Tag Archives: Municipal Public Library in Piekary Slaskie

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.

The “Inspirer of the Modern Librarian”: a guide for creative librarians

Our colleague Aleksandra Zawalska-Hawel, from Piekary Slaskie Municipal Library is the coordinator of a cooperation project involving some of their NAPLE Sister Libraries and other partners: the “Library. I love it!” project. You can take a look at this post we published a couple of years ago, when the project started to know all the details.

One of the results of this project is the publication of a guide called   “Inspirer of the Modern Librarian”. In Aleksandra’s words, “it is a collective work of partners of the project, an international guide for modern-thinking, creative librarians in Europe which contain tried and tested good, innovative practice worth, written in English and national languages of all the partners. We hope the book will be useful for librarians, library users and sympathizers“.

You can access the document, read and download it through this link

The book is shared on terms of the CC BY-SA 3.0 (attribution) license.

My EVS Experience in Municipal Public Library in Piekary Slaskie (Poland) IV/IV

JesusHello there! My name is Jesús, I am 24 years old and I am from Málaga (Spain). In my country I am social worker graduated by the University of Málaga and also I am football trainer for children and young people. In my life I had got many experiences working with people, so I can say that every job in relation with the persons is my passion. Because of this, I have chosen work as a volunteer in the Erasmus + project in the public library located in Piekary Slaskie.

Well, in first time I would like write about my expectations. Before to come here I was so expected and a little bit afraid, because this decision gave me the first experience outside my home, family, friends, city… So when I came here everything was new experience for me: contact with people from another countries, share a flat, learn “easily” Polish and the culture, etc. But the first impression was very nice.

Later, I was meeting new people everyday, I did a lot of new friends in a few months, even thanks to this project I could find the love. So my life here is really very good and successful for me looking for this side.

In another side, I am be able to speak about my work and activities in the library. For give a resume of this, I can say that I am doing a role as a languages teacher because I am teaching Spanish and English to children, teenagers and adults, but sometimes also I do sport activities as a sport trainer in some schools or football clubs. Also I am doing a lot of presentations about Spain and Spanish culture in schools and associations of all the Silesian region.

Really I can say that I love all my activities in library and I enjoy do it very much for sure, however I think that sometimes I spend too much time in library waiting for my activities. This means that when I do not have activities then I have enough time to think and propose new projects in library.

Anyway, It is nothing in comparison with the real experience what I live here. Polish people are really very nice, useful and helpful overall, I can say that I love them. It is very different culture, language, tradition, weather, behaviour which finally I have fallen in love. In all this differences I found an amazing experience what It made me understand that the world is really very big and in every corner of it We can find incredible things.

Thank you for reading and love Málaga.

Jesús Pintos Ramírez

My EVS Experience in Municipal Public Library in Piekary Slaskie (Poland) III/IV

LeaI am Léa, I am 21 years old and I come from France. I am a volunteer during one year (September 2014 to August 2016) in the Municipal Public Library of Piekary Śląskie in Poland. Before my voluntary in Poland, I studied a French-German Bachelor about German language and culture, French-German relationship and the European Union. That’s why I lived last year in Germany. My experience in Germany was great, I loved living abroad, discovering new cultures, way of life, practicing German. Thus I decided to continue to live abroad and to discover a new European country: Poland.

This year was also my first time in Poland or rather in Slavic country. Before coming to Poland I knew anything about this country. Fortunately I have a lot of opportunity during this year to discover Poland: trying Polish culinary specialty, discovering Polish way of life, Polish architecture, travelling in different places in Poland, speaking with polish people, learning polish language, etc.

I decided to choose a project with social contact and children because since some years, I used to spend my summer holiday looking after children, preparing and doing activity with them; so I thought that the library has got a project which suits to me. Furthermore, I love reading books and had good memories of library in France.

In the library, I’m teaching my mother tongue, French and I’m doing different activities with children (such as culinary workshop about French dishes). I have got also some activities with the German or the English languages. We go also often to high school or primary school to do some presentations about our country, region, and traditions.

I learned a lot thanks to my activities in the library. For example, how lead activity, and exchange with people (especially with children), when you don’t speak the same language. Moreover, I would like to be in the future, a French teacher for foreigners. My activities in the library give me experiences and convince me that I like this kind of job. Furthermore, my year in the library is a good time to learn and hear polish language. It’s also a good place to improve my English skills.

Even if, Piekary Śląskie is a small town near to Katowice where there are not so much events during the week and the weekend, the library leads many different projects for the inhabitants of the city. The library receives also three other volunteers from Spain, Turkey and Italy. Thus, it’s easier to make friends and have intercultural experiences. The librarians are also very kind and helpful, if we have some problems. It’s also quite easy to reach Katowice with the bus.

Eventually, I don’t regret my voluntary service in the library of Piekary Śląskie. I learn a lot during this year about Poland, intercultural experiences, French teaching, work with children, speaking in public (especially in English).

