„Library for All. Different. Equal. Important.” is an innovative socio-educational project enabling children and adolescents, both from Ukraine and Poland, to learn, play, build relationships with one another and regain a sense of security in a difficult reality. Children and their parents and guardians from both countries can participate in innovative classes and courses, learn each other’s languages and culture. The project is implemented by the Information Society Development Foundation (FRSI) in partnership with Save the Children International (SCI).

What libraries do within this project

Almost 17,000 participants have already taken part in classes conducted by Polish librarians and animators of Ukrainian origin as part of the project “Library for All. Equal. Different. Important.” The libraries provided classes for children, adolescents and adults, and created Digital Education Centers for Ukrainian students residing in Poland. We organized 10 webinars and 14 stationary trainings for librarians, to help develop new competences and learn innovative methods of working in the library.

Libraries have conducted nearly 1,800 classes so far. Groups of children and adolescents who use the help of Ukrainian-speaking teachers, equipment, the Internet and educational materials meet regularly in the facilities. Only in autumn, support reached several hundred students from Ukraine, studying both in the Ukrainian online school and in the Polish education system. In the coming year, several dozen more Digital Education Centers will be created.

In addition libraries offer workshops, courses, knowledge clubs, language classes and meetings for children, adolescents and adults from Poland and Ukraine.

Autumn in the library

City Public Library in Lodz – Four Cultures Library Branch

Photos: City Public Library in Lodz – Four Cultures Library Branch. Digital Learning Centre, yoga for kids and classes on coding offline.

City Public Library in Lodz – Open Library Branch

Photos: City Public Library in Lodz – Open Library Branch. STEAM activities (simple scientific experiments), coding with Photon robots.

City Public Library in Gdynia – City Centre Library Branch

Photo: City Public Library in Gdynia – City Centre Library Branch. Classes on coding with Photon robots.

Public Library in Kokoszkowy

Photo: Public Library in Kokoszkowy. Classes on augmented reality for kids.

Zofia Urbanowska Municipal Public Library in Konin

Photos: Zofia Urbanowska Municipal Public Library in Konin. Movement-based activities, classes for teenagers, coding with Photon robots.

Regional Public Library in Cracow

Photo: Regional Public Library in Cracow. Polish-Ukrainian Book Discussion Club, meetings on Ukrainian language and culture. 

Józef A. and Andrzej S. Załuski Municipal Public Library in Radom

Photo: Józef A. and Andrzej S. Załuski Municipal Public Library in Radom. Afternoon in the library.

W. J. Grabski Public Library in the Ursus District of the City of Warsaw

Photo: W. J. Grabski Public Library in the Ursus District of the City of Warsaw. Course of Polish as a foreign language.

Thanks to the great motivation and commitment of librarians, animators and the participants themselves, it was possible to overcome language and cultural barriers. Friendships emerged and began to go beyond the walls of libraries. Ties that give hope for the future. Little communities were born in several places. They can effectively support and provide strength to their members. For many children and adolescents, libraries became a safe place where they can always come, find care, peace and conditions needed for development.

Training on movement based Team Up methodology for librarians.

Several interesting activities also took place online. During the webinars, we talked about programming, the use of the ScottieGo! game for educational purposes, offline coding, Polish and Ukrainian cultural customs and respect for diversity, or tools such as the Culture Crossover game. The webinars were attended by more than 670 librarians. Recordings of the webinars are available here:

In November, in an open competition, 31 libraries were selected that will join the pilot 20. Complete list of libraries participating in the project “Library for All. Equal. Different. Important.” is available here:

Summer in the library

During the summer holidays (in July and August), as part of the ‘Summer in the Library’ initiative, the libraries participating in the projekct ran a variety of educational, integrative, creative and general development activities. Children learned by playing (e.g. programming with robots), tinkered, performed simple scientific experiments and took part in engaging art, music and movement activities. Examples of the libraries’ activities are presented below.

Maria Paulina Orsetti Public Library in Chełm

Children learned about the history of space rockets and built their own rockets using everyday objects and materials. These were the so called STEAM activities, i.e. included elements of Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Mathematics, and resulted in working prototypes of ‘rockets’.

In cooperation with the Castorama shop, the library hosted creative activities during which children made their own toys, built a house for the library gnomes and created useful objects, such as a scratching post for the cat.

Photos: Maria Paulina Orsetti Public Library in Chełm:

More information about the ‘Summer in the Library’ initiative in Chełm can be found on the Chełm library’s website.

Municipal Public Library in Jarocin

The library in Jarocin invited children from Poland and Ukraine to a music and movement integration activity, using elements of the original Team Up method. Team Up is a movement-based activity conducted in a relaxed, safe and friendly atmosphere, using music, choreography, group games and accessories such as an rainbow play parachute, rope, balls or hula-hoops. Participating children (usually aged between 6 and 11) learn to express emotions while working with their bodies, establish relationships with their peers and develop basic social skills.

Public Library in Kokoszkowy

The library held an outdoor activity for children with Boomwhackers – sets of simple instruments for musical and rhythmic exercises.

Zofia Urbanowska Municipal Public Library in Konin

The library in Konin invited children to a comic book workshop entitled “Friendship has many colours – drawing a comic book together”. The children devised the plot of the comic strip and drew the comic together.

The library hosted an activity to introduce the children to robotics. The children watched a film about robots and then made their own robots out of sponge and designed robotic hands.

City Public Library in Lodz – Four Cultures Library Branch

The libraries in Lodz offer children a variety of integration, movement based and art activities, using both their own ideas and the original Team Up method.

Mariusz Zaruski Municipal Public Library in Ustka 

At the library in Ustka, children took part in activities where they performed simple and engaging scientific experiments, combining knowledge and play.

Stefan Żeromski Municipal Public Library in Zakopane

A rich and diverse programme of holiday activities for Polish and Ukrainian children was also offered by the library in Zakopane. The children learned about 3D design and 3D printing, weaving, the Polish mountains, the work and culture of highlanders and the rules of behaviour when hiking in the Tatra mountains.