Marinka Vnuk

Franc Ksaver Meško Ormož Library, Slovenia

E-mail: [email protected]

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.

Franc Ksaver Meško Ormož Library
Green interior – large windows enable the use of natural light and ventilation
Various corners of the library are filled with plants, which contribute to the well-being of visitors, users of our services and the employees
Herbal and flower beds were planted with the help of local experts and library visitors as part of the Green Library project
In 2021, with the help of the Thursday Green Afternoons’ guest and library visitors, herbal plants were marked with their names

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.

Herbs are picked up 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.

Vine trellis offers shade and local winemaker produces grape juice from grapes

In a remote corner of the library garden the Beekeepers’ Association Ormož has set up a beehive.

Library’s beehive and beekeeping are introduced    to library visitors at various events

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.

Promotional gifts for lecturers and literary guests: library honey, tea blends and grape juice

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.

Herbal and flower beds attract various animals and present a rich bee pasture
The garden is visited by endangered species like storks

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.

Table tennis tournament
School of Health – Book and their morning exercise

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 library garden is a perfect place for various activities for children
Fairy tale lesson and preparation of herbal tea blends with the local herbalist
Cooperation with schools and introduction of the green library and its project to students
From the beginning of July to the end of August the library organizes Thursday Green Afternoons, green activities for adults – the project began in 2016
During the year, various free lectures, book presentations and workshops by experts on nature protection, ecology, horticulture, healthy lifestyle, maintenance and preservation of psychophysical health and quality of life are held
Preservation of intangible cultural heritage in the form of traditional basket weaving
Visit to Središče ob Dravi Landscape park    (Thursday Green Afternoons 2021)
Through lectures and guided tastings by oenologists, the library educates and makes users aware of the culture of wine drinking and thus helps reduce risk factors and the negative consequences of inappropriate wine consumption on health, family and social relations

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.

Guided exploration of the library flower and herbal beds by children
Library activities are accessible to everyone –    guided tour of the Botanical Garden of the University of Maribor
The visitors acquire a variety of practical skills

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.

Successful local partnerships represent the foundation of Ormož green library
Cooperation with and promotion of local experts also contributes to the development of the local green tourism (Destination Jeruzalem Slovenia)
The rural area contributes to popularity of topics about sustainable, organic, biodynamic, permaculture plant cultivation, conservation of indigenous varieties and seeds, and organic food processing
Hike with a botanist and green literature – getting to know the medicinal plants found in unspoiled nature
Cooperation with Nature Reserve Ormož Lagoons – preservation of natural heritage

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.

A photographic exhibition the Beauty of Ormož was set up in the Šibenik library in Croatia it presented the natural heritage of the Središče ob Dravi Landscape Park, the Nature Reserve Ormož Lagoons and the diversity of animal and plant species
Franc Ksaver Meško Ormož Library – Runner-up in Category Green Library at IFLA Green Library Award 2021