Roma people, invited to the libraryThe content reflects the views only of the author, and the e-RR project partner consortium cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained therein.
Metlika, Public library, Roma settlements
Project lead partner/organization and contact person (e-mail, links) project website
Project information – start and end date (if available)
Summary (goals and purposes of the project)
We became actively engaged in working with the Roma in 2003. We liaised with the Metlika Social Work Centre, which provided me with all the necessary data and so we started to invite Roma, especially children and their parents, to the library.
These were the beginnings that grew into a targeted project, which the public library Ljudska knjižnica Metlika named ‘Roma people, invited to the library’.
We began inviting the Roma children and their parents to the library to attend different events. We took into account their wishes and organised some storytelling hours and puppet shows for them. We also invited them to children’s events, which are directed to all children in the municipality.
However, some Roma were not able to attend the events, even though they wanted to, because there was no public transportation, and only a few of them own a car.
So the library decided for the next step. In 2005, we began organising events in the Roma settlements.
The events in the Roma settlements attracted a large turnout. All children came to play, and also many adults gladly joined us and listened to a fairy-tale. Our visit is always a major event for the settlement
Our aim – to bring books and the library closer to Roma people, especially children – was very successfully attained. We listened to them and together we were developing the project.
Furthermore, we became aware how establishing personal contact and gaining trust is really important. One of the keys to success is also cooperation with the Social Work Centre.
Results of the project
Today, around 90 Roma are library members and regularly visit the library. There are some Roma that occasionally use the library, especially to surf the Internet, and are not library members. Others come across books, fairy-tales and events only in their settlements, when we come to visit them.
Our aim – to bring books and the library closer to Roma people, especially children – was very successfully attained, in some aspects even surpassed, because as the project went on, it grew and new ideas arose as a response to the needs of our users; we listened to them and together we were developing the project.
Furthermore, we became aware how establishing personal contact and gaining trust is really important.
Who will benefit from this project (target group)
The target group are Roma people in the Metlika Municipality.
According to the non-official data, there are around 312 Roma people living in the Metlika Municipality, who mostly reside in five smaller Roma settlements. Among them, 139 children and young people up to 15 years of age.
In this project members of all Roma families from Metlika are included.
Sources of funding
Project “Roma people invited to the library” is financially supported by Metlika Municipality and Slovenian Book Agency.