Léa Chouin

My EVS Experience in Municipal Public Library in Piekary Slaskie (Poland) II/IV

SedatI’m Sedat from Turkey, I am 25 years old and my profession is Tourism Management. Currently I’m working in the Municipal Public Library Piekary Slaskie, Poland as a volunteer since 9 months.

My volunteering adventure have just started with reading an article and checking some photos from some of ex-volunteer who was volunteer in Poland. When I contacted him and asked some questions about volunteering I simply became fan of EVS. Later on I searched appropriate projects for myself in Poland. Finally I found out Library project. It seemed quite attractive and I applied immediately. I thought within volunteering I could be useful for society meantime I could have satisfaction for myself. Overall Librarians asked me to be work in their Library and I dealt with them.

Basically I’m responsible unique technique of painting called ‘Ebru’. I am performing and teaching painting in Library to the kids, youngsters and elders. Moreover I am responsible from art library lessons based on art and creativity with children. Also I have English classes in the Library. Sometimes we go school having presentations about our countries or participating workshops. What I gained through my working is ‘discovering myself’ because before volunteering I was not aware of my talents or potential.

Library here surprised me! Honestly, I did not expect that equipped Library especially considering Piekary Slaskie is small town. All branches of the Library in Piekary are very well organised and connected to each other. Here library means more than books, it is a social place where people can have opportunity engage with technology, participate competitions, integrate with different cultures via EVS. Polish people are very warm according to me, they always try to help me even if they can not able to speak in English.

All my expectations fulfilled from EVS apart of cold Polish climate 🙂 I am lucky to be working in Library in Piekary because of the librarians and our director. They always helped us in that adventure. I appreciate it.

I invite all of you whose are interested with a great adventure. They should not hesitate to have first step and be part of EVS.

Sedat Gökgedik

My EVS Experience in Municipal Public Library in Piekary Slaskie (Poland) I/IV

As we explained in yesterday’s post, in the next four days we’ll be publishing the experiences of 4 volunteers at the Piekary Slaskie Municipal Library  under the European Volunteer Service (EVS) Program:

MorganaMy name is Morgana, I am a 20 years old Italian girl and I am happy. I am happy because last year I took the best decision of my life since now, I decided to experience a bit more before to start my university. I started to look for a project inside EVS program. I found severals, but one in particular, kept my attention. It was about to be a volunteer in Poland, in Municipal Public Library in Piekary Slaskie. I searched some information online and I found a facebook page of the library, I started to watch the pictures and ten minutes later I wrote my motivation’s letter and I applied for this project. Few days after I was chosen by the library, I packed my luggage, I said goodbye to my friends, I watched a Wajda’s movie, I took all my winter clothes, I hugged my family and I took a plane.

Now I am living in Poland since 8 months. When you leave your country for such a long period, basically you are choosing to start a new life somewhere else. Is this easy? While I was on the plane I thought I wouldn’t be able to survive far away from my places, my family, my language, food etc.

Now in my mind when I am somewhere and I think “I want to go home” , this home” is for me here (in Poland), in Piekary Slaskie. This is my home now because here I found a second family. I know it can seem exagerated but I couldn’t use other name instead of “family” to describe my relations with volunteers and librarians here. When I don’t see them for a long time I miss all of them.

The Library in Piekary is amazing. Of course you can find good books and the librarians are always there to advice good stuff, of course there are places where you can sit and read a newspaper but isn’t only this. In the central library books and technology share the same space. Computers and iPads are available for the readers, there is a 3D printer and courses to learn how to draw in 3D and how to print with it. Children can learn maths and science playing with Lego robots, programming their movements. Me and the other volunteers have artistic workshops with children, language lessons with children and adults. Is not only a library, is the right place where is possible to learn everyday something new.

There I learned a lot of polish words, I learned how to teach my language (it seems easy but is not), I learned how a library works, I improved a lot my English, I discovered that to play with children is not important to speak the same language, I learned how to be indipendent, I discovered sides of my self that I didn’t know before.

I explored the country from south to north, I met several EVS volunteers in each city from different countries. I met real friends, I danced, I sang, I didn’t sleep for entire weekends. I learned to find solutions always, never give up. I am more sure about myself, I am more open minded, I really had the opportunity to know Poland and Polish culture.

I really grew up a lot in the last months and I did it with other youngsters like me.
I tried to bring a bit of “Italian sun” in the library and I just try to smile everyday because I am lucky to be here.

Of course there are moments when I feel nostalgic, I miss my family, my life in Italy I even miss the coffee of that paricular bar in that specific street. It’s normal. There was a moment when I found this small town in Poland was not enough for my free time. I wanted to speak with some young people, I wanted to dance, to be crazy, to sit in a beautiful pub. That moment lasted the time to take a bus and move in the bigger city closed to this place. I spend my free time in the bigger city, I have memories there, I met so many persons, I know where to go and I know who to meet to have a good time.

