Creating a Dynamic Cultural Knowledge Hub

Bringing a school library and parents together to create a modern library for the local community, open to all.

The challenge 

The Greek island of Chios in the northeast Aegean Sea is one of the main entry points for refugees seeking a better life in Europe. The 3rd Primary School of Chios teaches pupils from diverse ethnic and religious backgrounds. 

The library is used on a weekly basis by 70% of the school’s students despite the fact that, since its inception in 2018, there has been minimal funding, the space is in need of a redesign and it still operates with the teachers performing librarian duties.

The initiative

The challenge team has brought the school library and Parents’ Association together to develop new knowledge resources.

Through class discussions and drawings, the challenge team started by gathering pupils’ views about what the library should look like. Listening to opinions from students and teachers alike, the goal is to improve the library’s infrastructure and resources. 

A network of volunteers has been mobilised to bring the work to life, helping to strengthen dialogue by bringing the community together. As well as painting and maintenance work, new furniture and IT equipment has been bought, and scientific instruments are also on their way.

What’s next?

The ambition is to transform the library into a dynamic culture and knowledge hub, initially for the whole student community and later for the wider local community too. Promoting unconditional inclusion and upholding cultural diversity in one of Europe’s main entry and refugee reception points is an important objective for the challenge team.

They have also reached out to the Chios Music Festival, hoping that the library can become a space for music and other events, as well as networking with other library initiatives in Greece (such as ‘Schools with open courtyards and open libraries’) and programmes across Europe (such as Erasmus+).

Relevant links 

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