Lithuanian library community has a beautiful tradition – for 24 years, at the end of April, we celebrate National Libraries week. During this project, all public libraries unite for various joint activities, present their own practices to the public, invite to celebrate librarian profession. Each year new theme is presented. The theme of this year – “In a European family”- encouraged friendship with foreign libraries, invited to discuss the creation of unity, equality and values. The best libriarians in our country are awarded during the opening of National Libraries week.

Panevėžys district municipal library started this  week with fun quiz, dedicated to this year’s theme – “In a European family”. An International project publication, initiated by our Slovenian sister library – Ivan Tavčar Škofja Loka library –  a set of different national recipies from several countries “Recipes from three countries. Family recipes of our libraries visitors“, was presented. This set contains multiple traditional recipies from visitors of three libraries in three countries: Slovenia, Lithuanian and Finland. This publication is a peculiar gift to our visitors – culinary journey through three countries.

During the National Libraries week we invited our visitors to discuss matter, important for everyone – chalenges and stereotypes of aging, generational miscommunication, discrimination towards older people. Writer and a journalist Eva Tombak has presented her newly published book “Afternoon time: myths and the truth about aging“.  Author stated that: “Negative view to age is harmful to everyone. Young people need to be educated, that their views towards the older people determine their own senescence”.

With sincere support to Ukraine, still battling at war, we remembered Chernobyl nuclear power plant tragedy, that occured more than 30 years ago, killed hundreds of innocent people and turned blooming Ukrainian land into a non-healing wound. Our visitors were invited see a movie “Everything is not going to be fine” (Romania, Ukraine, 2020, duration: 82min. Directors: Adrian Pîrvu, Helena Maksyom). The movie is based on real facts and tells a story about accident in Chernobyl nuclear power plant, painful consequences, haunting young people to this day.

However, during this week, most important to us, librarians, is to celebrate our profession. It was fun to meet our colleagues, have a chat and a picnic. We’ve visited our neighboring district colleagues, located in their new premises, shared best practices and experiences. Next day, we had a hike in Žemaitijos (Samogitian) national park, where librarians from all Lithuanian gathered for a 10 km lenght hike around lake Plateliai  through beautiful and hilly areas.

Inspired by our colleagues and nature we went back to work, to new week.

National Libraries week 2024 will remain in our memories as full of books, events, meetings and positive emotions.

Text by Dana Pamerneckyte

Photos by Vida Ambraškatė and Asta Nedveckienė