Chytomo Spotlights

Unbreakable libraries and the synergy of victory: how the Libraries Day is celebrated amidst war


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On September 30, Ukraine traditionally celebrates Libraries Day. Librarians innovate new celebration formats annually. In 2019, the Ukrainian Library Association and the Ukrainian Book Institute organized the “Libraries Are Full of People” flash mob. In 2020, the event highlighted the opening of new library hubs. Chytomo asked how libraries celebrate this day today.


Acknowledging the best Libraries by the Ukrainian Library Association


To honor this occasion, the Ukrainian Library Association announced competition winners and outstanding libraries.

The title “Library of the Year 2023” was awarded to the Rivne Regional Library for its Reading Promotion projects.


The following libraries took 2nd place in the competition in their respective categories:

  • In the “Large Libraries” category, Lesia Ukrainka Public Library, Kyiv, was awarded for the “Bibliotherapy” project.
  • In the “Medium Libraries” category, Luhansk Regional Universal Scientific Library was awarded for the “Traveling Library” project.
  • In the “Small Libraries” category, Branch library of Truskavets Central City Library in Ulychne village Lviv Oblast, was awarded for the “Creation of a Library and Museum Leisure Center in the Library of Ulychne Village” project.


Other libraries that entered their projects into the competition have been declared winners of the All-Ukrainian competition for the title of Library of the Year 2023, as each of them deserves recognition.


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Smart Space in Kozelshchyna


On National Libraries Day, poet and filmmaker Iryna Tsilyk visited Smart Space, a library-centered hub located in the village of Kozelshchyna in Poltava region.


“It’s a spacious, modern library equipped with a lecture hall fitted with a projector, diverse areas for creativity, a computer lab, and a children’s section with not only books and toys but also PlayStation. Also there’s a comfortable kitchen with a coffee machine and a stylish smart interior. The walls are adorned with an exhibition of the works of local 16-year-old photographer Arsenii Shchepachenko. Overall, this space offers everything for work, creativity, literary gatherings, film screenings, yoga sessions, and various crafting activities”, Tsilyk mentioned.



Flash mobs

On the occasion of the National Libraries Day, the National Library for Children launched a flash mob # #Зкнигоюзможемовсе (Ukr. “With a book we can do anything”).


And Ukrainian Library Association launched a flash mob #бібліотека_синергія_перемоги. (Ukr. “Library synergy of victory”).



Unbreakable libraries


PEN Ukraine has recalled its Unbreakable libraries project, initially launched in June 2022.


“Since the beginning of Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine, over 500 libraries have suffered complete destruction or significant damage. In the occupied regions, there’s a systematic seizure and destruction of books in Ukrainian language and those authored by Ukrainians. With the aid of international partners, Ukrainian publishing houses, and concerned citizens, PEN gathers and delivers new Ukrainian and English language books to libraries in liberated and frontline areas. We encourage everyone, today and every day, to join our initiative and support Ukrainian libraries”, emphasizes the organization.


Kherson Regional Universal Scientific Library named after Oles Honchar


This library, significantly affected by Russian shelling and looting during the city’s occupation, was unable to celebrate this day in its traditional manner, but expressed solidarity with its fellow libraries.


“We have always eagerly prepared for this day, anticipating guests, joyous gatherings, and delightful meetings. All of this will surely follow after our victory. We eagerly await embracing our friends, meeting newfound online acquaintances in person, and reuniting with those we miss. Even if this yearєs All-Ukrainian Libraries Day doesn’t adhere to our usual celebrations, we wish for all our colleagues to swiftly return to their libraries. We understand the significance of this for each of you, as it remains a daily aspiration”, the library staff mentioned.



In addition to this, special events were held at various libraries around Ukraine, namely:


Lviv Regional Library for Children

Lutsk Central Library for Adults

Zhytomyr Regional Universal Scientific Library named after Oleg Olzhych

Dnipropetrovsk Regional Universal Scientific Library

Chernivtsi Regional Library for Children

Chernihiv Regional Library for Children


The Ukrainian Book Institute and the Ukrainian Library Association also joined the congratulations.
As reported, the Ukrainian Library Association has released recommendations for the All-Ukrainian Libraries Day 2023.


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Chytomo spotlights:Ukrainian culture on and after frontline” project. The project is funded by the Stabilisation Fund for Culture and Education of the German Federal Foreign Office
and the Goethe-Institut.