Welcome to our Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) Section. Here you will find answers to the most common questions on NAPLE Sister Libraries.

What is NAPLE Sister Libraries?

Basically, NAPLE Sister Libraries is a cooperation programme for public libraries situated in any of the participating NAPLE countries/regions, that wish to find a partner/sister library in another country. The coordinator of the programme is Spain (Subdirectorate General for Library Cooperation, Ministry of Education, Culture and Sports).

The project seeks to help libraries foster cooperation links in themes they are both interested in.  You can find more information in the Join the program.

 What is NAPLE?

NAPLE is the Forum of National Authorities for Public Libraries in Europe. It was established in 2002. Find out more about it: https://naple.eu/

Is fluency in English a requirement to participate? Is it the language I must use with my sister library? Can I participate if I am not fluent in English?

English is the working language of the programme. That means it is the language we will use in our communications with you and on the website, and the language we will ask you to use when sending us any news about your activities, sisters, etc.

Having said that, it does not mean that you have to be fluent in English or that your written English must be perfect. This is just for communication, and the only thing that matters is that we can understand each other. Also, you can always get some help at the time of writing or use different resources to help you translating. In the right side column that appears in every Section of the website, you can find a link to Google Translator. Obviously, it does not give a perfect translation and you will have to check some parts, but it is useful to find out what a text is about and to help you when translating into English. In the Internet you will be able to find many dictionaries and resources that can help as well.

Also, English is only the language of the programme. If you are fluent in another language and the contact person from your sister library speaks it also, of course you can communicate and work together in the language of your preference. In the application forms there is a field for the languages spoken by the staff and by the users, and you can always look for a library where your language is spoken.

Am I eligible to participate?

The only requirement for participation is being a public library located in one of the participating NAPLE countries or regions –which you can check Join the program– and be willing to have a sister library

Do I need permission from my Institution /Government/Other to participate?

That will depend on your own Institution /Administration/ Governement/ Other’s rules or way of working, so we can not say anything about that.

How can I participate?

After finding out if you are eligible for participation (see former questions)  and reading the Join the program, just go to the Send the form section, complete it, and send it. You can also send pictures for publication if you want to, in fact we encourage you to do so!

What happens after I send my form? How do I get a sister library?

After you fill in the form, the Secretariat will send you an email explaining the program and how we’ll help you find a Sister. Then we will upload your form, pictures and information and announce your participation in the blog and on our Twitter account (@NAPLESisLib)

When you start doing activities, please send us the news so we can publish it in the blog.

What happens if the library I have written to does not answer?

Well, we would advise to try again just in case the library has not received your email. Of course, out of politeness or netiquette, we would all expect an answer, even if it is to say they are not interested in the “sistership” with your library, but if there is no reply, there is little left to be done but insisting if you wish or trying with another library.

Do I have to accept if a library contacts me to be their sister library?

There is no obligation on your part to accept any invitation, so it is up to you to say no if you are not interested in that particular library.

Which countries/regions are participating?

Currently, the NAPLE countries or regions participating in NAPLE Sister Libraries are Belgium, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, England, Finland, France, Greece, Ireland, Lithuania, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Scotland, Slovenia, Spain and Switzerland. We hope others will join us in the future!

Can I propose a “sistership” with a library that is not participating yet?

If the library is located in another participating country/region (check it in the former question) of course you can! The other library should then register first by sending their application form and then you can be NAPLE Sister Libraries.

Am I free to choose the activities I can do with my sister library?

Yes, the programme is completely open in that sense as well. The sister libraries are the ones who choose what they would like to do.

Do I have to do the activities that appear in the Activities  Section?

No, as said in the former question, you choose what you do, and it can be something that does not appear in the Activities Section. The Activities Section is just for inspiration!

Do I have to sign an agreement with my sister library?

This also up to you and your sister library. If you wish to sign an agreement we have some models in the Agreements Section that you can use and/or adapt to your needs.

 Can I have more than one sister library?

Yes! You decide how many sister libraries you want to have. Most have only one, but some libraries have several ones too! You can see the number of sister libraries each library has at the Libraries Section and the “sisterships” already established at the Sisterships Section.

 How do I get the news if new libraries or countries join NAPLE Sister Libraries?

The best way to stay updated is to subscribe to the blog via email. You can do it in the right side column that appears in every Section of the website, in “Follow blog via e-mail”. You can also follow us on Twitter: @NAPLESisLib.

 Is there any funding available?

NAPLE Sister Libraries does not have any funding. If the activities the libraries do involve costs they will be responsible for their funding.

 Are you related in some way to the twin/sister cities concept?

No, but if you are thinking of  joining us we suggest you find out if your town has a sister or twin town so their library could be your sister library. This way, there might be already an institutional framework that makes it easier for you and probably you will receive more support from your administrations, etc.