Being a user of an updated library system, citizens of our country will be soon able to become visitors to museums, cultural houses and clubs, art galleries that have been updated and upgraded. The Azerbaijani president's decree on the measures to improve the structure and management of the Ministry of Culture will promote the optimization and further functioning of the library system, state-owned museums, music schools, cultural centers and cultural houses in the country. Based on the international experience, and considering the possibilities of information and communication technologies, as well as the existing needs, the decree envisages the abolishment of libraries under the Ministry of Culture and the restructuring of the library system; inventory of state-owned museums, optimization of their activities and organization of more effective museum activity. The decree also notes the inventory of music schools, cultural centers, cultural houses and clubs, art galleries under the Ministry of Culture, optimization of their activities, and, considering the existing needs, more compact organization of the country's administrative territorial units and improvement of service level. Under the decree, a Commission has been created to prepare proposals on the establishment of a new, progressive library system that will cover the whole territory of the country, as well as on the improvement of the efficiency of activities of cultural and educational services (cultural centers, clubs, music schools, art galleries, etc.) under the Ministry of Culture. The Commission is to prepare proposals and submit it to the Cabinet of Ministers.
The decree also emphasizes that the existing libraries under the Ministry of Culture should continue their activities until the new library system is formed in the country based on the proposals to be submitted.
According to Intigam Humbatov, head of the Information and Public Relations Department of the Ministry of Culture, the decree of the head of state is an integral part of reforms in the field of culture. President Ilham Aliyev signed a Decree "On measures to improve the structure and management of the Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Azerbaijan" on January 15.
"As an integral part of large-scale structural reforms carried out in public administration by the initiative and leadership of the head of state and the policy pursued to ensure optimal, flexible and effective management across all sectors, the decree is of great importance,” says the official.
Humbatov notes that in accordance with the " Culture Concept of the Republic of Azerbaijan" approved by the order of the Azerbaijani president dated February 14, 2014, a number of important decisions have been made in this area in order to form an effective management system in the field of culture. "Moreover, according to the order of the head of state dated March 29, 2016, the Head Office and 15 regional offices of the ministry have started operating since 2017; and according to the decree of the president "On the activity of the Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Azerbaijan" dated June 6, 2018, the structure of the Ministry of Culture has been reorganized. The decisions made are aimed at more effective implementation of cultural policy in our country, studying and applying innovations, advanced experience in the management of relevant fields, up-to-date approach, raising the level of cultural services and organizing them in line with the modern requirements. The goal is also to optimize the functioning of cultural institutions, to ensure the economical and more efficient use of budget funds. The decree of the Azerbaijani president dated January 15, 2019 is a logical continuation of the work and reforms carried out towards the implementation of an effective cultural policy meeting the requirements of the time.”
Member of the Cultural Committee of Azerbaijani Parliament, Fazail Ibrahimli says the need for the restructuring of the library system has appeared long ago. "After the collapse of the USSR and gaining our independence, we faced some problems both in political and cultural spheres. One of the biggest problems we faced in the cultural life was the collapse of the library system and the lessening of interest in the book. The process of using book stores for different purposes has started in some districts and the capital of our country. This process is still underway today.”
The MP thinks that the largest leisure center in the country has always been libraries. Thus, scholars and postgraduates who defended candidate's or doctoral dissertations, students writing diploma work, researchers, people who wanted to read books or newspapers used to visit the National Library named after Mirza Fatali Akhundzade. "All this was a stimulus that influenced the human life and determined its future. Of course, one of the things that changed the human life was education and books. We lived in the spirit of books. Now the library system is dead. In some regions, the library does not operate at all. As all this is a matter of concern, the head of state put an end to the problems in this field,” he says.
According to Ibrahimli, the decree is aimed at the creation of a new library system in the country, the return to culture and books, and the increase the level of education and so on. "This decree appeals to everyone. Even if parents are not related to books, their children are studying at a secondary or high school. A person who does not read books can not be educated. People with basic education are only people who are bounded with books.”
The MP highly evaluates the fact that the presidential decree envisages the establishment of cultural houses, clubs, art galleries and museums by taking into account the development of technology, as well as enhancement and improvement of efficiency. "Improving the activities of cultural houses, clubs and art galleries will also be an important step in this area. Museums also aim to get acquainted with our history. I believe that, as a factor transmitted from generation to generation and affecting the thinking and national spirit, the decree will play an important role in addressing the problems in this area.”