Czech and German libraries have been cooperating, some for many years. The most frequent are exchanges of funds and internships.
Library cooperation is often based on city partnerships. The practice of twinning was established in Europe after the Second World War as a way of fostering cultural ties and contacts between people from different countries. Czech cities started to get involved after 1989. The development of town twinning is supported by the European Union, including financially.
Kolín City Library cooperates with the library in Kamenz, Saxony. Librarians visit each other and exchange experiences.
Olomouc Research Library (https://www.vkol.cz/olomouc-research-library) cooperates with the library in Nördlingen, mainly through internships. In 2018, the Olomouc librarians went to Germany for five days. The programme was divided into a historical section, which searched for preserved sources of the so-called Heimatlitertur, i.e. the printed material of the Society of Displaced German Residents from Olomouc, and a library section, which focused on organising events for schools and the public. The Nördlingeners are going to Olomouc this summer after a covid break. “The aim of the exchange is to deepen the cooperation between Czech and German librarians, to compare best practice in services, to organise various types of events for children, students, the public and citizens with specific needs, all with regard to the community role of libraries in today’s world,” explains Miroslava Dvorská, head of the German library of the Olomouc Research Library.
Prachatice Municipal Library has had close contacts with the library in Freyung since 2003. In 2014-2019, the libraries collaborated on a large-scale project called Heritage of Šumava (Böhmerwald), which aimed to capture in writing the tales of Pracheň and Šumava. They have also held a joint conference and a cross-border University of the Third Age. “We have organised a conference and a number of children’s events, published books, it’s really a lot. Our activities were slowed down only by Covid,” comments Hana Mrázová, director of the library in Prachatice.
The libraries of the Euroregion Nisa have been actively cooperating since 1998. The libraries in Česká Lípa, Jablonec, Turnov and Liberec are involved in the trilateral cooperation (Czech Republic, Saxony, Poland). The cooperation results in conferences, literary walks, art competitions for children. The theme of this year’s art competition is Krakonoš (Rübezahl).
Brno is a partner city of Leipzig in Saxony and the Moravian Library in Brno cooperates with the Leipzig City Library. The two libraries are similar in that they are both public and research libraries.
However, the Moravian Library also has close relations with the Saxon State and University Library Dresden (Sächsische Landesbibliothek – Staats- und Universitätsbibliothek Dresden -SLUB). The libraries exchange experiences in digitising their collections and develop a common tool for making digitised documents accessible. In addition, they carry out staff internships and long-term cultural projects. Both institutions are scientific, so they are planning to cooperate in the field of research processing of collections and development of research infrastructure.
As part of the implementation of the project Cross-Border Cooperation of Regional Libraries Pilsen-Rezno (European Territorial Cooperation Objective 2014-2020), the Czech-Bavarian Library website was launched, where you can find linked catalogues of the Education and Research Library of Pilsen Region and Die Staatliche Bibliothek Regensburg, searches of newspapers and newspaper supplements from both regions up to 1945 divided into thematic blocks together with digitised documents from the collections of both partners.
The National Library of the Czech Republic has several partners in Germany for the international exchange of publications.
The Library of the MUNICIPAL MUSEUM OF ÚSTÍ NAD LABEM (DAS MUSEUM DER STADT AUSSIG) has six German partners for the exchange of publications from its collection.
The Library of the North Bohemian Museum Liberec has twenty-three exchange partners from all German states.
The National Library of Medicine in Prague is collaborating with Humboldt University and other institutions to process the so-called Würtz Collection, a collection of graphic and plastic artworks on the subject of disability, originally collected by special educator Hans Würtz (in Berlin in the 1920s) and preserved in Czechoslovakia since the late 1930s.
Four university libraries (Technische Universität Chemnitz, Hochschule Zittau/Görlitz, University of West Bohemia in Pilsen, Technical University of Liberec) and the Regional Research Library in Liberec are cooperating on major projects:
The Moravian Library and the Library of the Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic are part of the pan-European library project EoDOpen, partners are also the German university libraries in Greifswald and Regensburg. The aim of the project is to digitise important 20th century works that are not yet free under copyright law.
A hackathon is actually a marathon in programming, the purpose of which is to bring programmers and related professions together to create a meaningful IT solution to a problem in a short period of time. In Germany, there has been a hackathon called Coding da Vinci since 2014, which focuses on IT solutions and the use of big data in cultural institutions. In the eight years of the project’s existence, 140 digital applications (mobile apps, websites, augmented reality, etc.) have been created.
Among the Czech libraries, the Education and Research Library of Pilsen Region has collaborated with Coding da Vinci so far (it succeeded with a dataset of regional personalities for a possible Who? when? Where? in the Pilsen Region) and the Moravian Library in Brno.
The Library of the House of National Minorities in Prague cooperates with German minority associations and the editorial office of the LandesEcho magazine.
The project is aimed at making Sumava literature more accessible.
Rooster Cross Project – ‘s Hohnakreiz”
“Sumava Echoes – Des Waldes Widerhall”