LibWorld – Greece

The next article in our LibWorld series deals with the Greek biblioblogosphere. Greece looks back on an old library tradition, with some of the oldest libraries as e.g. the library of Alexandria.

Concerning to the nearly 400 year taking foreign rule by the Turks the old library tradition was lost and could be tied in with the beginning of the 19th century. Until 1830 books in Greek could only be printed outside the country, because of a restriction on printed spreading of the Greece language.
The first library foundation of the modern Greece was in 1829 on the Island Ägina. In 1834 this library became the National Library of Greece and moved to Athens.
The low stage of development of the librarianship in Greece is depending on the undervalued part, which libraries had played in the educational system for many years. In the last few years a reorientation took place to support independent working.

Nowadays the Greek academic librarianship has more or less catched up with European standard, but in the public libraries there are only a few advances noticeable. The still existing structural defects are a problematic starting position and they impede the work of libraries and the library association.

The Greek biblioblogosphere according to “Wicked Librarian” by ggk

Before starting this article I would like to thank the people behind Infobib for inviting me to write a few words about the Greek biblioblogosphere and for doing such a good job in Infobib.

I started blogging in September 2006 and until a while ago I was the only librarian to blog in Greece. At the beginning, the title of my blog was “Librarianship and Information Science” but then I decided that this was too formal for a blog title and I changed it to “Wicked Librarian” which is more humorous. The topics I cover are general but I am greatly interested in everything that has to do with new technologies in libraries, online services and Library 2.0.

The first 6 months the blog had 15-20 unique visitors per day and then I decided to promote it a little bit by informing other librarians about its existence through a mailing list. Since then, the unique visitors per day are 45-50 which is a great success if we take into account the low interest of other librarians on such means of information and communication. The majority of librarians do not leave comments and very few times participate in discussions that may rise. This situation surprises me because more and more Greek librarians nowadays hold an MLS and more and more are going to the UK to gain one which means there is an interest in librarianship (or not?).

I can’t be a hundred per cent sure about the reasons Greek librarians do not blog but one of them may be the small number of broadband Internet connections in Greek houses. Broadband Internet is not that cheap as in other European countries and moreover it’s not available to every single place. Of course everybody can steal some working time to blog but at the same time I understand that things cannot work out like this. Moreover, we must take into account that in Greece there is a big number of unemployed librarians who have limited access to the Internet.

The other Greek biblioblogs that appeared into biblioblogosphere community rather recently are Contemporary Art Library, Information Avenger, For information scientists and… others, Tobaccorri and the blog of They also cover general topics and we communicate by leaving comments to each others posts. It’s nice not being alone in the biblioblogosphere!!! Unfortunately up to now the only library in Greece that I know having a blog is the Blegen Library of the American School of Classical Studies at Athens. Hope to see more in the future because it’s time for us to build a network and communicate with each other in a daily basis to exchange opinions and ideas. We must not be left behind.. not this time!