The Central University Library “Mihai Eminescu” Iasi (BCU), in partnership with the Ready to Open Intercultural Spaces (ROIS) Association, announces the progress of the project Restoration and Rehabilitation of the Central University Library “Mihai Eminescu” of Iasi – no. A3-11/2022, under the State Aid Scheme for the Restoration and Revitalisation of Historic Monuments, RO-CULTURA Programme, funded by the EEA Financial Mechanism 2014-2021.
The conference dedicated to the presentation of the partial results took place on the first day of the series of events organized on the occasion of the Days of the Central University Library “Mihai Eminescu”, Iași, bringing together representatives of local authorities, representatives of the university environment, the management team and the project partner, along with personalities from the field of librarianship.
“Today we open a new edition of the Central University Library Days, a series of events that remind us that in Iasi, on November 8, 1839, the ruler Mihail Sturdza gave to the Academy he founded “600 selected tomes that were to be the beginning for the establishment of a public library” (Albina românească, no. 89, year X, 1839, p. 1). 184 years have passed and the 600 volumes have merged with another 2.5 million publications to which today almost 11,000 active users have access. Add to this the hundreds of thousands of online visits to the library’s digital collections created over the past six years. Unlike previous editions, the current edition has at its core a series of activities included in the calendar of a project with European funding, the first of its kind in the history of the library”, said Prof. Ioan Milică, General Director of BCU Iași.
The project “Restoration and rehabilitation of the historical monument building Mihai Eminescu Central University Library” – no. A3-11/2022 is included in the state aid scheme for restoration and revitalization of historical monuments. The RO-CULTURA programme has a budget of approximately 34 million euro, is implemented by the Ministry of Culture through the Project Management Unit and has the overall objective of strengthening economic and social development through cultural cooperation, cultural entrepreneurship and cultural heritage management.
This framework was created through the EEA Grants 2014-2021, cumulating funds representing the contribution of Iceland, the Principality of Liechtenstein and the Kingdom of Norway to reducing economic and social disparities in the European Economic Area and strengthening bilateral relations with the 15 beneficiary countries in Eastern and Southern Europe and the Baltic States. These funding mechanisms are established on the basis of the Agreement on the European Economic Area, which brings together EU Member States and Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway as equal partners in the internal market.
The “Mihai Eminescu” Central University Library in Iasi is one of the nine historical monuments in Romania funded under the RO-CULTURE programme. The works and activities are also supported by the Ministry of Education and the total value of the project is 10,347,288.40 lei, equivalent to 2,091,248.49 euro.
The restoration and rehabilitation work has not meant a halt to the current pace of work in the library but, on the contrary, has contributed to the valorisation of the institution’s heritage in order to stimulate local and regional development. The public was and is encouraged to discover, either through direct participation or online, the cultural treasure trove of BCU Iași: manuscripts, books, newspapers, magazines and other types of publications.
So far, the project has achieved the following results:
– The restoration and modernisation works have been 85% completed: new and durable roof, new smoke evacuation equipment in the book stores in the basement of the building, high-performance video monitoring system of the public access areas, modernisation of the auditorium;
– In order to increase the quality of the services provided to users and visitors of BCU Iasi, the remote locker and the ticketing equipment have been put into operation. In addition, the components of the large-scale projection system (videomapping) arrived in Iasi the other day and will be tested and prepared for operation in the coming period;
– The institution’s online infrastructure has been significantly improved, both by creating a new BCU Iasi portal with multiple functionalities and by creating tools to popularize the project (website and Facebook page). At present, the BCU Iasi portal is one of the most accessed library domains in Romania, ranking, according to reliable estimates, in the top three positions. Through these facilities the services, activities and resources that the institution offers to all those interested are promoted.
– Activities to revive interest in the historic monument have been successful. So far, the project has carried out 19 of the 20 guided tours (380 people) foreseen in the funding contract and five of the six public book exhibitions (1039 people). From 1 April 2022, the start date of the project, to 31 October 2023, the total number of visitors to the King Ferdinand I Foundation Palace has exceeded 8,500 people and by the end of the project it is expected that the total number will be over 10,000 visitors.
About the project:
The general objective of the project is the restoration and valorisation of the cultural heritage constituted by the historical monument Central University Library “Mihai Eminescu” Iasi, in order to stimulate local and regional economic and social development.
The direct result of the project is the restoration of the Central University Library “Mihai Eminescu” Iasi, and the indirect results are the improvement of the cultural heritage management and the improvement of access to culture. The project implementation period is 20 months.
More details about the project are available on rocultura.bcu-iasi.ro.
Information about the RO-CULTURA programme is available on www.ro-cultura.ro.