Today in our interviews Section we have the pleasure of introducing Simona Resman, Assistant Director at the Ljubljana City Library. It is the first Slovenian library in our Interviews Section!
Ljubljana City Library was one of the first libraries to participate in the programme, and very soon became the sister library of the Kaunas County Public Library from Lithuania and the Regional Public Library Krakow in Poland.
As you may remember, Valentina Grinevičienė, from its sister library Kaunas , was already interviewed some time ago.
This is already our sixth interview since we started this section in January! Remember you can read them all in the Interviews Section. Former ones were:
As you will be able to see in the interview, Ljubljana City Library (LCL) is a very large library service with a very interesting variety of services and activities.
Let’s let Simona tell us about it.
-Well, first of all, how did you hear of the NAPLE Sister Libraries programme and what motivated you to participate?
The contact person from the Slovene National and University Library (a member of Naple Forum) informed all Slovene public libraries via e-mail about the sister libraries programme and till now 3 Slovene public libraries have decided to take part. In the Ljubljana City Library (LCL) we were convinced we could learn a lot from other libraries and also share some of our experience.
-Please, tell us a bit more about your community, what is the community you serve like?
Library service is performed through five district libraries and 17 branch libraries that cover the area of Ljubljana City municipality (282.994 inhabitants), and through 13 branch libraries in the areas of seven other local communities (47.846 inhabitants).
The LCL is also the regional library of the Central Slovenian region (558.441 inhabitants) and performs 4 main tasks for 8 public libraries.
Our Mobile Library visits 47 service points in and around Ljubljana. We run library services both in urban and rural local communities.
-We have already seen many pictures from the different branches of your library, the largest public library in Slovenia, but we would also like to hear more about it. In your NAPLE Sister Libraries form there is a lot of information on your programmes, would you tell us what your main projects/activities at this time are?
- In autumn we started several projects of reading promotion for kids, such as Slovenian library-museum MEGA quiz, “Ciciuhec” for reading with Toddlers; “Reading with Paws” with help of specially trained dogs is intended for kids who have reading problems.
- In the Manual for reading good youth literature, that LCL prepares and publishes, all the books are categorized and the best publications annotated, the crème de la crème is awarded ‘the golden pear’.
- Library encourages reading culture among adults through the project “City Reads”. “City reads” is a huge project with the conclusion on the streets of the ancient centre of Ljubljana. We celebrate it as the LCL Day with a reading festival and with conferring prizes to the best readers.
- We run some services for users with special needs, such as “Books delivered at home”, and our Mobile Library stops at Residential homes for the elderly and at the Rehabilitation Institute of the Republic of Slovenia.
- This year we implemented a new library web page with many functions for different target groups of users. At 5th of November 2013 the LCL was awarded the national prize “Netko” for the best web page in the category of digital performance in the public administration.
- A big challenge for us is to implement an e-classroom for users and staff.
- We are occupied with the project Lady Café which is intended to motivate activities for women aged 45+ (partnership of 8 heterogeneous institutions from Europe).
- Your first sister library was Kaunas County Public Library from Lithuania and just some weeks later you also established a sistership with the Regional Public Library Krakow in Poland. Was it difficult to make a selection from the list of participating libraries? Have you found many differences in the way libraries work in the different countries?
Kaunas County Public Library and Regional Public Library Krakow are both regional libraries and serve bigger communities. We are interested in some of their special activities, such as the service for the Blind in Krakow and providing health information for elderly in Kaunas. Kaunas library also expressed an interest of cooperating with us in a common European project.
- Which advantages do you find for a public library to be involved in international cooperation with other libraries, be it in a programme like NAPLE Sister Libraries, or any other?
LCL works in partnership with other libraries, cultural and educational institutions, local authorities, volunteer organizations, non-government organizations and local economy.
Every cooperation in a programme like NAPLE Sister Libraries gives LCL an opportunity to upgrade the existing services and projects and to develop new ones for its users.
- Your library is very active in social networks. You have profiles in Facebook and Twitter. What advantages do you find in them for the communication with the library users? How have you used them to cooperate with your NAPLE Sister Libraries and/or promote or to give news on your activities?
In 2012 LCL had 3.122 followers in Facebook and 360 in Twitter. This kind of communication with users enables the library to reach target groups of users who spend a lot of their time on internet, particularly young people. Through profiles we inform users and, especially, potential users about different library activities. We also receive a lot of proposals and ideas from distant users. Unfortunately till now we have not used profiles to communicate within NAPLE sister libraries.
- Since the main objective of any public library is the service to the community, we would like to know what the reactions of your users to having a sister library have been?
During the last 15 years LCL has established many contacts with other European libraries. We always put some information on library web page, Facebook and Twitter. The most interesting activity for the end users is certainly NAPLE Sister Libraries Day and we plan to involve library users in this celebration.
Ljubljana City Library (Slovenia)
-We have featured some of your activities in the NAPLE Sister Libraries Blog: Which one/s would you like to highlight? Have you kept on interchanging more materials?
I prefer Summer Reading Festival – “Poletavci” and yes, we plan to interchange materials, especially those from interesting library events.
Summer Reading Festival
- What would you say to any librarian who is thinking of the possibility of joining the programme?
The programme is a refreshment of the public library scene in Europe. Everyone can find something new and useful and also share their own knowledge and good practice with others.