With 156 books read last year, twelve-year-old Luka Oršanić is 2016 Reader of the Year fir the City of Zagreb, Politika plus reported on March 23, 2017. This title brought him many awards, including a free membership for Zagreb City Libraries until he is 18.
Luka, a member of Vladimir Nazor library, says he can’t imagine a single day without a book, and he reads whenever an opportunity arises, while driving in a car, walking, or simply sitting in a corner of his room.
“When I read I escape into my own world and create my own reality. I like encyclopedias because they expand my knowledge and I like science fiction, autobiographies and novels because I identify with the characters and their mishaps are entertaining” he said at a press conference in the City library on Thursday.
So far, his favorite school subjects have been History and Geography, but he would like to attend a science and maths gymnasium, graduate from Faculty of Science and get a PhD in Physics. The versatile 12-year-old likes robotics, scuba diving, football, enjoys playing games, hanging out with friends and cooking.
Luka’s favorite books are Uzmi me Encyclopedia, Horrors of history, Harry Potter series and everything written by Sanja Polak.
This is the 16th edition of Zagreb City Libraries Reader of the Year award, and its aim is to encourage interest in books and reading among children aged 12-14.
“Our IT system allows us to identify the person who borrowed the most books, but the child should also be recognized by librarians as a valuable and hardworking member who talks about books, asks for their advice in selecting books and returns them on time,” Hela Čičko, “Reader of the year Award” project coordinator, said.
“So far, the statistics has shown that the finalists read one book a week on average, while the winners read an average of two to three,” Ms. Čičko noted, adding that since the first award was given in 2001, there have been four boys and eleven girls who won the award.
City Libraries attract more young readers
Davorka Bastić, Zagreb City Libraries director, talked about how their goal is to encourage young people to develop an interest in reading.
“There were 140,000 members in our libraries last year, including 5,500 first graders who were enrolled for free. Around 23,000 different events for children and youth took place at the libraries, and nearly three million books were borrowed “, Ms. Bastić reported.
Ms. Bastić said that an increase in the number of members is expected this year, especially thanks to the project Ja čitam (“I read”) through which all children younger than 15 get free Zagreb City Libraries membership. “Nearly 18,000 children have become members by mid-March,” she added.
Zagreb City Libraries’ Department for Children and Youth is organizing a traditional closing ceremony for all Best Reader Award winners on March 24. They will get to spend time with children authors Maja Brajko-Livaković and Norma Šerment, there will also be games, competitions and dancing to the sounds of Zagreb City Libraries Band, composed of librarian musicians.