Thursday, May 31, 2012

Russia Day 2: Mayakovsky Library and Bus Tour

What a day! We went to the Mayakovsky Public Library and took a bus tour of the city. It was lovely.
Reading Room in the foreign language
department of the public library.
There were quite a few similarities between the Russian and U.S. library systems. I was very interested to learn about what types of services and programs the library does for their patrons.  Many of the programs are similar to those a library in the United States might do, including classes in information literacy, author visits, movie viewings, and cultural programs. 
There were also programs unique to each department, so for example the foreign department had language clubs and viewings of foreign films. An interesting fact I learned is that most foreign films in Russia are dubbed, and the library is one of the few places one can watch a movie in its original language with subtitles. 

We had the opportunity to see the the foreign language department, circulation, local history, rare books and serials. My favorite was circulation, where I saw a number of familiar titles in Russian. I asked if librarians are often asked to provide reader's advisory services, and the librarian said they do so quite often. One of my classmates pointed out reader's advisory is probably needed more since the majority of the books are in closed stacks.
Card Catalog with Russian alphabet

Harry Potter!

Now for the tour. We saw so many amazing places and learned some fun facts, such as no building in the city can be taller than the Hermitage, which is why there are no sky scrapers in St. Petersburg. We saw so many cathedrals and monuments! Here were some of my favorites:

A light house at the most romantic
spot in the city. We saw a couple
taking their wedding photos there.

View of St Peter and Paul Cathedral from
the most romantic place in the city

The Flying Dutchman. This ship has a
restaurant on one side and a gym on the other.

St. Peter and Paul

Cathedral of Our Savior on the Spilled Blood

Me on one of the 12 chairs

Statue of Peter the Great. The tour guide mentioned that
the artist took some liberties with the proportions of his body.
Just some guy in a lobster suit waiting for a bus...

Sorry for the sideways pictures. I don't remember how to rotate them. So there you have it. The highlights from Russia, day 2!

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