Dr. Filippos Tsimpoglou, Director General, National Library of Greece, sat down with CHS recently for a discussion about his vision for the National Library of Greece (NLG) and its relocation to the Stavros Niarchos Foundation Cultural Center (SNFCC).
The National Library of Greece relocation project does not involve the mere transfer of books, but the full transition of the institution itself to a new era. Thanks to the Stavros Niarchos Foundation generous donation and the support of the Greek State, the National Library, under the direction of Dr. Filippos Tsimpoglou, is seeking to achieve a modern and exemplary modus operandi: to be at the helm of Greece’s libraries, to become an international center of excellence for Hellenic Studies, and to serve as a space for creative experimentation and innovation in the field of Information Science. Watch the video interview below (English subtitles are available):
The design and implementation of the NLG relocation program was launched in 2014. Dedicated specialists have been processing 750,000 items from the library’s general collection one by one, and carrying out meticulous cleaning and preventive preservation work. View the process here. The collection has now been RFID tagged so that each item can be safely transported and easily located in the online catalogue. For the first time in years, the National Library is purchasing books from the international market and gaining access to online scientific databases, with an emphasis on Hellenic Studies and the Humanities.
At the same time, it is redesigning and upgrading its digital services, by developing new information systems and digitizing part of its collections for remote access. A new Public Library Section with up-to-date publications and loan services is being established, providing access to digital media and to a wide range of educational programs for children, teenagers, and various other user groups.
The relocation of the National Library of Greece to its new grounds is a historic, complex, and highly demanding venture that demands the collaboration of hundreds of individuals and many organizations. The aim is to ensure the appropriate conditions for the transfer and relocation of all collections and equipment, to prepare all relevant digital systems, and to ensure the necessary staff training. The new services will be launched gradually as they require staffing new departments, adapting existing infrastructure to the needs of new user communities, and successful change management within the organization.
Soon, the National Library of Greece will be operating out of three locations (SNFCC, Vallianeio, and Votanikos) offering reliable information, open access to knowledge, and continuous inspiration to anyone who wants to read, study, discover, and create.
For more information, please follow the National Library of Greece’s transition process from past to future, from analogue to digital, and from national to global, through the National Library of Greece’s transition website.
Filippos Tsimpoglou holds a PhD in Library & Information Science from the Ionian University (2005) and a BSc in Economics from the Athens University of Economics and Business (1983). He was the Director of the Cyprus University Library and an ex officio member of the Cyprus University Senate from 1999 to 2014. He served as Head of three Departments at the National Documentation Centre of Greece / Hellenic Research Foundation (1983-1999) where he managed major EU framework and development programs. In 2008 he published his book “Collaborations between Libraries: a systemic approach”. He has also published numerous articles for international scientific journals, books and conferences.
Since 2014 he is the General Director of the National Library of Greece and head of the historic relocation project to the Stavros Niarchos Foundation Cultural Center. He is leading the design of digital services which will enable the organization to enter the digital era, as well as the development of innovative services that strengthen and expand the core mission of the National Library.
We would like to express special thanks to Penelope Barbetaki, Press Office of the National Library of Greece, for her valuable contribution.
Images Copyright: All rights are held by the Stavros Niarchos Foundation Cultural Center, and photographers Yiorgis Yerolymbos and Nikos Karanikolas.