Web translation tools for Sister Libraries

Sister Libraries is a program in which 87 libraries from 15 different countries in Europe participate. 13 of these are countries where English is not the first language

In this post we want to offer you some tools that can be useful to communicate better with your Sister Library. These are web translation tools that can help you if you have any doubts with words or expressions.

  • Google Translate: The tool Google has created for translations has recently improved its design and has become easier to use. It stands out for its efficiency, its ability to translate into a wide range of languages and its versatility.
  • Linguee is a multilingual search engine for translations from more reliable sources, i.e. international institutions such as the European Union, etc. Translations are not automatic but made by humans but you cannot translate blocks of text. Its value comes from the fact that gives the expression you want to translate a context.
  • Wordreference is a very agile website that offers dictionaries in several languages and, in some cases, dictionaries of synonyms and conjugation of verbs. This is complemented by the forums, where users can solve their doubts about the use of expressions. The community in these forums is very active.

We hope this post is useful for the communication with your Sister Library.

New Sistership!: Municipal Library Frenštát pod Radhoštěm (Czechia) – Illescas Municipal Library (Spain)

We are very happy to announce a new sistership in the Program: Municipal Library Frenštát pod Radhoštěm (Czechia) is now connected with Illescas Municipal Library (Spain), who joined the program last 7th June, 2016. They are working now in the design of the activities they’ll develop together, probably a parallel project involving their reading clubs. We’ll keep you informed about these activities in the future. 

With these new sistership, NAPLE Sister Libraries has reached


 amongst all the participants!

Would you like to have a sister library as well? You just have to read this and fill in a form!!

Interviews with NAPLE Sister Libraries: Heikki Lahnaoja from Pyhäjoki Municipal Library (Finland)

Heikki Lahnaoja, is the head librarian at Pyhäjoki Municipal Library. He came to Madrid last  6th October to give a presentation in the Meeting on Small and Medium Libraries that took place in the Regional Library of Madrid. He came with Antero Tervonen, from the education and culture department of Pyhäjoki city council, who also gave a presentation.

We’ve taken this opportunity to ask Heikki a few questions about this experience and also Sister Libraries, we hope you enjoy it!



How did you get to know the project Sister Libraries? 

I think I received e-mail about the matter.

What made you choose Chinchón library for the sistership?

 The Chinchón Library is roughly the same size as ours. They are both in rural towns of the same size. I thought the both libraries would gain something of this sistership.

 What benefits do you see in having a Sistership? And for your users?

Mostly we workers feel that we are not alone in this world! I think our users can feel the same: that somewhere is a small library like ours. There is a bond between us.

 Last 6th October you came to Madrid to participate in the Meeting Small and Medium Libraries, Can you tell us about this experience?

 It was really interesting to hear that the libraries in Spain are doing very inventive work at the moment. There also lots of similarities between Finnish and Spanish libraries. We both are doing booktalk, reading to dogs etc. But we also got some new ideas that we could develop here. Libraries in both countries are also struggling with the same kind of problems. 

Have you ever thought about having another sister library?

 Yes. But I think we get so much of this sisterhood right now that there is no need at the moment.

Lastly, what would you say to other libraries to make them become a Sister Library? Would you recommend the experience?

Go ahead! It widens the views!


Interviews with NAPLE Sister Libraries: Pepe Zumel, from Chinchon Public Library (Spain)

As we announced last September 20th, Chinchón Municipal Library (Spain) has invited the librarians from their Sister Library Pyhäjoki Municipal Library (Finland) to a one-day Conference so they could exchange experiences. This Conference will take place next 6th October in the Regional Library of Madrid.

We have interviewed Pepe Zumel, librarian at Chinchón so he could tell us more about how they have organised this Conference and, incidentally, we’ve asked him about his experience with the Sister Libraries program.


How did you get to know the Project Sister Libraries?

It was a long time ago, but I can’t remember though which channel. I imagine it was on the web page of the Ministry of Culture, I think we requested our participation in 2011. I thought it was an interesting project that would open new ways of enriching our library’s activities with interchanges of experiences and new ideas.

One of the goals of our library is to help people know about other cultures, also for the librarians from a professional point of view: new ways of working. What is most interesting is to realize every library shares the same goals and ideals: we aim to culturally enrich the neighbours we serve. Sister Libraries opens a new gate for this enrichment in a variety of ways.

What made you choose Pyhäjoki library for the sistership?

Actually, they were the ones that picked us up. I remember receiving an email with an invitation to make a sistership. We had signed up in the program but hadn’t take the initiative to write to any library.  They wrote saying our towns had some similarities: they are small towns (today, we have a population of 5.500, theirs is slightly lesser, around 4.000), both are in rural areas, and this is something that makes the difference in the way of working and relating to the users. Naturally, we accepted their proposal straight away. Finland is a country well renowned in the areas of education and culture and we can learn a lot from them.

