THE SCIENTIFIC JOURNAL ON THEORY AND PRACTICE OF LIBRARIANSHIP
eISSN 2217-5563 ISSN (Print) 2217-5555
 





Ћирилица Latinica English
 


Goran Trailović
Gradska biblioteka Pančevo
goran@biblioteka-pancevo.org.rs

doi: 10.19090/cit.2020.36.24-36
No. 36 (May 2020), p. 2-10


Reading Club for Persons with Intellectual Disabilities


Summary

At the beginning of 2018, the Department of Communication and Inclusion of the City Library of Pančevo initiated the establishment of a reading club, the first of its kind since the establishment of this institution. The club was intended for young people with difficulties in the perception of literary texts, and was successfully implemented within the project Accessibility of Cultural Contents for Persons with Developmental and Intellectual Disabilities. It was organized in partnership with the Center for Culture and Ecology PanArt and the Halfway Association, with the support of the Society for Helping Mentally Underdeveloped Persons. The Ministry of Culture and Information of the Republic of Serbia and the City Administration of Pančevo financed the basic expenses of the project, and the City Library of Pančevo participated with additional funds from its own budget. The project gathered about twenty young people, and their work was monitored and directed by the professional team made of six members (special educators, pedagogues, psychologists, librarians).
The action of establishing the club was preceded by settling a number of organizational, technical and financial issues, so the preparations lasted for several months. The first activities started in May. Some twenty official gatherings of the club members were held, as well as a number of unofficial ones, including visits to exhibitions, going to the theater and a tour of the Book Fair in Belgrade. Gatherings were held every Tuesday 6:00 – 8:00 PM in the small reading room of the library. The evaluation of the project was continuous, with a regular report after each gathering and conclusions on the basis of which plans were made for the next period. Almost all important segments of the work within the club were recorded and documented on videos which are kept in the archives of the club and the project at the Department of Communications and Inclusion of CLP, together with the other relevant documentation. The organizers did not plan to go public before the end of the project since it was the first and the only one of its kind in Serbia, and therefore followed by great unknowns. However, at the initiative of media representatives from Pančevo and other cities, the club was presented at both local and national levels. Thanks primarily to the film Love in the Library, which was shot based on a script written by the club members themselves, some libraries and civil society organizations have expressed serious interest in this project and cooperation with the City Library of Pančevo and the club.
Although the project was realized successfully, and all participants expressed great readiness to continue working on it, the Ministry of Culture and Information of the Republic of Serbia and the City of Pančevo refused to help it financially in 2019 (2019 call for project proposals), which greatly discouraged the organizers. Even though there was no lack of enthusiasm, various professional obligations prevented them from dealing with fundraising and the work of the club, so its activities ceased.


Keywords:

reading club, accessibility of cultural content, persons with developmental disabilities, persons with intellectual disabilities, perception of literary text, City Library of Pančevo (CLP), Department of Communication and Inclusion, Center for Culture and Ecology PanArt, Halfway Association, Society for Helping Mentally Underdeveloped Persons, professional associates, individual reader’s card


Submitted: 10th May 2020
Correction to the manuscript: 23th May 2020
Accepted for publication: 29th May 2020

Creative Commons License
Reading Club for Persons with Intellectual Disabilities by Goran Trailović is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.


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