Riga, 30 May 2010 - GIFTS OF BOOKS FROM NATO MEMBERS AND ASSOCIATES TO THE FUTURE LATVIAN NATIONAL LIBRARY
Riga, May 30 2010 – A ceremony to mark the donation of books by 18 member-country parliaments and associates of the NATO Parliamentary Assembly to the Latvian National Library, which is at the building planning stage at present, was a feature of the Assembly’s Spring Session meetings on Sunday.
Although the library will not open until 2012, these books will be presented next week at an exhibition at which they will be made available to students, to academics and to the general public.
In preparation for the Session, parliamentarians had been invited by the Latvian delegation to present the new library with books dealing with international security and military and geostrategic issues, and on the history of NATO.
The operation has already brought in nearly 70 books, which will be added to the library’s collection when it opens, to commemorate the 2010 Riga Session.
John Tanner, the President of the NATO PA, has welcomed this initiative as a “potent symbol of solidarity among the members of this transatlantic alliance”. Mr Tanner, who is also a member of the United States Congress, a Democrat, stressed that national libraries were important democratic tools for educating the new generations, so that they keep the past in mind in order to have a better understanding of the present geopolitical environment.
Mrs Vaira Paegle, the head of the Latvian delegation to the NATO PA, was obviously delighted, thanking all the parliaments which had contributed to the success of this operation “from the bottom of my heart”, while observing that “access to culture is and continues to be a basis for the security of our nations”.
The future ultra-modern National Library will open in 2012 on the left bank of the Daugava. In addition to the new 40000-square-metre building, designed by the famous international architect Gunnar Birkerts, the project will include a national electronic network linking all the municipal libraries in Latvia.