The Ignalina’s public library was established in 1941. At that time it belonged to Švenčionys county. In 1950 library became the Ignalina district library and in 1977 the library became the central library of Ignalina library with 37 branches.
In 1995 after the Lithuanian Libaries Law was enacted it became the Ignalina district municipality public library and acquired the rights of legal person.
In 2008 Ignalina public library was renovated – began working at the new building in fact.
Nowadays there is a public library that has 1 town branch and 20 branches in village. All the libraries are provided with computers and supports public access to the internet.
There are almost 180 thousand books and other documents accumulated at these libraries. The funds use 5 thousand users (about 32 % of the district population). About 80 titles of periodicals are subscribed.
On the 5-th of March, 2015, under the Programme “Promotion of Diversity in Culture and Arts within European Cultural Heritage”, supported by the European Economic Area financial mechanism programme, The Ignalina’s municipality public librarie’s project „The cultural cooperation between Ignalina district municipality public library (Lithuania) and Ostfold county library (Norway), seeking to digitize the local history”, was financed . The objectives of this programme are to promote intercultural cooperation between Lithuanian and Norwegian public libraries and to digitize local lore.
In short about Project: The public library of Ignalina and its 19 branches have collected over 3000 ethnographic documents – prints, photographs, maps, manuscripts, thematic folders, yearbooks and chronicles. This collection is unique written cultural heritage which is of high interest to the libraries’ readers. The partner of the project – the Østfold County Library – carries out activities related to the collection, preservation and digitization of the local lore studies, and it also has a large collection of the local history (ethnographic studies) itself as well as experience in digitization.
In cooperation between Ignalina and Ostfold libraries, the partners will share the best practice about digitization process, preparing of exhibitions. The study visits, workshops, trainings in both counties are provided. These study visits will provide an opportunity to meet Norwegian local history, to present the activities of Ignalina library, to gain the international cooperation experience, to establish contacts for further cooperation.
There are some information about project activities:
- From the 15th to the 19th of June, a group of staff members from The Public Library of Ignalina Municipality visited the Østfold county‘s libraries in Norway. The purpose of this trip was to gain experience of international cooperation, to establish contacts with Norwegian libraries, and to familiarize themselves with their activities. Firstly, Ignalina’s librarians visited the County Library of Østfold, which does not offer services to the public, as it is the center of methodologies, training and research of the public libraries in the county. The librarians became familiar with the activities and the structure of the library’s system.
A joint seminar was held on the second day of the visit during which everyone shared good practise examples.
- On the 20 – 25 of September, 2015, five Norwegian librarians visited Ignalina’s public library. This visit was organized under the Project „The cultural cooperation between Ignalina district municipality public library (Lithuania) and Ostfold county library (Norway), seeking to digitize the local history”, supported by the European Economic Area financial mechanism programme.
The librarians from Ostfold county libraries met the Ignalina’s librarie’s experience in the collecting, digitization of local history documents, took part at the workshop „The best experience in digitization of written heritage in Lithuania“ together with Lithuanian colleagues.
- A seminar – meeting with the journalist, cultural anthropologist and a well-known show host Virginijus Savukynas was held at the library for Ignalina residents. He was talking about the role of local inhabitants collecting and storing the local history. Why the living place is important for people? Everywhere are the persons who collect handwritings, old photos or write memories. The speaker told the interesting things about historical tourism in our district, about the profit, which we can get from historical tourism.
- One more seminar for Ignalina district was the meeting with the deputy director of Royal Palace Museum in Vilnius, who was born and lived in Ignalina, science doctor Jolanta Karpavičienė. She was talking about the importance of local history. There are interesting not only lives of royal, heads of state, but the separate regions, towns, villages and families, their destiny. The lector encouraged to interest in local history in its saving because from the every family’s history begins every district’s or region’s history.