What benefits do you see in having a Sistership? And for your users?

It is very enriching. Firstly, because some trainees from Pyhäjoki have visited us. One of the first activities we designed was a simultaneous photographic exhibition. When the pictures from Chinchón were exhibited at Pyhäjoki library, a student of Library Science who was a trainee at the library, Ulla Paakonen, showed interest in our library and the possibility of coming as a trainee to our library for a month. In March 2013, Ulla and Anita came as trainees and it was very interesting: we had Finnish lessons, conferences, school visits, exhibitions, a true immersion in the Finnish culture.

Ulla fell in love with our town and came back 2 times that year in order to complete her practices. In the summer of 2013, Ulla gave us lessons of English and Finnish traditional dances. Today, Ulla is a dear friend of all of us, and our emissary between Chinchón and Pyhäjoki.

How did the idea of organizing this Conference come about?

Las May Heikki, librarian at Pyhäjoki, expressed his intention of coming and visiting us. Apparently, he had received some funding for the trip, and all the staff at the library and the counsellor of Culture wanted to come to Chinchón.

In parallel, our library along with other small libraries from the Madrid Region, are part of a working group we have called “Rural Libraries Movement”. We meet quarterly for discussing professional matters, organize activities and help each other. Pyhäjoki library has participated in some of these activities, such as Fotolectura [Picture Reading], a photo contest on books and reading including texts inspired by the pictures.

We had been thinking about celebrating a one-day Conference for a long time, something more elaborated than our meetings where we’d invite somebody that’d share their experience. The trip of the librarians from Pyhäjoki and their counsellor of Culture was the perfect occasion. I think it can be enriching for all of us: we’ll get to know a different way of working and they’ll visit our libraries and see our work first-hand. If we manage to bring also our counsellors of Culture, it can be a very enriching experience.

Have you ever thought about having another sister library?

Yes, we have thought about it but we haven’t decided it yet. I believe it’s better to focus in this first sistership but we’ll see what the future brings. At this moment we are really busy working on the changes that come from the integration in the Union Catalog of the Madrid Region, when this work is done we can put our efforts in a new sistership.

Lastly, what would you say to other libraries to make them become a Sister Library? Would you recommend the experience?

I strongly recommend it. As I said before, it’s very enriching: we’ve made new friends, we have learnt a lot and, first and foremost, we’ve had a lot of fun, both the library staff and all the neighbours of Chinchón.

And we plan to do a lot of things more!

Meeting on Small and Medium Libraries: organised by sisters Chinchón Municipal Library (Spain) and Pyhäjoki Municipal Library (Finland)

Chinchón Municipal Library (Spain) has invited the librarians from their Sister Library Pyhäjoki Municipal Library (Finland) for a visit to their town. They’ll be travelling along with their city councilor for Culture next 5th to 9th October.

Librarians from Chinchón are part of a collective so called Rural Libraries Movement. From this collective, they help librarians from rural libraries that very often lack from staff and resources and are a little bit isolated. For this work, they are supported by the Coordination Unit and Extension Library of the Madrid region.

In order to get the most out of the visit of the Finnish librarians and politician, the head librarian at Chinchón contacted other librarians from the Rural Libraries Movement to organise a one-day Conference so they could exchange experiences. This Conference will take place next 6th October in the Regional Library of Madrid.

Take a look at the program (it’s in English and Spanish)

LinkINjob: e-Guidelines 2016

Those of you who read this blog regularly are probably familiarised with the project LinkINjob, an innitiative in which two of our sisters (Ljubljana City Library and Kaunas County Public Library) are participating, along with five other European public libraries.

The full name of the project is LinkINjob: job-hunting with the help of librarians. It supports the Europe 2020 strategy  and is funded by the Erasmus+ Program for the period 2014 – 2016, during which 28 activities of non-formal and informal learning are taking place.

They have published a very helpful document for those libraries that want to start this activity in their library called e-Guidelines 2016, and coordinated by Ljubljana City Library, Slovenia. You can access it through this link in English and in six national languages: German, Bulgarian, Finish, Lithuanian, Romanian and Slovenian.






Library in the pool, a summer activity of Ljubljana City Library

It’s summertime and libraries adapt to the customs of this season. People have more spare time and libraries take advantage of it, taking their collections out of the library building and into parks, beaches and pools.

One of our sister libraries, Ljubljana City Library in Slovenia, is one of them: they offer their services in 2 swimming pools of Ljubliana and inform about it in their web page.

ljubliana pool

This library near water is open during July and August. Bathers can read by the pool in different languages. They also offer books for children and young adults. Borrowing books is free and membership card is not needed, users just take the books off the shelf and return it before leaving the pool.

