On 22 February 2022, the National and University Library in Zagreb (NSK) organised and hosted a special programme marking this year’s National and University Library in Zagreb Day. The programme included addresses by the Envoy of the Croatian Prime Minister, Croatian Minister of Science and Education Dr Radovan Fuchs, Envoy of the Croatian Minister of Culture and Media and State Secretary Dr Ivica Poljičak and Director General of the National and University Library in Zagreb Dr Ivanka Stričević. The event, which was live streamed on the Library’s YouTube channel, included the presentation of the 2021 National and University Library in Zagreb Award, musical performance by the string quartet Secco and the completion of a mural dedicated to Vesna Parun (1922-2010), the internationally recognised remarkable Croatian 20th-century writer, the 100th anniversary of whose birth the Library is marking this year. Created under the supervision of the Dean of the Zagreb Academy of Fine Arts Professor Tomislav Buntak and artist Dr Melinda Štefčić, the mural was authored by Nika Vrbica and co-painted by the Academy’s students Anđela Majica, Ena Antunović and Marta Dijak.
“Today we are celebrating the 415th anniversary of the Library’s work in collecting and preserving valuable cultural heritage, documenting national cultural identity, driving scientific enquiry, learning and cultural development, both at the level of the individual and that of the entire society. Bringing together through its operations handwritten and printed resources on the one hand and those digital on the other and providing side by side the invaluable treasures of the past and advanced information and communication technologies and other progressive tools, the Library’s activity results in creating harmony encompassing both printed resources and those of open science and equally resting on library walls and clouds of library data”, said NSK Director General Dr Stričević, who extended her congratulations on this year’s NSK Day to the Library’s staff and the present guests and thanked the Library Governing Board, the Ministry of Science and Education, Ministry of Culture and Media and the Government of the Republic of Croatia, the Library’s founder, for their support, also expressing gratitude for successful cooperation to the Library’s many partners, as well as to all individuals and institutions contributing to the Library’s development.
As part of her overview of the Library’s achievements in 2021, Dr Stričević also presented the Library’s strategy until 2026. Its guiding principle being summed up as Passing on ideas through time, the new strategy focuses on three strategic objectives – upgrading access to the Library’s resources, data and services for all user groups, increasing the Library’s assets and widening cooperation initiatives focusing on development and innovation. “The basic goal of our activity focuses on maintaining the Library’s capacity in fulfilling its fundamental tasks and upgrading its operations in all aspects, especially operations that are particularly susceptible to the circumstances of the pandemic. Therefore, we are increasingly turning our attention to the Library’s users, programmes intended for the pubic and activities of public interest. Wishing to practically live up to such orientation, we are preparing programmes in the newly opened section of the Library’s building, in order to give a human dimension to public spaces through indiscriminately making available the Library’s invaluable cultural treasures to all members of the public”, pointed out Dr Stričević, additionally announcing the Library’s new strategic projects, among which CroaAtrium particularly stands out in being aimed at setting up the Library’s multimedia laboratory offering opportunities for creative encounters, learning, exchange and research based on Croatia’s heritage preserved in the Library’s collections and thus having limitless potential in the context of its exploitation as a new hotspot on the tourist map of Zagreb, the capital of Croatia.
The celebration programme also included the presentation of the 2021 National and University Library in Zagreb Award, which is annually given in three categories – to legal entities, distinguished library professionals and the Library’s employees. Awarded as the Library’s employee was NSK International Cooperation Adviser Jasenka Zajec, while the Head of the Mobile Library Service at the Zadar City Library and the Head of the Zadar County Central Office for Public and School Libraries Nada Radman was awarded as an accomplished and prominent library professional. The winner of the 2021 NSK Award for legal entities is Večernji list daily, whose editor-in-chief Dražen Klarić was presented with the award for the newspaper’s years-long successful cooperation with the Library.
The audience at this year’s NSK Day celebration included prominent figures from Croatia’s political and academic circles such as the Envoy of the Croatian Parliament Vesna Bedeković, State Secretary at the Croatian Ministry of the Interior Dr Irena Petrijevčanin Vuksanović, Vice-Chancellor of the University of Zagreb Dr Damir Boras, Vice-Chancellor of the Catholic University of Croatia Dr Željko Tanjić, President of the Zagreb City Assembly Joško Klisović, President of the National Council for Science, Higher Education and Technological Development Dr Mirjana Polić Bobić and other distinguished guests.