Activities of Lithuanian Public Libraries in the Face of the COVID-19 Pandemic and Migrant Crisis: The Endeavour to Ensure Human Rights

Rasa JANUŠEVIČIENĖ (Martynas Mažvydas National Library of Lithuania)

By drawing on subject literature analysis and the results from empirical research, the presentation purports to generalise activities of Lithuania’s public libraries in ensuring the reinforcement of human rights during the COVID-19 pandemic and migrant crisis as well as to present recommendations for public libraries how to contribute to solving issues caused by today’s crises in Lithuania. The research results showed that activities of Lithuanian public libraries in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic and migrant crisis are mostly oriented at safeguarding the following areas of human rights: provision of access to trustful knowledge and information, training / learning and education, ensuring equal possibilities for all library users, participation in the cultural life of the community, and fostering healthy lifestyle. In their contribution to solving issues caused by today’s crises in Lithuania, public libraries are recommended to focus primarily on activities and programmes related to media and information literacy; to more rapidly improve their physical and informational infrastructure intended for people with disabilities; by building on the experience of the world’s libraries, to both reinforce and expand their participation in programmes for social integration of migrants; and to do studies on potential demands of users.