Ljubljana City Library has two sister:  Kaunas County Public library (Lithuania) and Regional Public Library Krakow (Poland) and you can see more information about her in Facebook and Twitter.

Do you have some special activities for the summer in your library? Do you want us to publish a post about it in this blog? Send us the information to naple.sisterlibraries@gmail.com

The most active library in the Sister Libraries Program

Municipal Public Library in Piekary Slaskie (Poland) is the library that has more sisters, it has established 7 partnership with these libraries:

  • Arucas Municipal Library(Spain)
  • Vilanova i la Geltru Library “Armand Cardona i Torrandell” (Spain)
  • Iisalmi City Library (Finland)
  • Marko Marulic Split City Library (Croatia)
  • Kiri-kirjastot Library (Finland)
  • Korčula City Library (Croatia)
  • Kaunas County Public Library (Lithuania)

It is also the library that has planned more activities: “Book Illustrated by Children” with Arucas Municipal Library in Spain and “Following the footsteps of the insurgents 1863 in Lithuaniawith Kaunas County Public Library in Lithuania are just two examples

Piekary Slaskie is a town in the south of Poland, inhabited by almost 60 thousand people, representing a rich, 900- year-old history. Since centuries, the town has been inseparably related to coal extracting and coal mine industry. Economic, widely – understood changes within last decades, have transformed the appearance of Piekary Slaskie deeply; town authorities are considering tourism and culture as new sources of town development. You can see where is Piekary Slaskie here.

The library in Piekary Slaskie is facing up to the challenges of the 21st century. They are supporting the development of information society, moreover they recognize and fulfill educational and cultural needs of the local people – through these activities they also create a positive look of their library in a town environment. They are an institution of social confidence, having a strong influence on the society. They wish their readers used not only books or magazines but also could take part in a self-development and self-realization process, thanks to all forms of activity the library is offering them.

You can find out more about this library in the interviews to Aleksandra Zawalska-Hawel (its former director) , on their website and their facebook profile.

Summer activity at Public Library of Aleksandrow (Poland) and Viana Public Library (Spain)

Sister libraries from Aleksandrow (Poland) and Viana (Spain) are conducting a new activity in common during this summer. It consists ona a reading campaign where a selection of  books of contemporary narrative from each country are promoted in the sister library: Spanish literature in Aleksandrow and Polish literature in Viana.
For promoting it, they’ve designed these posters of the activity. You can also see the picture of the exhibition of Polish books in Viana.
It is a good example of an easy to carry out activity between sisters libraries, and very interesting for users who will discover know the culture of another country through literature. Run a similar activity with your sister library and tell us about it!

First cooperation from Sisters Škofja Loka Public library Ivan Tavčar (Slovenia) and Public library of Panevezys (Lithuania)

During April Škofja Loka Public library Ivan Tavčar (Slovenia) and Public library of Panevezys (Lithuania) had a fotographic exhibition exchange.

Visitors of Škofja Loka library had seen exhibition by Lithuania‘s art photographer Gintaras Lukoševičius under the title: Retro photoshoot in museum surroundings

The pictures were captured in Puziniškis manor museum, which was established and being maintained by Panevėžys District Municipality Public Library. Annually library  organizes “Nights of Museum” events in Puziniškis manor. Moments from the event can be seen from photos where participants, musicians, artisans, library staff members and guests were captured. Library staff welcomed guests wearing retro style clothes.

Exhibition 1

Three exhibitions were installed in Public library of Panevezys:

The first was exhibition of our colleague Snežna Taler. She presented  calligraphic scripts,  excerpts from Škofja Loka Passion Play. The art of illumination is accompanied by the exalted and rich text. Škofja Loka is the birthplace of the Škofja Loka Passion Play  the oldest play in Slovene language. It was written on the basis of an older tradition in 1721 by Father Romuald, a Capuchin monk who lived for a period in the Škofja Loka Capuchin monastery in the town of Škofja Loka. The play was originally staged on Good Friday each year until 1751.  After almost three hundred years, it was presented again in 1936, and revived in 1999, 2000, 2009 and 2015.



The second exhibition were photos presenting Škofja Loka Passion Play from 2015 by photographer Jure Nastran.

And the third Photo Exhibition was named The Face of the Book

Photos were taken during the summertime activities for children. The program of this photo-workshop was to learn how to handle a camera, how to be a photographer and a model as well. Children were taking role to participate and comunicate, and to involve the book cover into a photo.


Also during the show, a group of representatives of the Slovenian public libraries visited the library  international conference in Lithuania, and also the library in the city Panevežys and saw the exhibitions.

The first contact and exchange is now completed and both sides are already thinking about further cooperation.

Saša Ambrožič

Curator and librarian at Škofja Loka Public Library