Sunday, 26 May 2019

Zagreb City Libraries Introduce E-Book Borrowing Service

On May 31, the Zagreb City Libraries will introduce the new e-book borrowing service to all members over the age of 15. This will be the first such pilot project in Croatia, it was announced at a press conference by Zagreb City Libraries director Višnja Cej, reports Večernji List on May 26, 2019.

She pointed out that the Zaki e-book borrowing app is straightforward to use, and can be installed on mobile phones, laptops, tablets or computers with the membership card number and a PIN available in all city libraries.

She said that the service would initially include 400 titles selected in collaboration with publishers, but would soon expand and be made available to children as well. The e-books are borrowed for a period of three weeks, and for now, it is not possible to extend the deadline.

Cej said that there will always be people who will want to borrow actual physical books with covers and pages, but there are also those who will want to use their new e-book service in trams, on beaches, anywhere, 24 hours a day. She added that the app was very accessible. Citizens need to be members of the Zagreb City Libraries, have their membership number and a PIN and, “enjoy the new service.”

The e-book project will be launched on May 31 because the libraries wanted to give citizens the new service as a gift for the Day of the City of Zagreb. She believes the platform will contribute to the popularization of book reading in the virtual environment. The program is co-financed by the City of Zagreb.

The press conference also presented the initial proposal for the new building of the central city library branch at the Paromlin site. Ismena Meić, head of the branch, said that by launching a tender for the design at the end of last year, the City of Zagreb had made a significant step towards solving two problems – reviving the Paromlin industrial heritage complex and finding the adequate accommodation for the main branch, which has changed several locations since its establishment in 1907 and is currently housed at the so-called Starčević building.

“By implementing the new building project, the city library would accomplish its centennial dream which would allow the valuable fund with almost 500,000 units to be gathered at one location. The new building will become a living room for citizens, the centre of the city and the public space that will provide citizens with access to information, programmes and services. It will become a new symbol of Zagreb, a city oriented towards knowledge, learning and culture,” she said.

Mayor Milan Bandić said that he was proud that Zagreb allocates seven per cent of its budget for culture, while the share on the national level is just 0.8 per cent. “In order to promote reading, we have enabled children to become members of all city library branches free of charge. We are the second worst country in Europe by reading, so we have to do something about that,” said Bandić.

Translated from Večernji List.

More news about books in Croatia can be found in the Lifestyle section.

Saturday, 2 March 2019

Old Steam Mill to Be Turned into Zagreb City Library

The UPI-2M architectural studio, best known for designing the Arena sports halls in Zagreb, has won the first prize at the competition for the architectural proposal for the new Zagreb city library at Paromlin (old steam mill), reports Večernji List on March 2, 2019.

As announced yesterday by the Zagreb Architects Society (DAZ), twenty proposals were submitted to the competition that was published last October, and the jury selected the top five. The UPI-2M project was voted as the best, and the eight-member team will receive 271,040 kuna.

“By analysing the wider and narrower area around Paromlin, we have addressed the question of how to design a city library complex that should take into account the strict conservative regulations which protect the Paromlin buildings as a site of a highly-valuable industrial architecture monument,” said the studio, adding that the organic form of the new part the city library building would be in contrast with the strict lines and the volumes of the existing and protected Paromlin buildings.

For this reason, the facade of the new part would reflect the surrounding components of the complex, the warehouses for flour and silos, as well as the surrounding park which would, according to architects, dematerialise its own volume.

“In the existing Paromlin buildings we plan to accommodate the administrative parts of the library, while the new building and its levels from -1 to +2 would house public facilities, i.e. entrance hall with a conference room, department for children and youth, reading rooms for collections and magazines, music department with a public roof terrace,” explained the UPI-2M studio, adding that the -2 level is reserved for technical areas and the public garage space.

The reconstruction of Paromlin will cost around 300 million kuna, and the new city library will not be constructed until at least 2025. The funding for the project, as announced by the city authorities, should at least partly be provided from the European Union funds.

Translated from Večernji List (reported by Mateja Šobak).

More Zagreb news can be found in the dedicated section.

Sunday, 11 November 2018

Old Steam Mill to Become Pet-Friendly Library with Gadget Garage

A museum of contemporary art in the early 1990s, a hotel at the end of the century, and a military museum a few years ago. Over the years, the proposals changed about what to do with the old steam mill (Paromlin) located in the Zagreb city centre. However, now it seems that the idea which first appeared in 2012, to turn the mill into a library, will become a reality, reports Večernji List on November 11, 2018.

The tender for the architectural design of the library has been published. Since the area covers nearly 20,000 square metres, the bidders will have until 31 January 2019 to submit their proposals. The best of them will receive almost 400,000 kuna from the city authorities, and the 300 million kuna reconstruction project will start.

Interested designers will have an opportunity to visit the currently dilapidated mill and see what needs and can be done. They will work following detailed guidelines about how the library, which will not open before 2025 and possibly much later, will eventually look like.

In front of the entrance, there will be a small square and it should provide access to the library which will be open 24 hours a day. “The main entrance will be open to users round the clock and equipped with a wireless internet network, benches and devices for people to return the borrowed library books,” say the guidelines.

At the entrance to the library, the citizen will be able to get all the information at information counters, as well as on large information screens, while those arriving on bikes will have a roofed parking lot. The library will have a special reading room for the daily and weekly press, computers so that the news can be read on the internet, as well as an informal meeting area connected to the cafeteria.

The new city library will be pet-friendly, at least in one part, since the entrance will provide a “pet-friendly area while the owners are in the library.” It will also include an exhibition area, conference halls and a restaurant. Toddlers will have a playing area, while preschoolers will have available 4,500 picture books, 11,000 books and a creative corner. Teenagers will be provided with desks with computers and media players for 10,147 DVDs, 1,444 CDs and 1,500 old VHS tapes, while adults will have a concentration area with individual seating.

The library will also feature something called the gadget garage. This will be an area with the latest technology available, such as mobile phones and IT equipment, where users will be able to test them. There will also be a room for listening to music, with “individual seating areas with headphones and players.”

For more news on Zagreb, visit our special section.

Translated from Večernji List (reported by Mateja Šobak).

Friday, 31 August 2018

National University Library to Be Turned in EU Convention Centre

During Croatia’s presidency of the European Union, the library will host an EU summit and numerous meetings.

Sunday, 22 April 2018

Book Night to Be Held on Monday

ZAGREB, April 22, 2018 - Book Night, an annual event promoting the culture of reading, will be organised in Croatia for the seventh time on 23 April, and this year the motto of the campaign will be "The Future of the Book".

Thursday, 21 July 2016

Free Reading Zones in Croatia

After the United States, where Free Reading Zones are common, Croatia will become one of the countries with zones of free reading for residents and tourists.