Last year, the Public library Šmarje pri Jelšah successfully applied for European funds in the Erasmus+ tender with the Guardians of Heritage project. The project, worth more than 9,000 euros, is mainly about exchanging international experiences between employees in the field of local history, cultural heritage and lifelong learning. They will use the skills acquired abroad in their work and transfer their knowledge more successfully among adult learners.
The role of the library in the local environment
The Public library Šmarje pri Jelšah represents a crossroads of all generations and a place of cultural expression that unites people, promotes lifelong learning and supports creativity. With all its activities, it is a key stakeholder in preserving the past, enriching the present and preparing for the future for four municipalities.
It is necessary to look “to the other side”
As the Public library Šmarje pri Jelšah wants to preserve and consolidate its role as a cultural crossroads in the area, our staff decided to look “to the other side” and bring good practices from abroad to the local environment, for which we chose the Erasmus+ mobility tender. The range of educational content for adults is very diverse, so the project focuses on local history archives and preservation of cultural heritage in connection with the Baroque Museum, which the library has been managing since 2015. With the help of partners from abroad, our goal is to find ways to bring the contents offered by our institution closer to as many adult learners as possible. In that way, they can also spread awareness of the importance of the heritage of the environment from which they originated and get involved in heritage preservation or become its guardians.
On a study trip to Austria and Slovakia
We selected foreign partner organisations based on cultural and historical circumstances and turned to Graz, Austria, and their provincial archives. We also chose Banská Štiavnica in Slovakia – a town that we are connected to by Calvary. Their and our Calvary were both built in the middle of the 18th century. They were somewhat forgotten during the communist era and left to decay. After 2000, however, both experienced a renaissance and renewal. We are now both trying to raise awareness of the importance of this heritage as much as possible among the local population and broader and train adult learners as the guardians of heritage.
Vlasta Kramperšek Šuc (firstname.lastname@example.org), Public library Šmarje pri Jelšah