Although far from preordained, it is not surprising that Yaniv Levi-Korem's professional path has led to his current position as head of Technical Services at the National Library, a role which has allowed him to combine his passion for knowledge and his fascination with technology.
Yaniv's avocational thirst for accumulating knowledge began as a child accompanying his mother to her work as a librarian at the National Library. Along with memories of the authentic Hungarian blintzes served in the library cafeteria and the punch cards used to catalogue books, Yaniv still recalls his delight in the endless rows of books filled with such a tantalizingly wide scope of information. The advent of the Internet opened even broader horizons, spurring him on to master the technological skills to enable access to ever-growing spheres of information.
Harnessing his love of knowledge and his technological savvy, Yaniv spent many years in the hi-tech sector, and as a Wikipedian in his free time. Marketing library software, he traveled to many of the world's great libraries, spanning five continents and dozens of countries. The common vision shared by the institutions he visited was the desire to make knowledge accessible. Inspired by this vision, Yaniv sought to use the skills he had acquired in the private sector to help facilitate public access to information on a wide scale. His background in data management was increasingly relevant at the National Library, which had embarked on a groundbreaking renewal process driven by the principle of opening access to its extensive resources, and Yaniv joined the Library's ranks in 2010 as head of the Technical Services Division. "I believe in the Library and in its larger vision," says Yaniv who values the Library's role as an institution dedicated to serving the public and making the library a pillar of Israeli and Jewish culture.
Yaniv describes Technical Services as the "beating heart" of the Library, responsible for collection, intake and cataloguing of all of the Library's vast resources. In an increasingly digital world, these processes include complex physical and technological aspects, which often makes Yaniv's job both tremendously challenging and rewarding. "The content is what gives the Library its significance," according to Yaniv, "and the Technical Services Division works on that seam between technology and content."