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SIAE Awards 2007
Žar Group at Most Society - University of the Third Age Ajdovščina

SIAE awards for learning and knowledge promotion 2006

Awards to institutions, enterprises and local communities for outstanding professional or promotional achievements as well as for achievements related to the enrichment of one's own knowledge or the knowledge of others 

Marina Hrs from Manžan, near Koper

Proposers: Špela Pahor and Darja Kromar


What libraries can do for development and the interconnection of people in the local environment

What is a creative journalist to do when she makes a home in the countryside, far from the challenges of busy urban life? If she is lucky, she finds a job in a general educational library in which thousands of opportunities for work with and for people await her. This fortunate opportunity for Marina Hrs is the Izola Town Library. Soon after taking up the job, she became enthusiastic about programmes of non-formal education, trained for them, and now - as director - is successfully introducing them into the regular work of her institution. The library provides premises for study circles, a knowledge exchange and a centre for self-directed learning. A lifelong learning centre is currently being set up. She has opened up all these forms of education to the underprivileged - the elderly, the partially sighted, the chronically ill and disabled, and other target groups with special needs - families, children, tourists, hotel guests, etc. She organises lectures, exhibitions, creates exhibition collections and is constantly on the lookout for new ideas. Despite her demanding job as director, she is also a mentor and leader of the study circles Reading at Home to the Elderly and Partially Sighted, Loaning Library Material at Home for Special Cases, Reading with Parents and Intellectual Self-Defence. She has understood the advantages of linking the library with the local environment and therefore encourages it herself with innovative measures: during the move into new premises she invited citizens to form a human chain; young and old helped transfer the books and in this way became familiar with the new location, while for many the live contact with books made them enthusiastic to read and to visit the library! She also consolidates the connection with the environment at evenings featuring interesting residents of Izola, to which she also invites representatives of the media, who regularly report on these encounters with people who have set their stamp on the town. She enables local artists and other designers to exhibit their creations and is also creating a permanent collection of children's toys which are interesting from both the ethnographic and artistic point of view and are already adding something to the library environment.

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