Página:120 años de la Biblioteca del Congreso Nacional de Chile.djvu/90

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Biblioteca del Congreso Nacional de Chile — 90

the same time, a highly respected intellectual and architect, Isidro Suárez Fanjul, was appointed Chief Librarian, tasked to implement the recommendations of the Restructuring Committee.

The recommendations of the Committee covered technical issues and a diagnosis of the library’s current capacifies, staff skills vis-a-vis the tasks required of them, the physical layout including furniture, work stations and optimal conditions for user services. The Committee conceived the Library as a Center of Documented Information and recommended the creation of specific Research groups on matters of high priority in the legislative agenda, in order to coordinate library services more directly with parliamentarians.

M. Suarez’ management was innovative, even though he had to work during a period of crisis and democratic instability, and he managed to transform the prevalent institutional culture within the Library of the Nationa! Congress. His academic upbringing and his experience in a subject field far from legislative and judicial matters gave him an overall view that identified the staff and the Library as coworkers involved in the mission of the Legislative Branch, itself conceived as the engine that promotes and gives shape to the norms that sustain the development of the country.

His period as Director was brief, only around five years, but he conceived and implemented important practices and initiatives, strengthened collections, compiled new publications and organized work groups around the central task of serving legislators. He also initiated preliminary studies oriented to automating library processes.

The military coup on September 11, 1973, forced the Library to close its doors. A military contingent searched the Library thoroughly, confiscating books and detaining the Chief Librarian, the Head of Finances, the Head of Press Indexing and several other members of the Library staff. They were held at the Nationa! Stadium, which was used as a prison camp. After much deliberation, sorne were liberated after a few days. During the next year, the military government fired a large number of statf, including the Chief Librarian, Mr. Isidro Suarez Fanjul.

In 1974, Mr. Jorge Iván Hübner, a lawyer, former parliamentarian and professor of Law at the University of Chile, was appointed Director of the Library by the Military Junta. A policy of continuity of services was implemented, given the quality of information and documentation in the Library, and specially those available in the Legislative Reference departrnent, which continued providing information work for the Legislative