Public Institution City Library and Reading Room Herceg Novi, in the subsystem of public libraries of Montenegro, is regarded as a modern structured institution, whose activities are based on application of international library standards. Confirmation of success in the work is the prestigious professional award „Award of Dr Niko Simov Martinović“, received by the Library in 2010. The Library is situated in the Square of Herceg Stjepan in Herceg Novi, one of the most beautiful squares in the Bay of Kotor (Bella vista). It has the status of a public institution. The founder of the Library is the Municipality of Herceg Novi which finances the activities of the Library. In accordance with the Law on Libraries, it acts as a public library and the main library in the municipality of Herceg Novi.
The rapid development of computer technology and overproduction of information encouraged the successful transformation of the Library with traditionally structured activities into a modern library – information centre. Starting with 1989, electronic bibliographic descriptions of library materials started to be introduced, and from 2003, the Library has successfully been involved in information and communication networks, establishing a modern and efficient form of electronic communication with customers, through its internet portal and Ask a Librarian service and establishes a base of digitalized Regional Collection of the Bay of Kotor (over 20,000 pages). In CDS/ISIS, BIBLIO application, the Library holdings have been electronically processed (60,000 electronic entries). In the mid 90s, the Library terminated classic card catalogues. A step forward in improving the activities and quality of customer service is the Library's joining the library information system COBISS Montenegro. The long-term work of transferring data from the local electronic database from CDS/ISIS BIBLIO into COBISS is in the process, which is the first step towards the introduction of electronic loan and, in the near future, the possibility for the users of returning the charged materials outside of the Library's working hours. The Herceg Novi library is recognizable in Montenegro by professionally designed user services, both in traditional and modern (electronic) mode of communication, for different structures of users. By meeting various requirements, from novice to those of the highest scientific level, we are successfully managing a dozen of customer services, leading to the library of the future „library without walls“. Thanks to the free customer service - Interlibrary loan – our users have access to the million holdings of the National library in Cetinje. Particular attention is paid to educating the users (secondary school and university students, researchers, scientists) to search electronic databases: COBISS, BIBLIO and Internet. For already 10 years the Library has been providing free Internet use to its members. In recent years we have introduced free membership for pre-school children and first graders, as well as for persons over 65, in order to engage in global trends of library science and to support the project „65+“, very popular in the world. The Library has: approx. 60,000 monographs, 70,000 serials, 90,000 press clippings, 13,000 minor bibliographic units, three manuscripts and a significant number of old and rare books and serials.
The Library has several significant legacies and collections. A large number of donors have donated to the Library a number of books, which do not make a whole, or the donors expressed a wish for the books to be incorporated into the basic holdings. Separate legacies are by: Dr Dušan Petković, Dr Sanja Subotić, Veljko Radojević, Miloš Kovač, Ilija Zeković and Miraš Martinović. However, in terms of volume (5,500 books) and contents, the legacy of Dr Dušan Petković excels. The legacy contains: rarity, works of reference materials, the works in various fields of science and knowledge, in particular religion, art and history. The represented monographs are written in more than 20 languages and 619 books belonging to the category of old and rare books. The oldest book is a critical edition of Petrarch by Alessandro Velutella, printed in Venice in 1550; then Ludovico Granatense „Silva locorum qui frequenter concinibus occurrere solent“, printed in 1586; a contribution to the history by Pope Sixtus V „Delle glorie di Sisto Quinto“ from 1588; French translation of „Don Cichoite“ printed 1681; „De urbibus“ by Stefano Bizantino, printed 1694; a manuscript of „Provincia de Madrid“ in Spanish... and an abundant collection of Napoleonic books. The legacy has been treated according to international standards of bibliographic processing and is available in digital form on the Library portal. The bibliographic material is located at four depots and organized within the following holdings: Monographs, serials, monographs and serials in foreign languages, National holdings (monographs and serials, press clippings and minor bibliographic units) and legacies. Processing of library materials is carried out according to international standards of treatment: ISBDM, ISBDS, ISBDA, and UDC system.
Mostly based on valuable knowledge acquired within the project of cooperation with the Vauréal commune of Paris, we have organized work with children, as never since its founding had the Library a truly organized Children's Department. The main reason was lack of space. In recent years, we have started programmes which have been implemented in an inadequate space, the reading room for adults. The programs are professionally designed in accordance with modern standards of work with children applied in the world. In the present circumstances we have been implementing the following program activities: First visit to the library; Events and Classes in the library; Playotheque: Storytime; Afternoon in the library; Creative writing workshops; Meetings with children's writers; Read, fantasize, create; Catch a wandering star..., literary contest for high school students „Open a book, open the world“, celebration of World literacy Day, World Book Day... We have organized several visits by children's writers, among others: Raša Popov, Dejan Đonović, Mošo Odalović, Marie-Louise Gay, David Homan (Canada)... and theatre performances for children. We have cooperated with NGO Sunbeam, which brings together children with special needs. With particular attention we have been cooperating with day care centres for children with disability issues and developmental disorders. We want to make the book available to the children gathered in the Centre through: organized library visits, regular submission of appropriate library materials and organizing educational and entertainment programs twice a month, tailored to their abilities and needs.
As a part of the work with children, we have organized workshops with the themes: „School of creative writing“ and „Working with children with developmental disorders, in the library“. The workshops were attended by Herceg Novi elementary school students, children from the special class of „Ilija Kišić“ school, school librarians, teachers and educationalists from Herceg Novi, Kotor, Risan and Budva. The aim of these programmes is to discreetly offer the book as an object of love, before it becomes their obligation, to encourage them to read, and for those who have affinity for writing, to develop creative skills and to learn about the basics of fine writing.
