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Museum digital library. 5th National Conference of Museum Librarians and Library Workers.


"Museum digital library. The next step to accessibility?" - this was the theme of the 5th National Conference of Librarians and Museum Library Workers, held at the Auschwitz Museum from 28-29 September. It was attended by 38 people from museums, archives and libraries from all over Poland.

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'The library's book collection, constantly being expanded and enriched, is an exceptionally valuable research resource for history researchers and an invaluable aid for the Museum's educators. The opening of the International Center for Education about Auschwitz and the Holocaust has led to an increase in educational materials regarding the history of the German camp Auschwitz and the Holocaust, which are indispensable for teachers, students, or pupils,' said Andrzej Kacorzyk, director of the ICEAH.

The main topics addressed during this year's conference encompassed the digitisation process and accessibility of digital collections in museum libraries.

'The central focus of our speeches and discussions was the exploration of the underlying concept of a digital library, encompassing both its formal organisational context and its technical and functional components,' said Robert Płaczek, head of the Auschwitz Museum Library.

The conference included presentations from specialists in copyright law, public procurement, preservation, and the technical aspects of digitisation and digital accessibility of materials.

Among the issues covered were:
• Digitisation of collections and copyright law.
• How to properly prepare a public procurement procedure for digitising library collections.
• Securing and preparing library collections for the digitisation process.
• Equipment and software used in the digitisation process.

On the second day of the conference, participants delivered presentations on their experiences with the process of making digital library materials accessible. At the end, participants also took part in a visit to the Auschwitz Memorial and the city of Oświęcim.

'Hosting the national conference at the Memorial gave us a rare opportunity to exchange diverse experiences on the digitisation of library collections. We unanimously agreed it was inevitable for us to either continue or initiate efforts to make digitised publications accessible,' said Robert Płaczek.

The event was organised by the Auschwitz Museum and the Library Section of Museums, Galleries and Cultural Institutions affiliated to the Central Association of Polish Librarians. The media patrons were the magazine "Bibliotekarz" and portal

The Auschwitz-Birkenau State Museum Library collects publications thematically related to its mission and makes them available for scholarly research, popularisation and education purposes.

The collection of multilingual books, consisting of nearly 50,000 volumes, is one of the country's most extensive and unique collections. It primarily includes documentary literature, scientific studies, memoirs, biographies, magazines, novels, short stories, and poetry. The library materials are used annually by many readers: researchers, guides, educators, teachers and students, dealing with the history of World War II and, in particular, the German Nazi concentration and extermination camp Auschwitz.