And we was. But, alas, after a 17-year sadly ended. I`ve just returned from Ireland. There`s one of the top functionaries took me to his college, which also studied and James Joyce. And he told how they built a happy one audience, then the other ... You know, they feel their obligations to the Alma Mater. God grant that we have it back! While it is not.