On 4 August 2023, following a prolonged heavy downpour, Slovenia witnessed its worst natural disaster in its history. Two-thirds of the Slovenian territory was affected, causing significant damage to roadways, energy infrastructure, and residential areas. Flood damage also severely impacted cultural heritage, especially in the Gorenjska region, the Savinja Valley, and Carinthia. Among the affected were the Ivan Tavčar Library in Škofja Loka, the Poljane Local Library unit, the Domžale Libraries, the Janez Trdina Library unit in Mengeš, the Central Mozirje Library, numerous archives, museums, and art galleries. The Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Slovenia promptly activated its flood response plan and established a task force comprising leaders from the National Museum of Slovenia, the National and University Library, the Institute for the Protection of Cultural Heritage of Slovenia, the Directorate for Cultural Heritage at the Ministry of Culture, and the National Archives, which coordinated the conservation and restoration efforts.

Obtaining relevant information at critical moments is crucial when rescuing lives and addressing other consequences. Therefore, we have decided to organize and record a seminar in collaboration with the International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions (IFLA). As a global organisation that brings together numerous experts from various library-related fields, IFLA facilitates the dissemination of the latest and most relevant information on standards and guidelines for preparing for flood hazards and implementing action plans during and after floods. The online seminar (with translation) will be made available after its conclusion.

The seminar is intended for all library employees and other institutions preserving written cultural heritage. This includes librarians, archivists, museum professionals, conservators, and anyone interested in gaining knowledge on how to handle flood situations.


09:00-09:04 Opening address: Jasna Malešič, Coordinator/moderator, National University Library of Slovenia, IFLA PRESCONS Standing Committee member

09:05-09:10 Welcome: Matevž Čelik Vidmar, State Secretary, Ministry of Culture of Republic of Slovenia

09:11-09:16 Introduction: Ornella Foglieni, Chair of IFLA PRESCONS

09:17-09:27 Claire McGuire, IFLA Policy and Research Officer

Update on cooperation with UNESCO

09:28-09:48 Celine Allain, National Library of France

Evolution of international standards and guidelines related to Emergency Preparedness

09:49-10:08 Elena Pianea, Director of Culture Libraries and Cultural Heritage, Tuscany Region Council, Italy

Lessons from recent 2023 Floods in Tuscany Region (Italy).

10:09-10:29 Celine Allain, National Library of France

Floodings in Paris, the preparation plan of the National Library of France

10:30-11:00 Break

11:01-11:20 Tiago Cesar da Silva, National archives, Brazil

Risk management of cultural heritage – a focus on water as an agent of deterioration

11:21-11:40 Maria Luisa Russo, Field coordinator in Mali, University of Hamburg

Weather and water-related hazards affecting written artefacts: the case of Mali

11:41-12:00 Petra Vavrova, National Library of Czechia

Managing the Emergency Plan during and after floods in Czech Republic – examples from: sharing of practical experience, recommendations.

12:00-12:30 Q&A

12:30-12:35 Concluding remarks: Elisabetta Zonca, Università della Svizzera italiana, Swiss, IFLA Rare Books and Special Collections Standing Committee member

Participation is free. Owing to the significant interest, the event will be available to stream live. Additionally, you’ll have the opportunity to ask questions to the speakers by posting in the comments section

Organizers: IFLA Preservation and Conservation (PRESCONS) Section and IFLA Rare books and Special Collections (RBSC) Section.

SOURCE: Narodna in univerzitetna knjižnica