The foundation of the library tradition in Ferizaj were set in the early ‘60s with the foundation of the first city library which at the time was called Jovan Popovic. The library functioned under this name until after the war, when it turned into an intermunicipal library and was named Anton Cetta, after the activist and Albanian folklore collector.
Besides the intermunicipal library Anton Cetta, the City Library of Ferizaj Sadik Tafarshiku was opened in 2001 with the initiative of the Municipality of Ferizaj and USAID. In 2010, the intermunicipal and the city library merged into one and today they function as a single entity housed in the building that was constructed in 1912 in the city center.
Besides the center in Ferizaj, the Sadik Tafarshiku library has four branches in the villages of Nerodime, Komogllavë, Talinoc të Muhaxherëve and Dardani. The center together with its branches are managed by a total of 15 employees who work in different sectors.
Every year, around 4,000 members are registered in the Sadik Tafarshiku library. According to the director Teuta Demiri, recently a decrease of the number of peole registered in the library has been noticed, however, the decrease is not that huge since the number of people registered varies from 3,500 to 4,100 people per year. “Right after the war, we had the highest number of people registered, that is, until 2005-2006. The library of Ferizaj was among the libraries with the highest number of people registered per year. In 2010, we merged with the other library, but to be honest, these last four years the number of readers has decreased, but this is a small decrease. I mean, [earlier] we used to register 4000 to 4100 readers per year, now we register 3,800 to 3,900.”
As far as the number of books and the archival materials go, the Sadik Tafarshiku library has a fund of 60,000 books, while in its archive it keeps the daily local and central newspapers such as Rilindja, the editions of which the library has been preserving since the ‘50s until it stopped being published. Other newspapers archived in the Sadik Tafarshiku library are Zëri and Bujku. These materials are very valuable for the library and the community, since according to the director Demiri, the institution which she leads is often visited by scholars who use the archival material that is preserved there.
The library staff makes sure to organize at least two events per month, which differ in character – from public discussions to exhibitions and book promotion. The one challenge that they face is the lack of funds to finance the organising of a yearly program of events. Another challenge is the lack of a communication staff and strategy, which would make it possible for the library to attract the audience around the events it organizes.
Currently, the Sadik Tafarshiku library in Ferizaj is managed and financed by the Directorate of Culture, Youth and Sports of the Municipality of Ferizaj, but they also collaborate with various local and international civil society organizations.
Thanks to the collaboration with the Library of Lausanne, according to the director Demiri, they have established the French language corner in the library. While thanks to the collaboration with BONEVET NGO and the Croat government, the Sadik Tafarshiku library has managed to provide technological tools for the Technical High School Pjetër Bogdani in Ferizaj. During the whole year, the library maintains regular collaboration with elementary schools of the Municipality of Ferizaj, by supporting them to establish their own libraries and by inviting their students to be part of the events organized by the library.
According to Ms.Demiri, currently the library is in the second phase of the implementation of the 100.000 hundred euros project financed by the Municipality of Ferizaj, which is at the same time the highest amount ever allocated for this institution by the Municipality. The project consists of updating the book fund of the library with the most recently published books. However, according to Ms.Demiri, being updated with new books remains one of the biggest challenge for the library.
The building of the library of Ferizaj has one special reading room and another one separated in six small booths which serves as a working room for groups that need to communicate with each other during their time in the library. The library also has the children’s reading room and the activities room.