The phrase “Building community” had a negative connotation for me before starting the Master program at GSLIS. Even though I had always been interested in the ways people communicate, share and develop together I could not identify active communities with which I intersected during growing up. In school or in my neighborhood the personal networks were as close as I got to being part of a community. For a long time I thought that it was a personal inability that prevented me from becoming a part of the bigger networks that, for me resembled the idea of community. During my research I discovered, though, that Romanian communities and their ability to develop were seriously affected by the long Communist regime and their take on social structure. Communist communities were social networks with mercantile interests and people’s social status was the one deciding their ability to fit into the “community”.

Nowadays Romanian society feels the need to learn about building its communities but so far the methods used have been either European recipes or the same methods used during Communism. People seem to have lost interest in being part of a community altogether(Just take a look at the local elections…).

While studying here I discovered how important investing in a community can be, how to try do it better…and I want to take this home with, me to put it to good use. Sometimes I see ways of doing just that. However I often see and hear about same old networks and I fear them. Librarians that I am trying to convince to open up the programs, in their libraries, to just anybody in the community, already have a network that they serve and don’t even conceive community as something more than this network…

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