The first day of the event was attended by representatives of the Ministries of Education and Culture, rectors of universities, MPs, heads of leading libraries and other guests. The forum kicked off with the Republican Scientific-Practical Conference on “Prospects for the Development of Academic Libraries: From 24/7 to New Objectives” at UNEC’s main academic building. Opening the forum, the rector of UNEC, Professor Adalat Muradov said that libraries are particularly important in achieving the goals set out in the “State Strategy for Education Development in the Republic of Azerbaijan” adopted by President Ilham Aliyev. The rector emphasized the need for university libraries to keep up with modern, innovative systems to improve the quality of education and the availability of libraries in a globalized world. He emphasized that the development of a modern university library is characterized by increase of velocity of changes in the information space, education system and scientific communication. One of the important steps taken by UNEC to improve the information provision of the educational process is the establishment of a 24/7 library, which operates continuously 24 hours, seven days a day at the university. The 24/7 library, which can serve up to 104 students at the same time, has the necessary facilities for students to access information easily and at any time. The 24/7 library, which has been operating for one year, has access to nearly one million electronic resources, rich in Azerbaijani, Turkish, English and Russian fund. Along with Azerbaijan in the CIS, this type of libraries are only available in Russia and Ukraine. For the first time, among Caucasian universities, 24/7 library has been established in Azerbaijan. The rector of UNEC Adalat Muradov also made some very important proposals in his speech. He suggested establishing the Association of University Libraries in Azerbaijan, combining electronic information resources of university libraries and creating access to these resources in a single window frame. He also said that it is time to establish a book exchange system among university libraries.
Then MPs Ziyad Samadzadeh and Fazil Mustafa, Director of the National Library Karim Tahirov who made a speech, highly appreciated the UNEC rector’s proposal, the organization of the forum. The speakers talked about the steps they need to take to increase interest in the community, value, and the responsibility that libraries have in this work.
After the conference, Reading Hall № 1 of UNEC has been opened. An extensive book exhibition and a discounted book-sale were also organized within the forum. Guests were also able to get acquainted with the UNEC 24/7 library. Students held a flash mob dedicated to the first year of UNEC 24/7 Library. During the forum discussions were held on the main problems, perspectives and goals faced by universities in the 21st century. During the forum, a Memorandum of Mutual Cooperation was signed between UNEC LIC and ADA University Library.