MEPs in your public library

Tuesday, September 30, 2014 - 11:45

We are happy to announce our MEP Library Champions initiative has officially started. On 25 September 2014, Antanas Guoga MEP paid a visit to the Panevėžys Public Library in Lithuania, and on 27 September, the Cologne City Library received a special guest from Brussels as well: President of the European Parliament Martin Schulz.

Many MEPs are supportive of libraries in general, but may have an outdated perception of the library world and often have not visited a library since their youth.  The schedule of MEPs makes it hard for them to connect with this place in their local constituency. With the MEP Library Champions programme – MEPs visiting public libraries in their countries - we aim to raise the profile of public libraries among EU policy-makers and build a group of library advocates among the European Parliamentarians that will support future library initiatives at EU and local level.

To kick off the programme, liberal MEP Antanas Guoga agreed to visit the Gabrielė Petkevičaitė-Bitė Public Library in the Panevėžys County in his home country of Lithuania. He followed up on his campaign promise to donate his EP salary to good causes and endowed a magnificent piano for the library. Mr Guoga arranged for a special concert by mezzo-soprano Milda Tubelytė. Pictures from his visit can be seen on our Facebook page.

Only two days later, the Cologne City Library welcomed Martin Schulz, President of the European Parliament. The visit took place during their Maker Day, where they showcase the many innovative opportunities in the library, such as the Occulus Rift virtual reality glasses, 3D printers, programmable robots and VHS cassette digitisation. Pictures from his visit can be seen here.

Both days have been documented by a professional camera team and the footage is being edited - so stay tuned for the videos.