I am a public relations and communication specialist, and chief methodologist-analyst. I work at the Vilnius County Adomas Mickevičius Public Library. My work relates to library research. I also represent the library in national and international projects in the field of culture, both as a communication specialist and as a coordinator. I help to organise social working campaigns and participate in non-formal education activities. I am interested in culture, theatre, social initiatives and events, and cultural projects.
I found out about the EPALE platform by at a conference organised by the Education Exchanges Support Foundation, during which the need and impact of non-formal adult education in Lithuania was discussed (2018). The EPALE platform was discussed as part of the presentation. After the conference I read a report on a virtual learning environment for librarians and found the information published on the EPALE platform very interesting, so I decided to sign up. EPALE introduced me to the discoveries and impressions of different cultural institutions and training centres following several events. I have learned about the experiences of other institutions in various project activities and shared the experience of the Vilnius County Adomas Mickevičius Public Library in the field of adult education.
Participation in various national and international projects gives the library the opportunity to reach a wider audience of learners, and to discover and develop new methods of non-formal adult, child and youth education.
Currently, Vilnius County Adomas Mickevičius Public Library is coordinating the Erasmus + project - “Cultural Heritage for the Future: Discover, Share and Learn”. Together with partners from Sweden, Denmark, Estonia and Slovenia, we aim to get to know national and foreign cultural heritage, to retell and share stories that combine different fields of culture and lifelong learning. The partnership between different countries has resulted in 3 academic pieces that were developed and refined during the project: a study “Libraries for Communities”, an ethnography website “The HoneyComb” and the guidelines “8 Steps to Unfold Followship and Onboarding for Community Engagement in Cultural Heritage” Together with the project partners, we regularly share our experience and practical examples of working with ethnographic information in libraries. During the project, international partner meetings have already taken place in Estonia, Sweden and Lithuania, as well as training events in Slovenia and Denmark.
Following the announcement of the lockdown in Lithuania, other equally important international project activities were cancelled including the final meeting of the partners, international trainings, and an international conference. The team of Vilnius County Adomas Mickevičius Public Library had to evaluate and decide which events could be moved and organised online, and which had to be postponed until further notice.
We stayed in contact with library partners abroad remotely. We used the platform “Microsoft Teams” for video meetings and discussions. This allowed us to quickly inform the partners about changes to the project activities, to plan further work, and to discuss important issues of project administration, management and communication. Together with our partners, we assessed the importance of the active involvement of the project team, which could continue to be organised remotely using content sharing platforms, e-mail and social networks.
After the easing of the lockdown restrictions in Lithuania, colleagues from neighbouring countries were able to travel to Lithuania. We organised an international meeting of the project partners at Vilnius County Adomas Mickevičius Public Library (in compliance with all necessary Covid-safe requirements). Estonian colleagues attended the meeting in person, while other partners from Denmark and Slovenia joined virtually.
We are convinced that in order to ensure a good partnership and to maintain international relations, it is necessary to constantly plan activities, maintain constant communication, and listen to the ideas and needs of colleagues.
The importance of the time dedicated by the participants who attended the meeting was a particular point of discussion. During a semi-virtual meeting, it is necessary to ensure that all joint activities take place at an agreed precise time (while longer discussions as well as discussions of non-directly related issues can take place during physical meetings), and that there are breaks between activities and that all partners clearly know the purpose of each activity. During this and other remote meetings, we seek to make the most effective use of available communication opportunities, respect our colleagues’ and our own time, and ensure that as many expectations of the library employees and partners working in foreign libraries are met as possible.