The Central Library in Kaunas provides opportunities for the local “Green-Bridgers” to develop work in a variety of directions.
Linking experts and the public:
On November 20th we organized meeting with herbalist Marius Lasinskas for our youngest readers
Marius presented his book about herbs and revealed variety interesting things about nature.
He suggested information about most common herbs and how to pick them properly, how to act in the nature and do good deed for it and etc
Connecting People & Place:
The Hidden Delights of a City Centre
The Central library in Kaunas is placed in Ąžuolynas ( the ‘Oak Grove’) part of Žaliakalnis (the ‘green Hill’) A popular place of recreations for local people.
Ąžuolynas is also a place of hidden treasures, natural and cultural, many of which developed in C20th between the two world wars when Kaunas was the capital of Lithuania.
These ‘Hidden Delights’ are obscured – The ‘Green-Bridgers’ intend to reveal them.
“We want to reveal interesting routes in this park, as well as encourage ‘Kaunasions’ to spend more time in this historical wood.”
The project team started to collect forgotten stories and old historical pictures about the area. The library’s historians and regional studies specialists were able to provide valuable assistance:
For example: old photographs
The area before it became part of the city
The great Glass Houses acting as general ‘greenhouse’ and Orangery (destroyed during the post-war Soviet occupation).
“We created a preliminary object list that applies to the route and voted for the most interesting & important objects.”
“There was a bit of challenge to pick the right objects, because there are so many of them. For example, in the oak grove there is a living house area full with beautiful art deco houses, there all the interwar intellectuals have lived.
Despite of that, we wanted to choose a variety of objects, not only architectural monuments. Also, we wanted to keep our route “green”.”
“So far, there are 33 objects, but the number can change in the future. We chose to create and online map at first, that would be usable and mobile friendly, so we created a route in the Google Maps platform.”
There’s not only the map: every object has several historical photos of how the exact place looked like during the Tsarist Russia occupation, interwar or soviet period, also representing the objects that are already gone. We have collected these photos from thousands of digitalised resources from archives and museums (and still continuing this). The next step will be adding catchy descriptions, that would we accurate, but also interesting to read. Also, important thing to keep in mind is to respect copyrights of these photos.
We want to test this path prototype by ourselves, but during quarantine this activity is postponed.
After finishing the creation of this map, the next step will be the creation of mini stories – hints for families that will became a game to find these objects in the oak grove.
Notes from Pandemic Times
There were organized 2 author meetings: first one (before Covid 19) was a book presentation for children with herbalist Marius Lasinskas. It was also a lecture for youngest library’s visitors how to engage with the nature respectfully, as well as representing plants and herbs that are growing in the Azuolynas.
Another meeting was executed online. It was a book presentation ‘Fotosintezė’ (‘Photosynthesis’), author Reda Tomingas. The aim of this meeting was to deepen understanding about plants and to encourage greater appreciation for them. While this meeting happened during the quarantine, the online live broadcast on Facebook was a new, convenient form of project implementation. The video was viewed by 1100 people.
On May we were planning to organize a hike for library employees in the old wood (cancelled due to quarantine). The aim of this hike was actively engage with the nature and to encourage interpersonal relationships between the coworkers.
Fortunately the impact of the pandemic was less severe in Lithuania than in most other partner countries. The library was able to begin functioning during the early summer & continued work on practical aspects of the project
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