Krško joins Sydney, Barcelona and Shanghai on best library shortlist
The Valvasor Library in Krško in eastern Slovenia was one of the four finalists shortlisted for the Public Library of the Year Award given out at the International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions (IFLA) World Library and Information Congress 2023.
The Krško library, which is located in a former monastery, made the shortlist alongside public libraries in Sydney, Shanghai and Barcelona. The Gabriel Garcia Marquez library in Barcelona was named library of the year.
The Krško library was well received at the congress, director Urška Lobnikar Paunović told the Slovenian Press Agency. She said their library was a favourite for many because it radiated warmth and homely atmosphere.
An international jury evaluated 16 libraries from 11 countries, taking into account the functionality of architecture, the library's connections with its surroundings and local culture, adaptability, sustainability, digital solutions, as well as participation in learning and social inclusion.
It was also important that the library is meeting the UN sustainable development goals and the global vision of IFLA, Lobnikar Paunović said.
The Krško library serves the municipalities of Krško and Kostanjevica na Krki. It has three branches and a shared travelling library with other libraries in the region.
It first opened in 1965 and moved to its current location in the former monastery in 1988. In 2016 the municipality began the project of expanding and renovating the library, which was completed in 2022 and cost more than €8 million. The library gained 1,600 square metres of usable space.
The library has just under 6,000 members, who borrow around 350,000 books and other library materials a year.
Krško The Capuchin Baroque library managed by the Krško Library. Photo: Rasto Božič/STA
Its collection features a copy of the Vulgate Bible translation that was allegedly read by Jurij Dalmatin, a Slovenian 16th-century reformer. The Krško library also manages the Capuchin Baroque library, which is protected as a national treasure, with the oldest book from this collection dating back to 1502.