One such institution is the library, and Hotel Excelsior in beautiful Lovran (near Opatija and Rijeka on the Western Istrian coast) played host to the 17th edition of the Specialised and Higher Education Library Days. The event lasted from September 30 to October 2. It was organised by the Croatian Library Association (HKD), the National and University Library in Zagreb (NSK) and the University Library in Rijeka with the support of the Croatian Ministry of Culture and Media.
As reported by the University of Zagreb’s official website, the focus theme of the conference was the ”Digital Transformation of Libraries in Special Circumstances” which is divided into four parts and regards digital circumstances.
These topics explored copyright laws, librarian competency, roles, positions, services, and the content of Croatian libraries in the digital era.
”On the last day of the conference, visitors could hear all about the changes in university and higher education libraries in the digital context, not just in terms of the offer but in terms of the legal framework too. These topics were covered by Dr. Tatijana Petrić, while the trends on the development of Croatian universities from a scientific perspective were presented by dr. Miroslav Rajter,” said the University of Zagreb’s website.
Zagreb’s NSK has already adapted to digitalisation with the digital library where users can search literature by authors, title, topics or metadata.
Aside from the fact that its faculties have libraries with titles relevant to the field students can study, the University of Zagreb also launched the Hrčak website that offers readers to enjoy Croatian scientific journals and papers, thus allowing access to the scientific content.
Speaking of libraries, any book published in Croatia is required to have an International Standard Book Number (ISBN), which is accessible for free by contacting and filling out the form at NSK, the ISBN is obligatory for every hard copybook. When it comes to digital books, the current law in Croatia states that an ISBN isn’t obligatory if the electronic book has no intention of earning commercial money and if it isn’t going to be on sale. However, if the author wishes to sell an electronic book and make money from it, then they’re obligated to get an ISBN which is assigned for free.
While the development of digital technologies is something that poses a challenge to old reading habits from the library’s perspective, the pandemic is also something that limits the physical activities of Croatian libraries. Libraries may no longer hold a vital position for accessing literature, but here in Croatia, they’re still valuable for hosting book presentations of Croatian authors (particularly new and lesser known ones who need help in reaching their potential audience).
As TCN covered earlier, the difficulties of 2020 also inspired the country’s civil protection services to analyse and adapt to ensuring security ans safety in unexpected situations at a conference in Vinkovci. With the fast-changing day-to-day reality we live in thanks to technology, and the ever uncertain future, it seems 2020 was the wake-up call Croatia needed to be better prepared for what lies ahead in all possible scenarios.
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