The need to radically renew book collections is among the most critical issues facing Ukrainian libraries, since public funding for this purpose is well-known to be almost non-existent. Thus, librarians can only hope for help from people of good will. For instance, in early October, a benefactor presented Ternopil City Library for Adults No. 4, located on Danyla Halytskoho Boulevard, with two complete sets of The Day’s essay series, that is, the freshly published “Subversive Literature” which entered the top-10 of publications at this year’s Publishers’ Forum, and “The Armor-Piercing Political Writing,” its ideological and thematic predecessor. Olha Kolos, a local businesswoman, politician, and head of Ternopil NGO Homeland, was that benefactor, enabling her compatriots to follow The Day’s editor-in-chief, as well as both series’ originator and editor, Larysa Ivshyna’s advice to read the series with a pencil in hand. Ternopil residents can reflect now on The Day’s collection of “subversive” thoughts by Borys Hrinchenko, Taras Shevchenko, Andrei Sheptytsky, Dmytro Dontsov, Symon Petliura, Mykhailo Hrushevsky, Stepan Bandera, Viktor Petrov, Jerzy Giedroyc, Mikhail Heifets, Andrei Sakharov, Lina Kostenko, Valerii Marchenko, James Mace, and Ivan Ohiienko, as well as armor-piercing opinions by Mykola Kostomarov, Mykhailo Drahomanov, Panteleimon Kulish, Ivan Franko, Mykola Khvyliovy, Yevhen Malaniuk, Oleh Olzhych, Ulas Samchuk, Levko Yurkevych, Pyotr Grigorenko, George Shevelov, Ivan Lysiak-Rudnytsky, Viacheslav Lypynsky, Vasyl Stus, and Ivan Bahriany.
“We are very grateful to Kolos for her wonderful gift and to The Day for doing the right thing by publishing books that change people’s worldviews. It would be great if at least one copy of such lecture reached every Ukrainian library,” the Library No. 4’s head Svitlana Kozelko said. “Studying our readers’ orders, I have noticed that most of them are not interested in romance novels, preferring ‘thoughtful’ literature. We make selections specially for them and inform them about our latest additions. Without a doubt, these books will be a huge success. I can even name readers already who will be the first in line for them. I am sure young people will take interest in them, too. I disagree with the idea that young people do not read much. Quite the opposite, they are always there to talk about books, discuss them, and debate their merits. By the way, when we get new books, we read them first ourselves, so as to be able to discuss them with readers. The next task is setting up a book exhibition and publishing information about new items on our library blog to attract new readers. I want to emphasize that we are changing our ways, because the job of the librarian nowadays is more than just fulfilling the readers’ requests, we have also to promote the book, present it attractively,” Kozelko stressed.
Kolos donated books to this library before. In particular, she marked the opening of an ethnic culture center there by donating the four-volume publication Ukraine: Chronology of Development. She also helps supplement rural libraries’ collections. The benefactor believes Ukrainians now need books that will help them to shape their own understanding of the Ukrainian state formation history.
“Today, for example, authors differ in their assessments of Mazepa or the well-known Kochubei and it is important that when reading this literature, the reader could form an opinion of their own and find proofs to support it,” Kolos stresses. “I was very pleased to note that our compatriot Nadia Tysiachna, whose family I know personally, was among the series’ compliers.”
Beside donating books to the municipal library, the businesswoman supplemented her own library with The Day’s publications.
“I was surprised to find that these works were underrepresented here. For example, people readily discuss Sheptytsky, Petliura, or Bandera, but few own their works,” Kolos told The Day. “Today, many politicians like to use statements of famous people out-of-context. They scream they know best what our national idea should be, but they have never read a work by Petliura, their last encounter with Shevchenko was at school, and they have never read a piece by Bandera. Therefore, to know and appreciate the author’s opinion, it is necessary to read the entire work. I love to read such books and make notes to navigate them easier, because I agree with some views, but have my own opinions on some other issues. It is therefore important that a pencil is part of every book set.”
The campaign “Donate The Day’s Library to Your Old School” has become a wonderful tradition involving hundreds of Ukrainians. Valerii Koval, The Day’s avid reader from Chernihiv, started it in 2009. To intellectually enrich not only your old school, but yourself, too, order The Day’s publications, please, by calling (044) 303 96 23, emailing us at firstname.lastname@example.org or contacting us online via our website www.day.kiev.ua.