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Best Practices

We Are All at Home Here

[Municipal Library in Ostrava, Czech Republic]
The project’s objective, however, is not to introduce new services designed specifically for these minorities but rather to prepare, for the first time ever, a comprehensive library program about the selected minorities designed for the general public as well as for members of minorities. As part of the project, the library will launch a number of language mutations of its website ( to better serve selected minorities. We have been working with the Roma minority for a long time now. On 5 October 2006, we opened a unique public library targeting Roma users in Ostrava-Vítkovice. It is part of a pilot project entitled Romaňi kereka („Roma circle“) kicked off in 2004.

Roma living in the area have a very low social status compared to Roma from other boroughs of the city and as a result, the area was selected for implementation of specific integration activities that are to become a natural and permanent component of services provided by the library. To identify the needs of the target group, we have cooperated with Roma and social assistants working in the field and examined extensive studies produced by the coordinator for national minorities and Roma affairs of the Moravian-Silesian Region.

A number of regular working meetings with key stakeholders helped ensure that the project would be prepared right. We have also used our experience from years of work with Roma children in different parts of Ostrava. Finally, the local government saw the planned integration activities in a positive light. International best practices also played an important role. The Young Roma Library in Pécs, Hungary – which one of our staff members visited in 2005 in connection with the Romaňi kereka project – provided us with a successful model. While we have been able to make use of a lot of experience from Hungary, the Hungarian pilot project could not be transplanted to Ostrava as it was specifically tailored for Hungarian situation.

Source: Libraries as Gateways to the Integration of Immigrants in the EU (MKC Prague)

Municipal Library in Ostrava
Ul. 28. října 2, 702 00 Ostrava
Czech Republic
With the support of the Lifelong Learning Programme of the European Union.
support of the Lifelong Learning Programme of the European Unionsupport of the Lifelong Learning Programme of the European Union
© 2009 Project partners of the Libraries for All - ESME project

Immigrant InstituteMulticultural Center Pragueokay. zusammen lebenSAT 3Public Library of Frankfurt am Main