Stories need to be told to live

I believe that stories need to be told to live. If somewhere something great happens and it is not shared, then it’s almost as if it would not have happened.” Vlad Petreanu said that in October 2012 before his journeys to the libraries in Romania to see for himself what are today’s public libraries and how they have turned into modern centers that directly address the current needs of citizens.

Three years after the Stories Seekers project, which resulted in dozens of stories gathered in a book signed by Vlad Petreanu, Catalin Stefanescu, John Smith and Irina Păcurariu, libraries continue to bring together nice stories, but this time they challenge those who cross their threshold to provide them. It is the turn of the project Cultural Agora @ Your Library to bring this time hundreds of stories of the people who make up the audience of the wonderful public libraries.

We already have Moldovan students who came here to study, Germans commuted in Romania,  Lipovans who are keen to bring on the memory of their ancestors, natives who love and pride the story of their city, Roma people who dedicate their time to those who need and support disadvantaged ethnic minority communities.

Not only young people but also grandparents come to the public libraries and participate in the two day- workshop that teaches them how to transform the stories of their lives into digital format and thus these can stay forever, or, as Vlad Petreanu says, to share a story that happened. Two days full of emotion that revive memories, structure and restructure them so as not to lose the emotion trying to tell the story as clearly. If in the first day they figure out the secrets of writing a narrative story based on mental maps, in the second day they lose themselves in photos, arranging them feverishly and carefully and then, with a trembling voice, they record the whole story.

Besides the joy and satisfaction felt by their loved ones when they see a digital story like a movie, the public libraries archives are loaded with fragments of living history of people who have the chance to live in the most scintillating counties in terms of cultural life and with a rich ethnic mosaic in particular.

Cultural Agora @ Your Library is a project implemented by ANBPR in affiliation with Jazzmontor AS Norvegia and REPLIKA Cultural Association, financed through the SEE 2009-2014 Grants, the PA17/RO13 Programme “The Promotion of diversity of culture and art within the European heritage” ( in Romania.

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