In Mid-June 2019 EPALE and Erasmus+ Adult Education Czech Republic took a group of 9 librarians from various institutional backgrounds on a 3-days study visit to Vienna. The dense programme, facilitated by EPALE Austria, was centred around the topic of “libraries as an environment of adult learning”. The study visit fostered enhanced exchange of best practice examples between librarians across borders, and led to ideas concerning Erasmus+ KA1 Mobility Exchanges.
Librarians visiting the Library Perchtoldsdorf © OeAD-GmbH_EPALE Austria
How was the study visit set up?
At the kick off meeting on 17 June 2019, the group was welcomed by Carin Dániel Ramírez-Schiller, deputy head of the Austrian National Agency Erasmus+ Education.
Markus Feigl, Managing Director Austrian Library Association (BVÖ), gave insight into the Austrian library system and the diverse landscape of libraries and librarianship training in Austria, including statistical data of staff members and user groups. Watch a video statement by Markus Feigl! Kateřina Nekolová, Librarianship Institute, National Library of the Czech Republic, presented the (PPT presentation), its historical roots and current structure. She gave insight into modern library architecture and showed best practice examples of how libraries can be used as environments for adult education.
Reinhard Ehgartner, Managing Director Österreichisches Bibliothekswerk, demonstrated how libraries can enable the „Discovering of the world through reading”. Ulrike Unterthurner, Head of Stadtbibliothek Dornbirn, gave insight into the work of an Austrian “learning library". Filiz Keser-Aschenberger, Head of Transdisciplinary Continuing Education Planning and Education Research Center, Danube University Krems, presented how regional libraries can enable adult learning.To illustrate a practical best practice example, she also presented the Erasmus+ KA2 Projekt LIB(e)RO (PPT). Watch a video statement on the project!
Karin Hirschmüller, Erasmus+ National Agency Austria and Lucie Kelblová, Easmus+ National Agency Czech Republic outlined the possibilities of the Erasmus+ KA 1 and KA 2 funding schemes: “What is in it for Librarians?” Katrin Handler, EPALE Austria and Barbora Pavelková, EPALE Czech Republic presented “EPALE – what does it offer?”
Visits to libraries
In the afternoon, the group made a visit to district library of Simmering and was welcomed by the head of the district library, Jan Pokorny (Head). Watch his video statement!
On day two of the study visit, the group first visited the Library Perchtoldsdorf (Federal Province of Lower Austria) and exchanged with Gabriele Lindenthal (Head) and Ursula Liebmann, Managing Director of “Treffpunkt Bibliothek”, a service for libraries, offered by the federal province of Lower Austria. In the afternoon, the National Library in Vienna opened its deep storage room for the group of fellow librarians from the Czech Republic.
Exchange at the Austrian Library Association
The group concluded the study visit on day 3 by visiting the offices of Austrian Library Association, where they were welcomed by its Managing Director, Markus Feigl. The study offered an exciting opportunity for Austrian and Czech libraries to connect and exchange.
“I liked the visits to various types of libraries, for comparison, for knowing new things and for opening another view”
“It was very interesting to see, that libraries in Austria are very similar to libraries in Czech Republic. Volunteering plays a stronger role in Austria.”
“After this study visit, I plan to do more activities with young adults to support reading lust”
Listen to more voices from the EPALE cross border study visit of librarians and have a look at the blog "S EPALE do Rakouska (With EPALE to Austria)" (in Czech language) written by Michaela Staňková, Regional Research Library in Liberec.