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AUA Open Education Increases Its Community Impact in Goris

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GORIS, Armenia — On May 2, a leadership team from the American University of Armenia (AUA) traveled to Syunik for a series of meetings and presentations at key institutions in the province. Led by AUA Interim President Dr. Armen Der Kiureghian, the delegation comprised Director of Open Education (OE) Anoush Yedigaryan, OE Senior Program Coordinator Asli Mkrtchyan, Director of the AUA AGBU Papazian Library Satenik Avakian, and Academic Support Librarian Araz Margossian.

The journey commenced with the official launch of the “Modern Library” — a major endeavor by the AUA AGBU Papazian Library. An impressive local crowd had assembled to hear the presentation that showcased the Project’s centerpiece — the “Koha” library platform. This innovative digital platform promises to revolutionize the way readers access and engage in literature, heralding a new era of knowledge sharing and exploration.

OE joined forces with the AGBU Papazian Library in the realization of this project, showcasing AUA’s unwavering commitment to advancing education and expanding access to knowledge in the regions of Armenia. Speaking of the “Modern Library” project, Interim President Armen Der Kiureghian remarked, “The launch of the Project signifies our dedication to education and community development in marzes. Through our endeavors, we strive to foster an inclusive and dynamic learning environment.”

The “Koha” library platform has provided the Goris community with the opportunity to experience the benefits of a state-of-the-art, cutting-edge digital library. Through an integrated library management program, “Koha” offers an array of essential features designed to enhance the reader’s knowledge journey. “With the advent of the ‘Modern Library’ and ‘Koha’ platform, libraries enter a remarkable chapter, where the synergy between digital innovations and reader empowerment unleashes a world of literary possibilities. Readers now have the power to navigate the library collection independently, fostering their own search strategies and experiencing the joy of discovering captivating works,” explained Avakian.

From a user-friendly interface for librarians and patrons to streamlined search capabilities, access to reading lists, and other functional features, “Koha” ensures a seamless user experience while equipping librarians with efficient management tools. What sets “Koha” apart from other library softwares is its web-based accessibility, which enables patrons to discover a world of resources through various devices, including smartphones. “Goris library now has an online presence and its services are remotely available to the public through the library’s new website and ‘Koha’ library management platform,” elaborated Margossian. This functional versatility also extends to library management, enabling librarians to administer operations remotely. 

As the Goris community embraces the “Modern Library” and discovers the digital resources available through the “Koha” software, its impact will undoubtedly transcend the OE Goris Center. “With unrestricted access to knowledge and a robust support system, the Goris community is poised to thrive, foster further growth and development within the region and beyond,” posited Yedigaryan.

Another significant activity carried out on this trip was the visit to Goris State University (GSU), where the AUA team was warmly received by GSU Rector Tigran Vandunts. The meeting at GSU provided an invaluable platform to exchange insights and foster collaboration between the two institutions.

On their journey back to Yerevan, Dr. Der Kiureghian and the team visited the AUA OE and Turpanjian Rural Development Program offices in Yeghegnadzor , where they engaged in informative conversations with the staff on current programs implemented in those centers. Additionally, a meeting was held with representatives from Syunik NGO, one of OE’s valued partners in Yeghegnadzor, to explore future collaboration opportunities to further enhance the joint impact.

The AUA delegation’s visit to the Syunik province serves as a testament to the University’s unwavering commitment to education and community development, with special attention on the regions. Through the “Modern Library” project and the groundbreaking “Koha” platform, AUA sets a new standard in reading experience.

Founded in 1991, the American University of Armenia (AUA) is a private, independent university located in Yerevan, Armenia, affiliated with the University of California, and accredited by the WASC Senior College and University Commission in the United States. AUA provides local and international students with Western-style education through top-quality undergraduate, graduate, and certificate programs, promotes research and innovation, encourages civic engagement and community service, and fosters democratic values.