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It’s much nicer to see him perform on a stage…

His official


There is a cultural magazine in Romania that does weekly articles about cultural-social related topics from a Romanian intellectuals’ perspective… This week I had a small contribution to their articles about Romanian libraries. I am still amazed by this.

While in college, I heard about Dilema magazine but having an adversity for the elitist way in which the culture was talked and acted about I was very hesitated to read it. I remember trying it once and, I cannot remember exact why, I did not liked it. I felt it was too cultural for my taste… A couple of years later I bought one magazine, and really like it and since then I am reading it regularly.

What changed? Did I changed? Most probably. Maybe the people writing there changed a little too. Maybe because of choosing a different tone it became more accessible…I don’t know.

All I know is that this week’s number of Dilema veche talks about the situation of Romanian libraries. For Romanian libraries is not much but it is a good start.

P.S. The online version will be available starting Monday.

I know Romania is not a country that gets a lot of publicity here in the States. I am not expecting people to be able to tell me something about my country. Today however I was taken by surprise by what a librarian from a small town in the heart of Illinois told me. I met him two days ago and we chat a lot about libraries, about how I ended up studying to become a librarian. I noticed he was very impressed with me being form Romania and when we went around he would introduced me first as a Romanian and the as a LIS student.

Today he told me that he felt very bad when we first met because he could not tell the name of a city in Romania. He said “Well, actually I knew Ploiesti because we bombed it hard in WWII.” I inquired about that and he gave details about what type of airplanes were used, that they had taken off from Italy because that was the closest base…He learned all of this in school.

I have no memory of a discussion about this attack in a history class. I learned about alliances, strategies, some big names in WWII but I have no memory learning about Ploiesti bombing.  Now I know. And I have a question: Did people in Ploiesti knew that their town was specifically targeted by the enemy because they had oil? Now it seems so obvious that they will go after the oil but was it that obvious back then? 

 It is strange because, as much as I want to and I am interested in topics related to this movie, I seem unable to take a step behind and look at the big picture…There is a tiny little picture that includes Romanian information society that I am hooked on. Trying to combine global perspective with local ones (think globally, act locally…) sounds great but it is so hard to do when your local one is different (as in ignorant, does not care about itself, does not believe that local is important, is convinced that things cannot change s.o.). 

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