Coordination of reading clubs: a proposal from Illescas Municipal Library (Spain)

Illescas Municipal Library is the last Spanish library to join the program. They’ve come out with an idea for an activity and are looking for other Sister Libraries to team up with them in order to implement it.

In Illescas, their town (26,672 population), there’s  a very active community involved in reading clubs: there’s a club at the library but also one at the women’s centre and one at the old people’s home, plus 2 clubs for reading in English: one for kids between 8 and 12 and another for young adults, 16+

sala general

They want to establish links between the members of reading clubs from different libraries in different countries so they can share information about the books they’ve read, preferred authors, local authors, to tell the rest about local legends or folk tales.

The activity could be organized as follows:

One library, coordinator of the club, would be in charge for the distribution and management of the correspondence from each member of the club. This library would request information about a topic (favourite local author, for example) to the other members, who’d write a letter in English (if it’s the common language). The coordinator would compile this information and edit it so each member of the club can use this material in their local clubs. This could be used for a range of activities, like parallel readings, competitions, etc.

The idea behind this activity is to enable the interchange of different perspectives and literary interests. There are a lot of reading clubs all around the world, different ways of interpret and understand literature. Do Portuguese kids read also Roald Dahl? Which is Croatian children’s favourite book? What is Finnish most popular folk tale?

Here’s an opportunity for enriching our local reading clubs through the cooperation with other libraries from different countries, also to know a little better other countries through literature.

Do you like the idea?  You can contact them directly at, write to  or to your national representative


Libraries without Sisters: Vega‐La Camocha Municipal Library

Gijón is a beautiful and dynamic seashore city of Northern Spain. They recently modernized  the access to the cultural activities of the city by offering citizens, residents or not, the Citizen Card, a personal master key that allows access to many public services, libraries included.  The11 libraries part of the Municipal Library Network have substituted their traditional library card by this Citizen Card for almost 300,000 citizens.

The Municipal Library Vega‐La Camocha is one of them. It gives service to an area where small farms and agricultural explotations live together with the young families moving from the city to the houses built at the site where used to be a recently closed coal mine.


To do so they have 25.000 documents, free Wi‐Fi access, IT room, Adult, Young, Child rooms, Local room. Their library has 507 linear metres of shelf space in a 450 square meters building with 87 seats for reading, studying, etcetera.

The main programs are related to:

  • Cooperation with the local school library. ʺEntrebibliosʺ Since 2012, it’s a cooperation project between the school library and the public library for the exchange of experiences and the design of activities, programs and content in both physical and virtual environments.
  • User Trainning Program with Primary and Secondary School where local schools are involved.
  • Reading Promotion through two Reading clubs, one for Adults and another for Children. Now we are planning an online one, specialized in genre and youngsters.
  • Storytelling for children
  • Storytelling for toddlers
  • Creativity Workshops
  • Support program on homework for children of Primary and Secondary schools. They work together with the educational leisure entities and the counselling departments of the schools

As part of the Municipal Library Network of Gijón, they are in this moment working on the transformation of the library in a public and social space with multiple dimensions, a place where relations can be created based on reading and the encouragement of creativity.

Vega‐La Camocha Municipal Library is looking for a Sister Library. They have plenty of ideas and are a very active element in their community. They would like to cooperate with a library that has presence in Social Media and is involved in training programs. They’d like to share their thoughts and way of working with other libraries, trying to make the library a cultural centre, a meeting point for users and readers. They want to change that ʺtraditional roleʺ which shows libraries just as places where books are borrowed.

Do you want to be Vega‐La Camocha Municipal Library’s Sister? You can contact them directly at, write to  or to your national representative

library team

Library Team


Mrs librarian and Clementina, our children trainning program assistant

Are you looking for a sister library? We can help you!

With the new year we also have new ideas for our libraries. We want to promote the libraries that are part of the Sister Libraries program and have not yet established any sistership.

We will periodically showcase libraries with which you can pair up to share resources and activities that will enrich your libraries. Having a sister library is a great experience, as evidenced by the 37 sisterships we have already established.  It is great to share common activities and show the culture, language or customs of other European countries to the audiences of our library.

If your purpose for this year is to find a sister library, we can help you! Watch for our next post, it might be about the library you were looking for!




Christmas and New Year is coming … also to libraries

December is characterized by the celebration of Christmas and New Year. Many libraries celebrate these days with different activities, such us reading recommendations, solidarity activities or storytelling to children.

Send us a photo through Twitter with the activity related to Christmas or the New Year that you designed for your library by mentioning our profile @NAPLESisLib so it can be disseminated among our community to give ideas to other libraries. If you plan to do some joint activity with your sister library you can also tell us about it.

If you don’t have a Twitter account, you can also let us know through our email account:

At the beginning of the year we will publish a post with the best ideas.

Join in!

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.