Franc Ksaver Meško Ormož Library: Uniting Local Community on Its Road to Sustainability
Franc Ksaver Meško Ormož Library, Slovenia
Franc Ksaver Meško Ormož Library is one of the four best green libraries in the world in according to IFLA Green Library Award 2021. It is one of only two Slovenian green libraries that actively chose to embark on the road to sustainability in 2015 after moving to renovated energy-efficient premises with extensive green areas, and starting to build new partnerships in the local community.
With the help of local experts and visitors, sustainable herb and flower beds have been planted and marked.
Each year, a certified herbalist prepares a variety of herbal tea blends from herbs, picked and dried by the library staff.
The vine trellis on the library’s patio offers pleasant shade for outdoor reading and the local winemaker produces grape juice from the picked grapes, which is served at library events. Occasionally, grapes are used to make jam.
In a remote corner of the library garden the Beekeepers’ Association Ormož has set up a beehive.
The organically produced honey is used as a promotional gift for literary guests and lecturers, as are the tea blends and grape jam. The products contain information about local authors, encouraging reading and promoting domestic literary creativity. The library also offers its premises for education and lectures by the Beekeepers Association and helped the Municipality of Ormož to obtain certificate of the most bee-friendly municipality in 2020.
The library garden is often visited by various animals, birds, squirrels, hedgehogs, and even endangered species such as storks, nesting not far from the library.
On the patio the library organizes most of its green program, various events and activities for adults and children and is also used as a place for recreation. Visitors can play table tennis and every morning, in all seasons, physical exercise called 1000 movements is performed by the School of Health association.
Ormož Library also provides quality green program – green events and many opportunities for informal and lifelong learning and is dedicated to improving ecological awareness, the physical and mental health of people of all ages in the local community, to preserving tangible and intangible cultural heritage along with natural heritage and to raising the quality of life in general. It’s currently in the process of establishing its own seed library.
The activities are accessible to all visitors and have a significant impact on the perception of the library not only as the most important cultural institution in local community, but also as an important factor of raising awareness and acquiring new knowledge.
The library cooperates and strengthens ties with local experts, associations, institutions and companies that cultivate similar green values. It has contributed to the quality and positive development of the local community, the empowerment of the population, the raising of the quality of life through implemented independent or partnership projects and noticeably improved green and reading literacy in the local environment.
Franc Ksaver Meško Ormož Library has also developed close ties with Croatian Green Library movement, especially with the City Library “Juraj Šižgorič” Šibenik, has participated on several Croatian festivals and conferences and presented the natural heritage of the Središče ob Dravi Landscape Park and the Nature Reserve Ormož Lagoons at the exhibition in Šibenik Library and continues to have a great impact on promotion of green libraries and green projects in Slovenia with sustainable development being one of its core values.