Building a Bridge to Suna Kirac Library
I have had several chances to visit Ankara, Izmir, and Antalya,
however I looked forward to seeing beautiful Turkey which offers a
modern western and a traditional eastern city, the center of Islamic
culture –Istanbul. Although it was difficult, it wasn’t as hard as II Sultan
Mehmed’s conquest in 1453. Also, Orhan Pamuk’s poem, “Istanbul”
inspired me to think more about it. Eventually, an internship at Koc University’s Suna Kirac Library, was the impetus that I needed in order to make a visit. It was a vital and important decision in my life to visit
this University Library.
I was coming to this Library from one of the leading UniversitiesADA
University in Azerbaijan. Suna Kirac Library is an interesting and a
best model for us as an Academic Library with its seasoned managerial
and organizational structure. A partnership had been started by the
Universities’ Administrations and continued with the student exchange
program. With the great effort of two Library managers – Dean Martha
Speirs and Director Tuba Akbayturk and staff, the Libraries pursued the
Staff Exchange and built an International Collaboration of Academic
Librarians in two countries.
Information Literacy initiatives and programs have been initiated in
the Suna Kirac Library. Reference librarians have been involved in
teaching and with the overall educational process. Reference Services
and Information Literacy contribute in empowering the students, with the
focus on collaboration and partnership in the process of implementing
Information Literacy. Information Literacy is a part of the learning
process and the Library is a partner with the Faculty in encouraging the
students to learn these skills
I observed the local, strong cooperative work in the example of two
Universities – Koc University and MEF University Libraries. These
libraries are following cutting edge technology, applying the most recent
advances and finding collaborative solutions in their national way.
Referring to the Steve Jobs’ quote “Connecting the dots”, I am
thinking about connecting some of our points with our Libraries.
Looking backwards to Koc University Library, I reflected on the history
of ADA Library and obtained positive feedback about the future of my
A very nice environment surrounds you at Koc University. People
are hospitable, friendly and professional in their work. Truly, the
librarians complete each other in terms of their unique futures by being
supportive, informative, solicitous and professional.
I had a weird enjoyment in talking with these people, discussing certain
subjects, topics, brainstorming on future perspectives, assessing the
services offered, comparing the contrasts, adding the values, and sharing
Hatice Gonnet Bağana’s lecture about Hittite manuscripts was very
interesting and showed that Turkish people always value their history. I
will respectively remember that person’s passion toward to her nation and
My visit to Koc University Library gave me the opportunity to
present The Development of Azerbaijan Libraries and ADA Library
Contribution in this Process. I enjoyed informing the host community
about my country’s libraries, sharing the international experience that
was applied in my country and discussing the mutual benefits together
with the host community.
Along with my experiences that I had during my visit to Koc
University Library I have a few suggestions to my colleagues based on
my experiences during this trip:
Do your homework:
Learn about people that you are going to meet before your trip.
Once you learn about people you can easily remember their names and
the work that they do as their jobs. People always like the personal touch.
By calling individuals by their names instead of using formal titles they
respect you and endeavor to learn more about you. This is a crucial way
to approach people especially if you want to present your culture, and
want to impress them with your subject area.
Doing your homework before you travel will present you as
sophisticated and mature and it could have serious positive impact on
your future cooperation.
Get as much information about the place as you can
Check the Youtube videos, explore their website, learn about their
culture, check for protocols. Learn the culture of the people who live and
work there, speak with the people who had previous business trips there,
previously and get advice from them.
Build your Network
Take your business cards and be ready to exchange them promptly
Make a memory
Never forget to take photos, taste the local food, spend time with
families, enjoy informal events. Find similarities between your local and
host community and note them it when it’s needed. After your business
trip is ended, try to take advantage of your time and do some sightseeing.Try to fit a city tour into your schedule.
Leave the memory behind you
Be thankful about the time people spend with you and follow them
up with your personal emails.
Head of Research and Instructional Services
ADA University Library
December 4, 2015