Panevėžys county Gabrielė Petkevičaitė-Bitė public library has developed many partnerships with European libraries. Recognising that the present time is an exceptionally good time to reconnect and establish closer relationships with colleagues from abroad, we decided to start a new column “Library conversations”. Here is an interview with our dear colleague Olivera Krivošić from The Matica Srpska Library in Novi Sad, Serbia.
Immerse yourselves into a meaningful conversation about reading, favourite books and (extra)ordinary library life during the pandemic.
Dear Olivera, what was your favourite book growing up? Did someone read to you when you were a child?
I cannot think of just one title. I have always been a book person. Even the obligatory school readings gave me a certain pleasure. I loved to read domestic authors, for example Branko Ćopić.
When I was a little girl, my aunt read to me, but since she was an English teacher those were mainly picture books in English. My grandpa was buying for me every Friday a domestic children magazine called “Politikin zabavnik”. I enjoyed it very much.
Has a book ever changed your life?
I cannot say that a book changed my life, but some of them made a great impression on me.
Do you watch the movie that came from a book? Most people say the book is better than the movie. Is this true for you?
Yes, I watched some movies or series based on books. I do not think the book is better than movie. It is just a matter of perception. I imagined a character from a book one way and the movie director the other way. And the imagination is more vivid when reading a book, that is true.
What factors are important to you when choosing a book to read?
The story in the first place. I often choose to read books of not so famous authors and I got pleasantly surprised how interesting these books can be.
What genre of book do you enjoy most?
Fiction with historical elements.
Are there any books that are really popular but you dislike?
I cannot tell about the popularity, because I rarely follow trends, but I have recently started to read a book by Mario Vargas Llosa and I left it. I just did not like the spirit of the book.
Who is the most famous writer from your country? Do you like any of their books?
There are many famous Serbian authors (to mention just Ivo Andrić (Nobel Prize in 1961), Miloš Crnjanski, Borisav Stanković, Danilo Kiš, Aleksandar Tišma, Isidora Sekulić, Borislav Pekić, Milorad Pavić), and their works are great. I would like to point to some, mostly modern, authors that I personally prefer: Dobrica Ćosić, Zoran Živković, Dragan Velikić, Dejan Stojiljković.
What books do the readers of your library prefer reading (authors, genres)?
Our library is a national library with the function of a university library, so our users mostly read professional literature, or some historical sources which are necessary for their researches. Libraries are closed for visitors at this time of COVID-19 pandemic. Still, like most institutions, libraries strive to stay accessible as much as it is possible for their users.
How does your library keep the connection with its community? Do you provide any specific services online?
Our library has its website, then a FB page with daily posts on different topics, then there is Ask a Librarian Service, so the users can communicate with librarians online. Also, our catalogue is available online, so the users can search it, make wish lists, and wait for better times.
All the best for the colleagues in Lithuania!
Interviewed by Virginija Švedienė,
Panevėžys county Gabrielė Petkevičaitė-Bitė public library
For more conversations, go to the library’s website: gerosknygos.pavb.lt