Meet the Members council: Vera Kriezi
In Greece, libraries are currently in a state of development. They haven’t yet matured as much as the norm is with other European countries, which can make our work a bit more demanding.
I have a background in Librarianship, which I studied on an undergraduate level, before completing a Master’s degree in Information Technology Management. I am currently Head of Technical Services and responsible of digital projects in the Music Library of Greece. My first career years were focused on describing information and making it accessible through the library’s catalogue. But things in the information era changed rapidly, and we are now facing the knowledge era: new potentials, new projects and new services were introduced for libraries and cultural organisations focusing on content and its creative use, making it usable for the community. Our main focus has become to get our collections out there instead of just reshuffling books around. Therefore, cultural heritage both on tangible and virtual forms is becoming part of our daily life.
Il codice Squarcialupi, Ms. Mediceo Palatino 87, Biblioteca laurenziana di Firenze. (reprint 1992), Music Library of Greece
It was around 2013 when we decided to change the Music Library’s profile, transforming our organisation towards a cultural institution that could embark in many different activities, involving digital heritage as well. We started putting up theatrical plays for children and several different music educational programmes within the Athens Concert Hall. Some of them were digital form such as Mitida and Euterpe, and received funding from national resources. Our main goals were to motivate the community to get closer to the Library, to get to know our audience better and to provide incentives for music education. For that reason, we created a network of schools and music conservatories that led us to develop new technological applications that made it easy to promote our goals outside Library’s walls. In other words, my job focus changed rapidly and decisively towards new pathways I also got involved with the fundraising team that was established within the Library’s bounds as an outcome of the organization’s restructure.
My involvement with Europeana came as a natural outcome and started 6 years ago, when I first visited The National Library of Netherlands in The Hague (KB) for UDC Seminar as a network member. This was an experience of major impact: I had the chance to interact with people with common interests from all across Europe. The next step towards my Europeana involvement was carried out in 2014, when I had the opportunity to be part of the Content Reuse Task Force that provided input for Europeana Publishing Framework. Meanwhile, the Library participated as content provider in two major Europeana projects, namely Europeana Sounds and EUScreenXL.
In 2016, I got elected at the Members Council, the body that represents all those professionals involved with Europeana, and I set myself several goals to achieve. Firstly, to help find creative ways to make cultural content more visible and, even more importantly, usable for different audiences. Furthermore, I believe that it is crucial to invest on the impact of Europeana, and I will try my best to advocate for its vital role in the field of cultural heritage in Europe.