Today, on 1 June 2022, Ombudsman Peter Svetina opened the Ombudsman’s special collection at the Bežigrad library. In his opening speech, Mr Svetina said that the institution of the Ombudsman has generated a great and substantial internal collection of literature on various aspects of human rights in its three decades of existence. “We found that there was a large gap in the public’s access to various materials on human rights after the Information Bureau of the Council of Europe was abolished in Slovenia 12 years ago. Despite the fact that much of the information or data can be found on the world wide web, I am convinced that access to printed literature in libraries is of great importance and great added value for readers,” said the Ombudsman.
Several books that found their way into the Bežigrad Library were not accessible to the Slovenian general public before. Now, they are available to all interested readers. “The idea that we, as a national institution for human rights, which is tasked with caring for and promoting the protection of human rights, should contribute to arranging access for the general public to specialised literature on human rights, has been developing for many years. I am pleased that the Bežigrad Library has responded to our initiative in a positive manner. We need to realise that access to information and the freedom of education are two important human rights. These are not given, which is why it is important that we educate ourselves about them. I hope that this collection will help the library visitors better know and understand the importance of human rights, including their own, in modern society,” said Ombudsman Peter Svetina.
The director of the Ljubljana City Library, Teja Zorko, also expressed her enthusiasm over the collection of the Ombudsman, which is located on the first floor of the Bežigrad Library. “I am pleased that we have been enriched with one more important thematic collection, which is the result of the cooperation between the Ljubljana City Library and the Ombudsman. The Ombudsman’s collection includes 230 titles and will continue to evolve as time goes on. It includes materials covering the topics of equal opportunities, labour relations, dignity and personal rights, national and ethnic communities, environment and space, restrictions of personal freedom, the rights of children, justice, social security, freedom of conscience and expression, and education, a range of works that will significantly supplement the quality of our collection and allow users to familiarise themselves with the material and even pressing topics they are faced with every day,” concluded Teja Zorko.