5 nov 2015 to 4th September 2016
Library aims to serve as a social organ offering a variety of resources for public and personal growth, and to fulfil cultural, information and educational functions. Qualified staff of 34 employees in the central library works in close collaboration in order to offer the best solutions for the visitors: friendly service, wide variety of publications, free access to computers and internet, high-standard support. As well as that, the library serves as a community center offering cultural, educational and leisure activities for various groups: children, youth, and elderly. The library strongly focuses on social inclusion, helps and assists people at social risk to integrate into society. Due to participation in and organization of a great number of national and international projects, creative and innovative solutions, library is recognized to be highly modern and future-oriented institution.
By carrying a role of an institution empowering people to seek for knowledge, constantly improve and learn as well as become actively engaged in community’s life, we take up a responsibility to always go side by side with innovations, employ creative mind set and encourage local as well as international and intercultural dialogue. Shared experiences and knowledge serve as a significant tool in building a place for continual development. We seek to become a part of EVS and welcome volunteers, because, as we believe, it is a resource of great potential. We want the library to be a place for the volunteer where he or she can carry out ideas, feel free to come up with innovative solutions and grow experience in the preferred field. By unlocking opportunities for volunteers to act and while cooperating as well as assisting in the results achievement, we think library’s employees as well as local community can gain valuable international experience. As a library, we constantly seek to broaden the boundaries of minds and an international volunteer would undoubtedly bring new winds to the daily practice.
Utena district municipality is located in the north-western part of the Aukštaičiai Upland, in the basin of the Šventoji River. It is a region of uplands, small hills, thick forests and picturesque lakes. The south-eastern part of Utena district, with its beautiful pinewoods, lakes, small rivers and streams, falls within the Aukštaitija National Park. The region is great for those who enjoy spending time in nature, travelling and practising water sports. There are several picturesque kayaking routes, a great deal of camping spots in the forests and beaches by the lakes. In winter, ski slopes can be reached within one hour drive to nearby Ignalina and Anykščiai. Equestrian sports are also well-developed – every year a race of trotter horses is being held in Utena‘s racetrack, there is also a stud in the town.
The administrative centre of the district municipality is Utena town – one of the oldest places in Lithuania known since 1261. The town is situated in an exceptional location – amid the lakes Dauniškis and Vyžuonaitis. Nowadays Utena is an important cultural, educational and industrial centre with a population of 45,000 inhabitants in Utena District and 32,000 in Utena town.
Although there are not so many entertainment options for youth in Utena, they can join and participate in public activities and town’s cultural life. There is Utena Youth Organization “Round Table” which connects 19 youth organizations, leisure and cultural events are being organized. Every year Utena celebrates its birthday with full day events and concerts, street music day is organized. The Utena museum of regional studies not only stores the collected exhibits, but also organizes folk art, photography, professional artists’ and schoolchildren’s work exhibitions. Those who are looking for more entertainment activities and interesting events can easily reach Vilnius – it is only one and a half hour drive by bus to the capital.
Moreover, a wide range of important services are provided by the public library and its 2 branches in town and 22 in villages. All the libraries are provided with computers and support public access to the internet. As well as that, fulfil cultural, information and educational functions. In the year 2002, public library was acknowledged as a model library for Eastern and Middle Europe countries for its active work in a purpose to become a modern society‘s information centre. In 2008, the new building of the library with a total area of 3120 m2 was opened. The idea was to destroy existing stereotypes of a conservative library and to build an open, light and welcoming library, to create the sense of freedom. It is a place designed for leisure, studies and cultural/educational events; people may move freely through all premises and use all collections: they can read, use the internet, databases, wireless network and a collection of video and audio recordings. There is also a training lab where computer literacy and internet courses are being organized for the general public. People are attracted by comfortable atmosphere, modern technologies and free services in the library, which results in a constantly growing number of library’s visitors. Another important sphere of activities is the creation of the internet content – the library has 5 web pages with 151,307 virtual visitors per year.
Offered activities can vary depending on volunteer’s interests and abilities. The library serves as a community center and offers cultural, educational and leisure activities for different target groups: children, youth, elderly. It also strongly focusses on social inclusion, provides help and assistance for people at social risk, helps them integrate into society. A wide variety of library services and activities will allow the volunteer to choose a preferred direction, work in the area of interest, constantly improve and help others. Activities where the volunteer can be involved:
• Programs for children: educational workshops, games, creative activities.
• Cultural events for library visitors and local community.
• Organization of projects for youth.
• Work in Europe Direct Information Centre.
• Variety of activities with the elderly (arts, sports, self-expression tasks, etc.).
• Daily library tasks: maintenance of publications fund, client service.
The volunteer will be involved in team-work with the library staff as well as encouraged to initiate and organize own activities by receiving all the needed support from the staff.
Volunteer profiles and recruitment process:
The library is willing to welcome a volunteer from any country. We do not have any special requirements for the Sending organization and we are ready to collaborate with various institutions and organizations working in educational, cultural, social, health or other sector. No requirements for gender or age. However, preferably the volunteer should be eligible age to work (over 18 years old). The volunteer should have a high sense of responsibility when working with people, especially with children and youth. As most of the activities in the library are directly related to communication with people, we encourage to apply those, who feel confident showing initiative and enjoy communicating with different people.
Number of volunteers hosted: Our organisation is able to host 2 volunteers at the same time.
Risk prevention, protection and safety:
The public library is new, spacious and modern. These qualities will allow ensuring high-standard working conditions for the volunteer:
• Each volunteer will have a private working place and all the needed working equipment.
• Volunteers will be able to use library’s computers and wireless internet connection at any time.
• There is a kitchen, where volunteers will be able to have their lunch.
As from the broader perspective, Utena town is quite small, calm and safe. The library staff will help finding a suitable accommodation according to volunteer’s needs. The library is situated in the city center, so all the needed institutions, such as the hospital, banks, post office, cafes and restaurants are within the walking distance. As possible risks we foresee:
• Communication difficulties with library staff and library visitors due to the language barrier.
• Harder adaptation in the new environment due to cultural differences.
• Finding leisure activities.
To prevent these risks, each volunteer will have a tutor and a mentor from the library staff, who have no difficulties communicating in English, are easy-going and helpful. The tutor will assist volunteer at work, explain the tasks, help to solve problems related to work, and involve volunteers into the daily life of library staff. Mentor will be of similar age of the volunteer – he or she will assist in solving everyday life questions, help with the language barrier when needed and will offer and suggest various leisure activities.
The volunteers will be able to keep a close connection with their home as they will be able to use internet connection at any time. As mentioned above, the library prefers hosting volunteers who are over 18 years old and have a sense of responsibility.
Building Bridges Association members will have preference, please enroll to the association here.
For the selection of the volunteers we will need:
– Europass CV with picture (made in the last month) and skype name
– Motivational letter, writing that your sending organisation will be “Building Bridges”. We ask all candidates to send a specific letter of motivation – why they want to volunteer with us rather than just a general EVS one.
Remember to write in the motivation letter that your sending institution is “Asociación Building Bridges”.
All documents written in english you can attach below with subject “EVS Lithuania Deineta Utena. YOUR NAME. YOUR SURNAME» to asociacionbbARROBAgmail.com