The Sabre Foundation and the Ukrainian Legal Foundation have been awarded a $95,972 grant for the development of the National Legal Library of Ukraine from the ARD/Checchi Rule of Law Consortium. The grant supports the establishment of a modern legal library system through expansion of the library's collection, adoption of an appropriate cataloguing system, the extension of a computer network linking law libraries in Ukraine and training on Internet-based information resources. ARD/Checchi administers the Rule of Law Program for the United States Agency for International Development (US AID).
"For the rule of law to be established in Ukraine, it is essential that both specialists and the general public have access to the law and to legal materials," said Halyna Freeland, External Relations Director of the Ukrainian Legal Foundation. The library is intended to meet the needs of legal scholars, law students, lawyers, judges, members of parliament and government and their staffs as well as the general public. A branch of the library is scheduled to open this year in Kharkiv at the Ukrainian Legal Academy, the largest law school in Ukraine.
Sabre Foundation will solicit materials for the library from sources including publishers, law firms, libraries, universities, individuals and bar associations. Priority areas are constitutional law; commercial law; comparative law; human rights law and European Community law as well as basic reference works and specialized dictionaries. In addition, the library will take advantage of materials available through Sabre's Ukrainian partner, Sabre-Svitlo in Lviv.
A law library specialist will be recruited to advise on the adoption of an appropriate cataloguing system. Under the Soviet cataloguing system, all legal materials were sub-divided into only four categories. The Library of Congress system, in contrast, divides legal materials into more than one-hundred categories. The new system will be computerized to allow a network of libraries across Ukraine to order books through inter-library loan and can serve as the basis for a new national cataloguing system. Libraries will also have access to the data base of legal terminology being prepared by the Ukrainian Legal Foundation for distribution through the system.
The project includes provisions for Sabre to organize workshops to train librarians, law students and legal researchers in the use of computer networks for accessing legal materials.
"Information obtained through electronic means is often more current and more easily obtained than in printed form," said Tania Vitvitsky, Project Director of Sabre's Scientific Assistance Project. "Librarians, lawyers and law students in Ukraine need to know how to access this information."
The Sabre Foundation is a non-profit organization in Cambridge, Mass. whose projects include book donation to Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union and technical assistance and training on Internet On-Line Resources. The Ukrainian Legal Foundation was established in 1992 to pursue projects in institution building that promote the establishment of the rule of law in Ukraine.