The handover was held as part of the “Ukrainian books on the shelves of the world’s libraries” project, launched at the initiative of the wife of the Ukrainian president, Olena Zelensky.
“This is our contribution to efforts to make the Croatian and Ukrainian people closer to each other in these difficult times and our contribution to help the refugees integrate as easily as possible during their stay in Croatia and to help them with the availability of books,” Obuljen Koržinek said.
NSK Director-General Ivanka Stričević said that the books, which were donated to them by the Ukrainian Embassy in Croatia, represent a wealth that will be passed on in future times when the war in Ukraine ends.
“We want to help our libraries respond in the best way to the needs of their users, Ukrainian citizens who find themselves in their environment, and to create the foundations for future cooperation,” said the director.
As a sign of solidarity and support for Ukraine, NSK launched a series of activities, including free admission to the Library for Ukrainian refugees over the age of 16 and the publication of three special bibliographies and thematic collections “War in Ukraine.”
The purchase and distribution of books by Ukrainian authors in Croatian libraries was initiated jointly by the AidHub foundation together with Croatia’s Ministry of Culture and Media in order to help publishers who have found themselves in a difficult situation.
“Our goal is to acquire books by Ukrainian publishers who suffered greatly in these war circumstances. We are also working on an initiative for every Croatian publisher to print at least one book in Ukraine in order to at least help save jobs in that country,” said Mišo Nejašmić from AidHub.
In addition to the purchase of books for Ukrainian citizens who took refuge in Croatia AidHub is working on the organisation of a summer camp, where 700 children of different ages will stay, most of whom will be high school graduates. They will spend time in the camp learning the Croatian language.
Ukrainian books are already available in more than 200 libraries, said Ukrainian Ambassador Vasyl Kyrylych.
“The Ukrainian book is aimed at Ukrainians who have the urge to read. The book is the depth of the sea, it is alive if it is read,” said the ambassador.
This is not the first such donation in Croatia, as books by Ukrainian authors were donated to public libraries across the country at the end of June.
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