On January 6-7, 2020, NCL Director-GeneralShu-hsien Tseng visited several important libraries and museums in Israel. Shelearned about different approaches to running operations and shared herexperiences from Taiwan.
On January 6, Director-General Tseng visitedthe Beit Ariela Public Library in Tel Aviv. This library was established in 1886.Renovations on the facility began in 2015 and should be completed this year.The aim is to create more public meeting places and workshop spaces so as toget more people to visit the library. Director Miriam Posner personallyreceived NCL Director-General Tseng and showed her the library’s performanceachievements in automation, its consortium purchasing model for e-books, andgoals in space improvement. Then a tour was given of difference service spacein the library. NCL Director-General Tseng also shared with them readingpromotion efforts in Taiwan.
The next day, NCL Director-General Tseng visitedthe National Library of Israel. Director General Oren Weinberg first spokeabout the history and orientation of the National Library of Israel. Previouslyit was known as the Jewish National and University Library. Established in 1892in Jerusalem, it primarily collects knowledge assets on Jews and representativeworks from different eras, as well as published books within the Jewishculture. Director General Weinberg also discussed plans for a new facility thatshould be completed in 2022. It will be 11 stories high, with an exterior thatlooks like an open book. The interior will boast more open and independentlocations and spaces for patrons, while being sustainable and environmentallyfriendly. In addition to a tour of the facilities and services, the head ofcollections also showed NCL Director-General Tseng rare and valuable ancientbooks in their collection.
The last stop was at Yad Vashem, the WorldHolocaust Remembrance Center. Yad Vashem is located on Mount Herzl inJerusalem. It is the largest official holocaust remembrance center by Israel.Its purpose is to remember the more than 6 million Jews murdered by the Nazis.The Center’s library collects published information about the Holocaust and hasthe world’s most complete collection in this regard with over 170,000 volumesin more than 60 languages. The collection is available to the public andrepresents how mankind can face dark events in its history. Director of theLibraries Lital Beer gave an overview of Yad Vashem’s history, and conferences,workshops, and exhibitions held. A tour was given explaining the symbolism ofYad Vashem’s architecture and the unique lighting in the exhibition that goesfrom light to dark and back to light again. It gives an overview of the historyfrom different periods and regions, allowing observers to see and think what itwould have felt like to be persecuted like that.