There are moments when you can touch the differences between your country and the new one, the first thing you think is “this is silly” and maybe it is, but the most important is to go deep inside. Don’t stop. Try to find the motivations why things are like they are. This is for me EVS, experience and discover and always go deep when you don’t understand. This doesn’t mean accept everything but motivate and put a logical base on what you don’t agree.
I think this project give a lot to everybody, some of the librarians that at the beginning didn’t speak english now knows several words, they know something about Italy, about me, my language, my culture. The children in the library can experience what does it mean to speak with a person that doesn’t speak your language, the try to refresh the number in English, they say “hello” and “goodbye” and I say “cześć” and “do widzenia”.

The persons that live in the same building with us, people on the bus, in the street, in the shops have the opportunity to experience something not ordinary. In the same time for volunteers every meeting is about learning something new.

Morgana Murgia

European Forum of Cultural Creativity: an EVS project 2014/2015 in Piekary Slaskie Municipal Library

Aleksandra Zawalska-Hawel, from Piekary Slaskie Municipal Library has sent more information about this European Voluntary Service project we talked to you about last year and that they’ve developed in their library with the support of a European grant. This time, it’s 4 texts written by each one of the last volunteers they’ve hosted.

We’ll be publishing each of the texts in the coming days. Today, you can read the introduction written by Aleksandra and see a video with some pictures:

I would like to introduce another group of European volunteers working in Municipal Public Library in Piekary Slaskie, Poland: Jesús from Spain, Léa from France, Morgana from Italy and Sedat from Turkey. They are great young people with an enthusiasm to work, full of joy and neverending ideas!

They have been working with us since September 2014, but unfortunately their time are passing with the end of August 2015. But before another 4 European volunteers will start to work with us since September (we have already received a grant) I would like to point that we are very proud of them and grateful!

Please read what our volunteers write about their work in the library and see a short photo-presentation. I sincerely encourage you to take the EVS. If you want to enrich offer of your library – try accreditation and invite European volunteers! And I assure young people that volunteering in library will be the best adventure in their life!

Aleksandra Zawalska-Hawel. Director of Library in Piekary Slaskie


“Programming of Curiosity” at Piekary Slaskie Municipal Library (Poland)

Aleksandra Zawalska-Hawel, from Piekary Slaskie Municipal Library sends us this information about their new project, ”Programming of Curiosity” for  the youth aged from 15-24. Supported by the EIFL’s Public Library Innovation Programme (EIFL-PLIP), it “uses the educational technique of “gamification” and digital tools to stimulate a passion for technology.”

logo by Bartosz Łaskawiec

logo by Bartosz Łaskawiec

The program involves three partners: The Information Society Development Foundation will provide project management training; the technology company Firma Piekary.net will support internet access and provide a server and the Silesian Higher School of Entrepreneurship, will make experts available to support and advise the library, and promote the project.

This project has been awarded by EIFL-PLIP and, along with other 9 projects, will be presented next 9 – 13 Jun 2014 in a meeting in Ljubljana, Slovenia, where these “new grantees will present their projects and share knowledge and ideas about serving children and youth. EIFL-PLIP will also provide expert training in impact assessment methodologies, communication and advocacy”.

You can check all the information about it through these links:



Here’s a message from Aleksandra: “We are very happy and proud of this award, as well as the amount of $ 20,000, which we have received for our project. A lot of work is before us. A realisation of “The Programming of Curiosity” requires a lot of preparation, but we have the whole summer for it. We’ll invite youth to participate in the project after the holidays”.

photo by Adam Mikosz

photo by Adam Mikosz

We’d like to congratulate Aleksandra for this award and invite all the libraries in Sister Libraries Program to participate in the Call for Proposals that EIFL-PLIP launches in yearly basis.

Municipal Public Library in Piekary Slaskie (Poland) and the European Voluntary Service

European Voluntary Service (EVS) is the European Commission’s programme (currently in the frame of Erasmus+) that allows a young person (18–30 years) to become a volunteer in another country for a specified period, normally between 2–12 months”.

An EVS project involves a triangular partnership: a volunteer, a sending organisation and a host organisation. Municipal Public Library in Piekary Slaskie  is a host and coordinating organization since January 2013, registered with the code 2012-PL-175.

Today, Aleksandra Zawalska-Hawel, director of the Library sends us some information about EVS seen through the eyes of volunteers working in the Library: they’ve hosted four volunteers, two from Spain, one from Ukraine and another one from Denmark, who have written a text about their experience. You can read the text, titled “Volunteering in the library – it’s a good choice!” here:


And see some pictures Aleksandra is sending to illustrate this experience:



NAPLE Sister Libraries Day at Municipal Public Library in Piekary Slaskie (Poland)

As you will remember, the Municipal Public Library in Piekary Slaskie, Poland is the library that created and started all this celebration!

Some days ago we showed its postcard, posters and activities and today we have pictures of their NAPLE Sister Libraries Day Celebration last13 September!

All these pictures and many more can be found in their Facebook site:

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