Outdoor libraries have been opened in front of the Rectorate of the University of Silesia and on the Katowice market square. They are installations promoting the European City of Science Katowice 2024. This honourable title is awarded by the EuroScience organisation in cooperation with the European Commission and for the first time in history it was awarded to a city from Central and Eastern Europe.
“In terms of science, next year will definitely belong to Katowice, which will be named the European City of Science 2024! The city will turn into a living laboratory that will inspire the inhabitants of the entire region to act. I believe that it will be an excellent opportunity to create synergy between the local community and the scientific community cantered around universities in Katowice and beyond”, says Marcin Krupa, Mayor of Katowice. “The agenda for next year’s event is slowly being created, but we are already starting activities to promote it among residents. Hence the idea to build outdoor libraries that will evoke interest, inform and, I hope, inspire. They also become a literal reflection of the slogan that science is among us!”, the president adds.
The outdoor bookcases contain information in several languages regarding the title of ECS Katowice 2024 and walls filled with plants. Inside, you will find many books and a bench encouraging rest and reading.
“The library is one of the elementary research tools. I truly believe that it is also a space where everyone, not only the ‘professional reader’, can feel good, pleasant and, in a way, also safe, all thanks to the benefits that come from the reading process. As early as the 15th century, Thomas à Kempis wrote: ‘Everywhere I have sought peace and not found it, except in a corner with a book’. So let’s read and look for the peace we all need, whether in the privacy of our private book collection, in the reading room of our municipal library, or in one of the outdoor libraries, which began functioning as an initiative announcing that Katowice will be the European City of Science next year”, encourages Katarzyna Trynda, PhD, Assoc. Prof., Vice-Rector of the University of Silesia.
In accordance with the idea of book crossing, which consists in leaving read books in public places so that the finder can read them and “circulate” them again, we encourage residents to actively use the books left behind, as well as to replenish the shelves in outdoor libraries with their own books. With such small gestures, we can all contribute to the joint building of the city of science.
Obtaining the title of the European City of Science in 2024 is the result of the efforts of the city of Katowice and seven public universities of the Academic Consortium “Katowice – City of Science”. It would not be possible without the Silesian Science Festival KATOWICE—one of the largest European popular science events, which is an important platform for science cooperation. Obtaining the title is an opportunity for further development of the city and increasing its attractiveness, introducing innovative concepts, stimulating tourism and increasing the involvement of residents and the scientific community. Summer is a great time to take the title of European City of Science Katowice 2024 to the streets of the capital of the Silesian Voivodeship.
Photo by Przemysław Kowal