Guests from Spain visited the library

Vaizdas be pavadinimo

On the 5th–9th of June a group of teachers and students of the Alcala de Henares CEPA Don Juan I Adult Education Center from Spain visited Panevėžys County Gabrielė Petkevičaitė-Bitė Public Library.  Spanish colleagues were able to pay this visit due to the implementation of their project in adult education sector of the Erasmus+ program.

The purpose of the visit was a new cultural experience and getting to know the activities of Lithuanian institutions providing non-formal adult education. Getting to know Lithuania was a new experience for all group members.

During their stay in Panevėžys, the guests first got acquainted with the history, architecture, services and non-formal adult education programs of the Panevėžys County Library. During the tour of Panevėžys, the participants of the visit heard the most important historical facts and admired the spaces of the city.

The head of non-governmental organization “Septynios akimirkos” (“Seven moments”) Ieva and her colleagues told the guests from Spain about their mission, projects, and future plans, organization’s work with immigrants, adult education opportunities, emotional and psychological support for those who want re-start their life.

On the 7th of June the guests met with the community of Gabrielė Petkevičaitė-Bitė Public Library and were introduced to the library’s programs for adults – training for citizens and library specialists of the Panevėžys region, clubs‘ activities, and the variety of cultural events.

The participants of the visit were especially happy with the opportunity to communicate with the library visitors – they participated in the library club‘s “Let’s Talk” meeting and in the session of Language Cafe where they discussed trips, vacations, and shared their impressions and experiences. It was especially nice to see the guests at the meeting of the Language Cafe, because the librarians of Panevėžys County libraries brought this idea of the language skills development program exactly from Alcala de Henares, when they participated in the project “I give you my language” while visiting the Adult Education Center and having the opportunity to communicate with people speaking different languages in groups.

One day of the visit was dedicated to visiting the libraries of the Panevėžys region – Pasvalys Marius Katiliškis Public Library and Kupiškis District Municipal Public Library. The Spanish colleagues were very pleasantly surprised by the excellent library spaces adapted to the needs of various visitors, the abundance of activities and projects, and the close connection with local communities. According to the guests, Spanish libraries should learn a lot from Lithuanian libraries. The participants of the visit were impressed by the “Scriptorium” education held at the Palėvenė Monastery, and conducted by the Kupiškis District Municipal Public Library.

During their stay, the guests visited Bistrampolis, where they got to know the history of the manor, toured the buildings of the homestead ensemble, admired the perfectly arranged park environment, and visited the animal farm located there.

One day of the guests‘ stay in Lithuania was dedicated to getting to know Vilnius – its history, architecture and culture. The guests visited the Lithuanian National Library of Martynas Mažvydas, Vilnius University, walked the streets of the old town, visited the Užupis district.

Spanish colleagues were impressed by their visit. For all of them, it was their first acquaintance with Lithuania, its culture, history and geography, the country’s libraries and other adult education institutions. The landscapes, people, food, and visited areas left a very good impression on the guests. According to them, after getting to know the public libraries of Lithuania, they were excited to find out that Lithuanian libraries bring communities together so well, provide so many services, develop programs that meet the needs of various community groups, attract people into hobby clubs. Colleagues were happy to have been able to communicate directly with library visitors at the library’s Language Cafe and Let’s Talk club sessions. The guests thanked for the well-prepared program of the visit, friendly and warm welcome and unforgettable experience, which, according to them, will definitely inspire them to apply the ideas in their center.

After the Spanish group had already returned home, the good news came from Alcala de Henares to Panevėžys that their colleagues are planning to establish something similar to an open space for youth in their center, the idea of which they brought back from Lithuania after visiting the space for young people of the Gabrielė Petkevičaitė-Bitė Public Library.  Colleagues really liked the informal atmosphere of this space and the activities that take place there – exactly what they say is missing at the Alcala de Henares formal adult education center.

Hopefully and  thanks to the Erasmus+ program, the partnership established between the Gabrielė Petkevičaitė-Bitė Public Library and the Alcala de Henares Adult Education Center will continue to exist –  and not only because of the ideas that have been shared, but also because of the possibility of future cooperation in joint projects.

Virginija Švedienė
Coordinator of Adult Education Activities