Today in our interviews Section we have the pleasure of introducing Valentina Grinevičienė, from the Kaunas County Public Library (KCPL) in Lithuania.
KCPL is one of the 4 Lithuanian Libraries that are currently participating in the programme, and it already has two sister libraries: Ljubljana City Library in Slovenia and the Municipal Public Library of Piekary Slaskie in Poland.
Kaunas County Public Library is the biggest public library in the middle of Lithuania and it is very active, especially regarding cooperation and web 2.0 social networks, as you will be able to read in this interview.
This is already our third interview! Remember you can read them all in the Interviews Section. Former ones were:
– Aleksandra Zawalska-Hawel, from the Municipal Public Library in Piekary Slaskie in Poland.
– Loly León, from the Arucas Municipal Library in Gran Canaria, Spain.
And now let’s go with Valentina!
-Valentina, first of all, how did you hear of the sister libraries programme and what motivated you to participate?
We found the first actual information about NAPLE forum and its activities on the Internet and announced it on Kaunas County Public Library (KCPL) blog in 2009. Later, representative of the Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Lithuania invited us to become a member of NAPLE sister libraries programme community and we are pleased of this opportunity.
-Please, tell us a bit more about your community. Your serve a very large population (over 220.000 according to your form) What is the community you serve like? Do you serve multicultural populations?
KCPL welcomes visitors who are of different age, social status and education. Our community is relatively homogeneous. Nearly 70 percent of users are students and learners. We offer for the community: comfortable place for reading books and taking them to home, participation in various training courses such as computer and information literacy, improving skills needed for information search on Internet, learning languages; workshops in art, floristic and yoga areas; various events for families: afternoon games, quizzes, competitions, meetings with writers, artists, politicians, doctors, herbalists, famous people; the opportunity to participate in various clubs: readers, discussion, board games, volunteers and others.
– Your first sister library was Ljubljana City Library from Slovenia and later on you also established a sistership with the Municipal Public Library in Piekary Slaskie from 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?
I’ve found that all of them are very active, friendly, tolerant and willing to participate in joint projects. All members of Sister Libraries programme are united by a common goal to serve their libraries communities effectively.
– What was the experience to visit your sister library in Poland like?
Despite the fact that Lithuania and Poland are neighbouring countries and our cultures as well as history are interrelated, the invitation and the visit were extremely pleasant and honest. Our colleagues from Municipal Public Library in Piekary Slaskie prepared a magnificent meeting programme for the sister participants. We were fascinated by their creativity and sincerity. This is one of the most exciting experiences of the public libraries partnership.
– Your library is very active in social networks. You have a blog and you have profiles in Facebook, Youtube 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 Library and/or promote or to give news on your activities?
We are trying to be closer to our community and to be in the place where the community likes to be. We interact daily – invite all the community members to our events, share news, upload book quotations as well as recommend books and library exhibitions. We also used our library blog to inform the network of Kaunas region public libraries about NAPLE Sisters Libraries. KCPL brings together more than 300 public libraries of the region into a network, employing more than 400 librarians.
– 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?
As we mentioned above, European partnership with KCPL is interesting to our users but we have to say that it is more relevant to the network of Kaunas region public libraries. KCPL is the main/central and largest public library in the central part of Lithuania – Kaunas region. KCPL is the methodical centre of Kaunas region public libraries, organizes continuing training of the region’s librarians and invites them to jointly participate and develop various projects. Information about NAPLE Sisters Libraries on KCPL blog is a step forward to new European projects with Kaunas region public libraries network.
– What kind of materials have you interchanged so far? Would you like to highlight any other activities?
We are grateful to Director of Municipal Public Library in Piekary Slaskie Aleksandra Zawalska-Hawel for the opportunity to jointly develop a new idea and prepare a new project. Aleksandra invited us to develop a project about historical events of January of 1863 Uprising in Lithuania and Kaunas Following the footsteps of the insurgents 1863 in Lithuania. So pleasant news has just reached us – we received funding!
–According to your form, you are currently searching for partners for the Lifelong Learning Programme/Leonardo da Vinci Project. Can you tell us a bit more about it?
Fortunately, we found partners and jointly have developed some ideas for Lifelong Learning Programme period 2013-2014. Now we’re looking forward to the results of the application evaluation.
– 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?
NAPLE Sister Libraries Programme is a really effective way for public library to be involved in European projects area, to feel a real European public libraries pulse and experience new things, and it’s opportunity for public library to became more visible, more attractive and more open!
– What would you say to any librarian who is thinking of the possibility of joining the programme?
NAPLE Sister Libraries programme is a unique possibility to be involved in an International cooperation. One just needs to be active and have ideas.
Thank you very much, Valentina! And congratulations for your project!!
More about Kaunas County Public Library:
- Kaunas County Public Library Application Form
- Kaunas County Public Library News
- Kaunas websites & social networks profiles:
Website / Facebook / Twitter/Blog / Youtube
Would you like to participate in the NAPLE Sister Libraries Programme? Read the call for participation here!