In working with preschool children, we start from an international document, the Convention on the Rights of the Child, which regulates the rights of the child, and also creates and reinforces reading habits from the earliest age. Since basic services are free for all children under the age of seven, the development of a quality library fund provides an additional boost to the development of children’s reading habits and contributes to the quality of life of preschool population.
The first children’s playroom in library opened in 1992 and caused great reactions from children and parents, but because of the spatial conditions, this activity had to be temporarily stopped. By relocating the Poreč City Library to a new location at Marafor Square 3 in autumn 2004, this form of educational work was reintroduced and serves as a place for activity and socializing.
In 2005, the newly adapted rooms for children and young people were opened at Marafor Square 4. This department is an integral part of the Poreč City Library, but is spatially separated. It is located in the immediate vicinity of the main department, which enabled to create a unique base of ID members and library records. Great attention was paid to the decoration of the library, to the interior decoration and design to make the children feel comfortable.
The loan service is organized on the ground floor of the building. In Children’s and Youth Literature Department there are books for children of all ages, from picture books to comics. As in the adult department, this library also organizes group visits for children of different ages, which also encourages the development of reading motivation. The librarian then provides group education to the users and acquaints them with its organization and the use of library materials, and with such an approach they actually organize educational activity as an integral part of the literacy of the students.
The Library also supports a positive change regarding the lower age limit for children as part of the user population, but also encourages future parents, educators, teachers, students, all those who are involved with children in any way. Such approaches extend the circle of children’s library partnerships, which contributes to the ultimate goal – a positive development and upbringing of the child. On the first floor there is a collection for parents containing publications on child development, starting from the prenatal age to puberty. The picture books are separated in the space available to the youngest members. In addition to regular children’s interests, many are also curious about science, and there is a particularly important reference collection with encyclopedias, atlases and manuals. This department has books in foreign languages, audio books for foreign language learning and didactic games.
The role of librarians in the Children’s and Youth Literature Department is very responsible for having to know the profession, children’s literature and childrens psyche.
Children up to 10 years of age make up to 8% of our active users. Reading habits are acquired from early age, so we pay particular attention to this age population, both by organizing children’s programs and by acquiring popular scientific and educational literature. The Poreč City Library organizes a series of creative workshops, talk shows, games, animation and educational visits, literary guest appearances and other activities for its youngest members, all designed as creative leisure time, early literacy, creating the habit of getting to the library and encouraging reading from early age.
Necessary cooperation with pedagogical institutions is supported by the organization of children’s programs, organized visits to the library, as well as the procurement of popular scientific and educational literature for all age groups of children.