The Poreč City Library is located in the old part of the town, on Marafor Square, which presents the remains of the ancient square. During the reconstruction of the area very valuable archaeological finds were found. This square was the main public area and the center of life at the time of the Roman municipium, and in the Middle Ages it ceased to be the center of public life of Poreč becoming a “periphery” and so it has remained until today. In the library itself, the site is protected with glass so the public can experience a “view in the history”.
In this way, different, but in fact compatible time layers / cultural contents are integrated within one area leaving the archeological finds available to everyone, making the interior of our library part of the cultural and historical heritage of the town of Poreč. Given the fact that the objects of material culture found during the reconstruction that testify to the rich cultural offer in Poreč – such as fragments of pottery and architecture of relevant monumental value – can be found unexhibited in the Museum of the Poreč territory, the library’s ambition is to continue the project of revitalization of the cultural heritage. There is a lack of knowledge of citizens and other visitors about the rich cultural and historical heritage of Poreč and the very location where the library operates.
The immovable part of the archeological heritage has been preserved and protected in the library’s own space, and with this project, objects of monumental value will be exhibited as a permanent exhibition in the Library space.
The Library as a cultural and informative center and meeting point for all members of the community can be recognized as an important factor in promoting local cultural resources and in providing information and notices to intentional passers-by. The concept “cultural tourism” denotes a type of selective tourism where the goals of tourist visits are cultural events or monuments of a certain area.
To design cultural-tourism products it is necessary to identify the basis of the tourist attractions, the types of cultural and tourist attractions and the characteristics of the demand, which promotes cooperation between the sectors in culture and the tourism sector in order to promote sustainable tourism development. In the full sense of meaning, cultural tourism is not limited to visits to cultural sites, attractions or manifestations, but cultural resources also imply the development of an image of a particular cultural destination.
Within the library business there are immeasurable potentials that need to be exploited and adequately valorised. Above all, the library has the possibility of harmonizing different dimensions of culture: material, symbolic and human ones. The cultural tourism of the libraries should be considered as a milestone in the new developmental orientation of tourism. The purpose of this project is the physical and multimedia presentation of objects found using technology and digitization with the aim of implementing cultural tourism in the Library business and promoting the tourist destination. The entire complex of the archaeological site in the center of the old town is a valuable tourist attraction, and the already existing archaeological site in the library, which is protected by floor glass, has been regularly visited by many tourists in organized groups. Expansion and professional processing, protection and presentation of this project would be an important step forward for both the library and the community in the cultural life of the City of Poreč because it proves the continuity of life in this area since the early Roman times and is therefore important for the identity of our city.
The implementation includes the creation of a display case for exhibiting items, updating the website – a virtual tour with all the additional information and library catalogs, and the purchase of a special computer to browse the collection and information to be set up in the Library as well as information workshops.
The Poreč City Library intends to exhibit the found objects within a permanent exhibition (ceramic oil lamps, plates, pots and amphorae) and incorporate them into the existing space. Part of the permanent setup will also refer to the history of the development of letters and books, starting with papyrus scrolls, clay tiles and all up to the parchment code. The aim of the project is to point out to visitors the important role played by the book in preserving the memory of ancient heritage, all of which will be documented through original objects found at the site where the Library operates today. During the year, workshops for children and young people and archeological evenings will be organized in order to familiarize the community with the rich cultural history of this area. The virtual version will be presented on the library website as a form of protection, presentation and as part of the cultural tourism offer.
In this way, a multimedia presentation of textual, pictorial and audio recordings of particularly significant cultural values would be realized. Digitization of materials opens new possibilities for the implementation of cultural tourism in the public library business and contributes to the promotion of Poreč and Istria County and of Croatian heritage in general.