eISSN 2217-5563 ISSN (Print) 2217-5555

Ћирилица Latinica English

Alka Stropnik
Knjižnice grada Zagreba, Republika Hrvatska

doi: 10.19090/cit.2021.39.25-34
No. 39 (November 2021), p. 25-34

Two in One - Pandemic and Earthquake in Croatian Libraries


In 2020, two devastating earthquakes hit the area of the City of Zagreb and Sisak-Moslavina County. On that occasion, numerous historical buildings in which cultural and educational institutions have been placed were damaged. Due to the safety of employees and users, libraries within the institutions (schools, museums, etc.) were temporarily closed. Many librarians were affected by the quake in their private lives, too – some of them lost their homes, some had to move temporarily out of the damaged buildings, houses, and flats, or take care of the safety of their families. At the same time, at work, in their libraries, they did not have regular working conditions. An additional challenge was restoring library buildings, protecting the material, and returning the libraries to a functional state, all in the circumstances of the prescribed epidemiological measures due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Extraordinary circumstances caused by the pandemic and earthquakes have also affected the services provided to the users by the different types of libraries. Only in 2020, due to the impossibility of visiting libraries in person, did users recognize the importance and usefulness of virtual services that were available earlier as well. The paper describes the categorization of the damage caused to buildings in which some libraries operated, the work of librarians in special circumstances, and the adaptation of existing as well as the development of new library services. Significant professional assistance and support to librarians in the earthquake-affected areas have continuously been provided by the Croatian Institute of Librarianship, which operates at the National and University Library in Zagreb, as well as by professional library associations.


earthquake, Covid-19 pandemic, Zagreb, Petrinja, Croatia, libraries, library buildings, online services

Submitted: 13th September 2021
Correction to the manuscript: 27th October 2021
Accepted for publication: 2nd October 2021

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Two in One - Pandemic and Earthquake in Croatian Libraries by Alka Stropnik is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.

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