Ludmila Kalugina
(chelyabinsk region)

Book guardians

There are four spectacular women in an old village of Koelga, Chelyabinsk region. They turned their library into a museum and local cultural centre.
The door is wide open, inviting us in cheerfully:
- Come in, friend, take the book, that humanity calls the fount of information
And people come in pretty ofter – locals of an old village, that has just celebrated its 270th birthday. They come here not just for books, but also presentations, conferences and fests.
We enter the classic russian house following a handmade carpet: the librarians-ethnographers invite us to look into the history of the region and witness the daily life of our ancestors.
Children from all over the region come with tours to our library. We show them around and tell the stories: here`s the furnace, polati (sleeping places). A chest with clothes and zibka (cot) with an infant. And in the corner, diagonally across the room, facing the sunrise, there was a Red (icon) corner.
- Head of the library Marina Borovcova
Gornitsa (the living room) was furnished with the hands of the whole village, creating the authentic interior of a house from the beginning of the last century - tables and benches, kitchenware, household items – everything here has a history. And now the kids have gathered around to listen to Marina Ivanovna, - she reads them poems about the hometown and the beauty of its nature.
Thats not «gave the book – took the book», people that work here have dedicated their life to higher goals. Teaching expertise serves them well – Dina Gubina and Olga Burshtyka came here from kindergarden, Marina Ivanovna used to be a headteacher at school. There`s also Irina Panasyuk, who helps to keep the library clean and beautiful. Here`s the whole small team.
Dina Gubina, who used to work in a kindergarden, is a book guardian now
Olga Burshtyka, the keeper of the "reading room"
- We organise family actions all the time, it makes people closer and gives them a rare opportunity to spend leisure time together, - says Marina Borovtsova.
We organise exhibitions of local artists, who work with wood, textile and diamond mosaic. Only recently have we discovered the unique collections of soviet dolls and kasli iron sculpture made by a local artist, Lubov Lutina. All of her collections could have been seen last year in the library. "Long live our home village" contest also takes place here. The participants of all ages (from 4 to 70) read their own poems or the poems of russian authors.
These women come here to make lives of people of their village colourful and full of festive atmosphere: they do more than they have to, all of it to make people engage in reading and make them proud of their home village.
The secret of our success is living a simple life and working a lot on something you love.
— Marina Borovtsova
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