Croatian librarian Petar Lukacic loved helping others. So when he had the chance to expand his knowledge, he jumped in so he could continue passing it on to learners
I’m a librarian working as head of an adult department in a small town public library. Working in a public library for me is a dream come true scenario because I meet a lot of interesting people and by doing my job I can help them in their search for knowledge and fun. It’s not only lending books – it’s helping, guiding, organising events, and tutoring. There are numerous possibilities when you work in the best library in Croatia (we won a national award for the best library in 2013.). I’m also one of organisers of first TEDxLibrary event in European union – TEDxKoprivnicaLibrary.
The public library will continue its mission – educational and personal growth by bridging the social gap
I work in a cultural institution in a country that is in recession and has unstable funding, so making trips to distant countries is quite expensive and can’t be funded by the library. I applied for a job-shadowing trip to Finland to see first-hand how is it to work in another library. Grundtvig jumped in and helped with funding but not only funding – Grundtvig taught me how to write project ideas and provided me a chance to network with colleagues in Helsinki and Sastamala.
Finland is a forerunner in developing new library programmes – especially in new electronical environment. It is not the same to read about new programmes and to talk to people who are developing them. I was especially interested in e-books and integrating new technologies in everyday work, in marketing new programmes, organising lessons for adult patrons, etc.
Identification of key issues was not a problem because I face them every day – how to help my patrons, how to give them what they need from the library and help them identify it. But I always need a second view and an outside perspective and that is why I needed to see how someone “better” than me is working and creating.
The public library will continue its mission – educational and personal growth by bridging the social gap. In Finland it is already normal to read e-books but in Croatia e-book reading is only at its beginning and Public library “Fran Galovic” Koprivnica will be the first library in Croatia that is lending tablet to adult patrons for home use. Since the situation in Croatia is not going to change in the near future then this will be a baby step forward. And my library has always tried to implement knowledge its employees gathered while undergoing some kind of education and will continue.
The visit helped me to get a better perspective of the libraries future development
The chance to visit another European country and to learn from my colleagues is a great personal benefit for me – I love my job and can’t look at it just as a profession so everything job related is also personally related. I enjoy traveling and exploring because traveling is happiness and when I’m happy then definitely personal benefit grows.
During my visit I “shadowed” librarians and met different people that are closely connected to libraries – I have to mention Lari Aho who has developed a project called Labrary. This project has developed a great response in libraries in Finland and the developers have a great idea to make this project a European project named Labrary Europe. Through this connection I hope that someday I’ll bring this project to Croatia.