Regional library collection of the Bay of Kotor, long-term bibliographic research of the region of the Bay, based on clearly defined criteria and international standards, including dozens of thousands collected bibliographies, professionally processed and partially digitalized. The works on the Regional library collection is of particular significance for the city and the region, while the collected bibliographic material presents an authentic written evidence of the long history and tradition of the region. The electronic database is an indispensable resource for all those who deal with research of the Bay of Kotor from any aspect and shortens the path for researchers and scientists to accurate and fast information, while means of new technologies enable remote access to it. The principle of indigenization, i.e. popularizing the Boka theme, characters and authors, are consistently applied in the programme orientation in primarily the following three segments: publishing, digitizing the most important titles from the Regional holdings, legacies and old and rare books as well as designing cultural programmes. Prestigious exhibitions: Old periodicals of Boka and 100 years since the launch of the first newspaper in the Bay and „Boka“ for general interests of Boka people 1908-1909, placed and very well attended in Herceg Novi, City Library of Belgrade and monastery Praskavica. The exhibition of ex libris from the holdings of PI City Library of Herceg Novi is the latest in the series of exhibitions foreseen to promote cultural heritage of the Bay of Kotor.
Publishing has been based on the principle of indigenization. The Library is the publisher of the renowned „Boka“ scientific journal: proceedings of science, culture and art, published continuously once a year. All issues are available on the Library's site in full text (more than 10,000 p.). Publishing production is completed with yet another two editions: „Regional Bibliography of the Bay of Kotor“ and „Regional Treasury.
Since 2007 we have been working on digitization of the oldest regional periodicals. By digitization, the library holdings, used under special conditions and including measures of protection, have become relatively easily available to users worldwide. The following titles have been digitized: Catalogus cleri et dioecesis catharensis (1841-1911), Statistics of the Diocese of the Bay of Kotor – Dubrovnik and Spič (1874-1913), Il bocchese: lunario catolico et greco (1867), Boka: Mini Serbian-Popular Magazine for Serbian Youth (1882-1883), Report by Serbian Maritime Endowment School Bošković-Đurović-Laketićka at Srbina (1885-1886), Boka: Big illustrated calendar (1909-1914), Boka: Gazette for general interests of Boka people (1908-1909), Serbian Magazine 1886-1887 and about twenty titles from the collection Old and Rare Books.
Since 2003, the International Book Fair „Trg od knjige“ obtained the accepted term from 21st -28th July in the calendar of cultural events for the summer tourist season. It is an undivided opinion that the location of the most beautiful town’s square is the ideal venue for exhibiting books and discussions on books. Herceg Stjepan square, also known as Bella vista, thanks to the Fair became recognized as “Trg od knjige” (Book Market). The international book fair “Trg od Knjige” is a complex cultural manifestation whose concept consists of three segments: Encouraging domestic and foreign publishers to take part at the Fair; organizing evening programmes designed to promote current and best titles: fiction and science, literature for children, works with regional topics and a variety of cultural programmes (exhibitions, concerts, poetry reading with music, screenings of films and documentaries, theatre performances for children and adults, press promotions...); organization of conferences (Round table, forum, conference...) and press promotion in the day-time schedule. The Library, being in charge of organization of the Fair, instead of to commercial, has given priority to the original mission of its profession: popularizing books and reading. We believe that the Fair, especially its evening programmes, designed for different categories of visitors, various interests and demands of the readers, encourage reading, influence forming of literary taste and criteria, i.e. recognition of true values at the time of overproduction of bad literature, pulp fiction and writers at any cost.
According to the Law on Librarianship the Library performs expert supervision for five schools and two special libraries in the Municipality. Since 2000 the Library has been included in international projects, of which the current one is membership in the association IMPAC Dublin, which awards the prestigious literary prize for the best novel translated into English. It is an exceptional honour to be one of the 154 libraries from 120 cities and 44 countries gathered by IMPAC Dublin association.
For several years in a row, the Library has been competing in the Programme for Protection and Preservation of Cultural Property by Montenegro’s Ministry of Culture. The following projects have been implemented within this programme:
· Preparation of a study for determination of cultural value of the Library’s most significant collections (Regional Collection of the Bay of Kotor, Legacy of Dr Dušan Petković and Old and Rare Books and Periodicals)
· Bibliographic research for the requirements of the Library’s Regional Collection of the Bay of Kotor
· Procurement of equipment for digitizing
· Exhibition of Ex Libris from the holdings of PI City Library of Herceg Novi
· Exhibition “Bay of Kotor and its People” in the Voice of Montenegrin 1873-1922.
· Procurement of equipment for digitizing
Nine employees have been engaged for the design and implementation of the Library’s activities, eight of which professionals: 1 library advisor, 4 librarians, 1 senior librarian and 2 library technicians.
In the era of digitization, librarians are facing new challenges and standards, which implies broad education, vocational training and continuous professional capacity building (capacity building; reading professional literature; participation in lectures, seminars, workshops, as well as professional and scientific conferences in the field of librarianship and related activities). In the spirit of the UNESCO Public Library Manifesto, promoting these institutions into „local gates of knowledge“, the clear concept of activities is expanded by new information, which is the trend in modern librarianship, as well as by valuable positive experiences of developed libraries. We seek to meet users’ requirements, keep up with the rapid advancement of librarianship and use of new technologies. These very principles are common guidelines for the design of future programmes, in accordance with the Library’s personnel, spatial and financial capabilities.
AWARD "DR NIKO SIMOV MARTINOVIĆ"
Sermon on the awards - Nevenka Mitrović, director of the Public City Library of Herceg Novi