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EIFL Director Rima Kupryte has been awarded the 'Hakob Meghapart' Jubilee Medal for her personal and EIFL’s overall contribution to development of the Armenian library system.
The award was presented by the Director of the National Library of Armenia, Dr Tigran Zagaryan, during the EIFL General Assembly, in celebration of the 500th anniversary of Armenian Printing and within the context of UNESCO's designation of 'Yerevan as World Book Capital 2012'.
‘Rima Kupryte, starting from 2001, was actively involved in consulting Armenian librarians and IT specialists on building the Armenian Libraries Computerized network. Successful realization of this project allowed Armenian libraries to start joint activities through Electronic Libraries Consortium of Armenia (ELCA). EIFL sparked a lot of innovations in academic, research and public libraries all over Armenia.’ said Dr Zagaryan as he presented the award.
Ten years of continued Armenian library development culminated in the Armenian library service hosting the EIFL General Assembly (GA) 2012. With the theme From Gutenberg to the Internet - a New Renaissance for Libraries, the EIFL GA was hosted in splendid fashion by the National Library of Armenia, ELCA and the American University of Armenia, and sponsored by the Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Armenia.
The GA programme included an inspiring presentation by Dr Zagaryan, Partnering with EIFL in building a national Armenian Repository for Education and Research - the path to success, which demonstrated the close and beneficial partnership between ELCA and EIFL, and its visible impact on the modernization of the Armenian library network, including ICT infrastructure, competencies and skills, services and access to content.
Hakob Meghapart, after whom the impressive bronze medal is named, published the first Armenian book in 1512 in Venice, called «Ուրբաթագիրք» (Urbatagirk - ‘Friday Book’). His publishing house produced five Armenian books from 1512-13, which are normally safe-guarded in the National Library of Armenia. However, to celebrate this important cultural and historic anniversary, the five books are currently travelling the world, being shown in exhibitions in Venice, Amsterdam and Yerevan.
The National Library of Armenia awards the 'Hakob Meghapart' Jubilee Medal to people who make significant contributions to Armenian cultural patrimony and the promotion of the printed word. Since its establishment in 1990, the medal has been awarded to some 240 people.
Dr Zagaryan graciously also awarded the medal to Monika Elbert, EIFL team member, who has accompanied Armenian library development over many years through EIFL, TEMPUS projects, and assistance in integrating the Armenian National Library into Europeana, the European Digital Library.