First Recipient of the Schaffer Grant
by Sania Battalova - Library Director, American University of Central Asia
Thanks to the Schaffer Grant I had the opportunity of attending the 2001 Annual Meeting of the American Association of Law Libraries in Minneapolis (Minnesota). It was not only my success, but also my country's and that of the Law Library community of newly developed Central Asia countries. I am very happy that I was the first recipient of the Ellen Schaffer grant in 2001, and proud that the first winner was from my country.
It was my first visit to the United States and my first experience meeting with foreign librarians at such an important event in my social and professional life. One of the oldest American Association - AALL - has a great tradition of professional activity, communication, information and knowledge sharing. I met representatives of many law libraries, learned how they are working, learned about innovative methods in the sphere of law information provision, in organization, resource sharing, and interlibrary communications. I had a great chance to introduce my country's law libraries to American colleagues.
We have tried to implement many of these ideas in my country. In 2001, there were only two law library and information centers in Kyrgyzstan. But in 2002-2003, three additional centers were opened in other regions of the Kyrgyz Republic. They started to work as a network and became a very active library community. Starting in 2003, there is an annual meeting of Kyrgyz law libraries. It is a great success for us and we hope to develop knowledge and methods of information sharing, and of supplying free law information to our community.
I would like to express my appreciation for AALL's help to librarians from many countries in developing their activity and professionalism.
Past Winners of the Schaffer Grant
Irma Aladashvili, Georgia - 2005
Milagros Santos-Ong, Philippines - 2004
Emmanuel Mensah Darkey, Ghana - 2003
Sania Battalova, Kyrgyz Republic - 2001