CARMEN SCOIPAN, Bucharest Metropolitan Library

Head Office Manager for Professional Training. Methodological

Trainer within the project “Cultural Agora @ Your Library”

The “Cultural Agora @ Your Library” project meant for me a new challenge and a maturing process, resulted in my concrete understanding of terms such as diversity, tolerance, acceptance. I realized that until I got involved in “Cultural Agora” I perceived these words as indeed carying some value, but their theoretical load was very high. Within the training sessions I met people from different ethnic groups, with cultures and life experiences that made me change my perspective in regard to these communities. The things you learn from books, movies or mass media may be correct, but they are retouched, processed, are somehow fictionalized; real life is often far from the stories and ideas that we have made!

The training in the digital stories technique (TOT) made me have a better understanding of myself and of those around me. However, this training has improved my intercultural communication skills and helped me in my professional and personal development process.

I was impressed by the fact that people coming from families with fewer opportunities, who did not have positive experiences, in the context of the course were able to create emotional movies, that touched a string in everyone’s heart. At the same time, I noticed their progress from “I’ll never be able to create a story or a movie!” up to the enthusiasm, cooperation and collaboration between the participants, the support and attention of one another and sharing success upon completion and watching the videos.

From the beginning, I’ve had the pleasure to work with true professionals whose passion and dedication inspires me every day. Next to them, I’ve learned what it means to be part of a strong team. The fact that such people have given us their trust every day, is an incentive to develop myself far and wide, from both professional and personal point of view. It’s a real privilege to be part of a guild who are constantly looking for new services to its users and which indeed has the capacity to improve the lives of people in Bucharest so that they come back after they have known professional librarians.

After all, what does it mean to be a participant in the project “Cultural Agora @ Your Library”? It means stories + emotions + experience + learning + people + places + traditions and cultures, namely DIVERSITY.

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