Although I’m only finishing the second day of my trip, I’m very appreciative of the opportunity to study abroad during my Master of Library Science program. When I signed up I had no idea what was in store for me.
This picture above is Kalemegdan Park in Belgrade, part of a walking history tour we went on the first day. We had two excellent tour guides from the University of Belgrade, providing a primer about the character of the Serbian people and some background for what is to come. One of the things we learned is that Belgrade has been razed and rebuilt 40 times. This means that bombings have happened within most everybody’s lifetime – something that Americans are fortunate not to have experienced.
This second picture is from the tour of the Special Collections Reading Room at Biblioteka Grada Beograda Periodika. This is the bound volume containing the earliest issue of the first magazine published in Serbia, 1824. We learned about and toured that room, then went to the main library, and learned about operations there; incidentally, it was in the Roman Room, which contains part of the foundation of a 2nd century Roman military camp. Interesting locations and special items are all well and good for their “ooh and aah” factor, but the main theme I took from the day’s events are the necessary resilience and resourcefulness of librarians and staff there.