Put Your Phone Away and Grab a Book: Beach Libraries Opening on Ugljan Island

Total Croatia News

Even though the primary purpose of a vacation is to relax and forget about your usual daily routine, we still hold on to our smartphones in bars and on beaches. We like to keep tabs on what other people are doing on their holidays, we check our e-mails… it’s hard to force yourself to get off the grid these days.

Here’s an idea: how about you start small? Put your phone on airplane mode for an hour or two and relax with a book. Small paperbacks in multiple languages are available in all bookstores and on most newsstands in Croatia, and if you’re more the digital type, an e-reader won’t take up a lot of space in your beach bag. If by any chance you end up on Ugljan island this summer, even better: from July 15 to September 15, everyone who visits Kali town on Ugljan will have a chance to check-out books for free from the first beach library in Croatia.

The Public Library Kali came up with a wonderful project a couple of months ago. Called ‘Sve (knjige) ćeš na siki nuajti’ (local dialect for ‘you’ll find all the books on the reef’), the beach libraries are devised as three wooden structures shaped like lifeguard towers that will be installed on the beaches of Batalaža, Mul and Luka. Shelves packed with books will be within the reach of all beach-goers free of charge, and will be available to check out between 8 AM and 8 PM.

Local librarian Marta Kolega said she hopes both Kali residents and tourists will like the project. Little beach libraries will be filled with summer literature, mostly crime and romance novels, books for children, but you’ll also find an occasional classic if you’re the type that likes to enjoy something more serious even on vacation.

“Apart from enjoying the written word, the project aims to prolong the lives of books, as all the novels we plan to offer in small beach libraries, and there are 320, were written off from the Public Library Kali, meaning they were headed for the waste paper bins. We decided to give them new lives”, explained Kolega. As the books were written of from the library fund anyway, the new users will have the options to put the book back on the shelf, keep it if they particularly liked it, or pass it on to friends, relatives and loved ones.

Kali is known as the only town with a library on Ugljan island, while the other inhabited places are visited twice a month by a bibliobus coming from the Zadar City Library.

The beach library project proposal was applied to the donation contest Kajo Dadić called ‘Our Contribution to the Community’, and had Jakov Kolega doing the 3D model of the library in its planned environment. Sadly, the project wasn’t adopted as part of the contest, but the young book enthusiasts on Kali couldn’t be discouraged that easily. They’re the living proof it only takes a bit of courage and a lot of good will to make a great idea come to life!

Beach libraries are already a well-known concept world-wide. The popular beach La Romaniquette near Marseille in southern France is known for a library that has three sheltered spots for reading, and a beach at the Albena resort on the coast of Black Sea in Bulgaria has a beach library with 6000 books in 15 languages.

Congratulations to the team from Kali – here’s hoping the concept spreads all over the coast by next year!

Source: Morski.hr


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