Čop Awards for 2022
The Čop Awards, the highest national prizes for outstanding achievements in the field of librarianship, have been awarded by the Slovenian Library Association since 1967. This year's recipients of the Čop Diploma are Violetta Bottazzo and Marina Hrs, and the Čop Commendation went to Miro Tržan.
In her speech, Tatjana Likar, who attended the award ceremony as a representative of the Ministry of Culture, said: "The importance of the work done by library staff for the environment in which they work – and beyond – is affirmed by the many local and national awards and prizes which, in addition to the Čop Awards, include professional awards such as the Goropevšek Award, as well as the Kalan, the Stepišnik and the Dr Bruno Hartman Memorial Fund prizes. They recognise individuals who have made a significant contribution to the development of library and information science, or library activities that help individuals and society to become literate, to acquire and improve knowledge, and to critically address various issues, which is a prerequisite for development that will contribute to responsible sustainable progress. Although the focus of libraries is often on library collections, it is confirmed time and again that the real focus is on the user."
At the end of her speech, she congratulated the winners: "You have shown that you have a wealth of ideas, courage and knowledge. You have shown that you are using it to further develop libraries and make services better – and more accessible – for users. You have taken steps in the right direction."
Violetta Bottazzo set up a specialised library at Ljubljanska banka and the Ministry of Finance, where she worked, and managed the Information and Library Services area for almost 20 years. Throughout her career, she has been guided by the conviction that the success of a specialised library depends on the competence of the specialised librarian, who must have expertise in librarianship and information science, and in the field in which the parent organisation operates. She also recognised the importance of introducing new technologies in libraries. The justification for the award describes how her work has even been recognised abroad.
Marina Hrs started her career at the Srečko Vilhar Central Library in Koper and then went on to work at the Izola Public Library, which she has managed for more than three decades. She has always promoted lifelong learning among both the library's staff and its users.
Today, the Izola Public Library is a centre of lifelong learning for various groups of users, including the underprivileged – the elderly, the visually impaired, the sick and the disabled, as well as for families, children and tourists. It strengthens its ties with the local environment by organising events, exhibitions and other activities. Marina and her colleagues have also created a permanent collection of over 1,500 vintage toys in a public-private partnership.
Miro Tržan is distinguished by his in-depth knowledge of the acquisition and processing of library materials. He brings a wide range of knowledge and innovative thinking when optimising various areas of work at the Ljubljana City Library. He also spearheaded an initiative to establish cooperation between libraries, with the aim of optimising the acquisition and processing of library materials. His ideas and solutions, such as the automated updating of lists of new library materials, are universal and applicable to all libraries.