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Mayor’s Office Rejects Speculations on Closure of Libraries in Tbilisi

By Gvantsa Gabekhadze
Friday, February 23
(TBILISI) --The Tbilisi Mayor’s Office has rejected the opposition’s statements that the City Hall administration planned to close libraries in capital Tbilisi to use the buildings and their territories for different purposes.

Deputy Tbilisi Mayor Sopio Khuntsaria confirmed that the Tbilisi City Hall planned the reform for the libraries, but, as she said, the reform aimed to modernize the infrastructure for the libraries and create better working conditions for the employees after they passed mandatory tests.

Khuntsaria claimed that nearly all 36 libraries in capital Tbilisi required rehabilitation and did not exclude some of them could be closed.

“Even in the case some of the libraries are closed after relevant studies, the staff will retain their jobs and will be employed in other libraries,” Khuntsaria said.

The deputy mayor said that the total number of library employees in the capital amounted to 340 people.

“The libraries have some people who had been working there for many years and protected books. A staff of ‘honorary employee’ will be created in the libraries to maintain the elderly,” Khuntsaria said.

She stated that the Tbilisi City Hall intends to construct more, modern libraries in Tbilisi and “return the young generation to books.”

Speaking about the mandatory qualification tests, Khuntsaria stated that before taking the exams the library staff will undergo trainings.

“We support them to pass the exam easily, which will concern the knowledge of the library-related rules and standards. I think that even without the training the employees should have passed the exam as there is nothing new for them,” Khuntsaria said.

The deputy mayor stated that the salaries will increase for the library staff, which now ranges between 300-400 GEL.

She stated that for now she cannot say how many libraries are there to be closed, as studies and checks have not yet been conducted in all of the buildings.