The library officially became an independent institution on 1st November 2006. It was established by the City of Rovinj. There are currently four employees here.
Its present holdings include about 45,000 items (books, AV materials, etc.) covering all the important fields and disciplines that are required by readers of all ages and education backgrounds – knowledge, science, art… More than 90 % volumes are freely available to readers. The sources are not only in Croatian but also in Italian; some of them even being in English, German and French.
The collection of references is quite rich, mainly consisted of encyclopaedias, lexicons, dictionaries, bibliographies and monographs.
The library is subscribed to periodical editions and daily newspapers, so it is possible to use, scan or read some 60 journals, newspapers and other periodicals.
We should mention the native county collection known as Histrica, the literary and cultural collection called Croatica, and a special department with books for children and young people.
About 2,000 members are registered every year, but the number of real users is gradually but constantly going up.
Apart from the people permanently or temporarily living here and their seasonal guests, the library holdings are often used by the people from nearby places, such as Bale, Kanfanar, Rovinjsko Selo and, to a less extent, Žminj (with its own library today).
The reading rooms (3), also the working areas for members and users, have 20 seats. There is some additional space (4 seats) reserved for individual reading activities. Eleven computers are networked, and six of them are targeted at members and users, making all the holdings available for searching in the computer catalogue. On-line searching is possible, as well. Besides, wireless internet is available right now. The library is equipped with all more important electronic and technical devices and tools, video camera and alarming system, the latest fire fighting system.
The holdings are annually renewed with almost 2,000 volumes/units, which are mainly bought but also donated.
To be able to provide even better services all day long (shift-based) and six days a week, we need another (1) employee-librarian.
A small (due to space restrictions) children’s playroom will be also open in due course.
The partial digitalisation of our holdings is a matter of the near future.
Even after the reconstruction, enlargement and refurbishment (2008-2010), the library does not have any multipurpose hall, which is the reason why cultural and artistic events cannot be held here at the moment. So we sometimes use other areas in the city for this purpose whereas more intimate programmes are the only ones that are currently organised in this venue.
It would be a good idea to open a special reading room, including the hall, as a part of the library and locate it in the heart of the old city.
The library does not even have any depository.
Our crucial problem still – even after the enlargement – refers to the space, which covers less than 300 m² and fits into only 40% of the needed Croatian standards. The lack of space is what always and, no matter where we are, prevents us from improving library activities more seriously in terms of adequate time requirements; in particular, if we compare this with some better quality libraries in, culturally speaking, more developed places in Croatia.
There is an idea about enlarging the library, in the second phase, by adding a pavilion in the south, where the park is currently situated. Finally, the library could have some 600 m² available, which would make us closer to the required Croatian standards when libraries are discussed.
Yet, if we remember that, in the mid-1980s, Rovinj was one of the rare municipalities in the coastal part of Croatia without its national or city library – the previous one had been closed for years – it can be concluded that a cultural institution has been established and developed here for the last thirty years. This institution is useful and we do believe that it is easy to recognise how much respect, attention and support it deserves.
Boris Biletić, January 2014