Playroom for healthy and disabled children
Between 1991 and 1993, parts of the ground floor and the warehouse spaces in the rear of the library were modified to create a new, modern-concept and functional playroom for both healthy and disabled children. Thanks to financial support from the State fund PRO SLOVAKIA as well as other numerous sponsors and supporters, on March 31, 1993, as part of the nationwide celebration of Children’s Book Day, the playroom was ceremoniously opened. The opening was attended by representatives from the Ministry of Culture, the Ministry of Labour, Social Affairs and Family, the Mayor, representatives from the town, journalists, sponsors, workers from many different libraries, writers, artists, and numerous supporters.
The preparation and implementation of this unique project was carried out, not only by the library administrators and staff, but also by many professionals focusing their work on and for children and specialists with a wealth of experience. Those involved in the project included the designer of special toys for children Jiří Trnka from Prague, publisher Mária Števková, painter Svetozár Mydlo, painter Jozef Bajus together with his pupils, students from VŠMU (Academy of Performing Arts) in Bratislava, painter Jozef Longauer, painter Peter Čisárik and many others.
Thanks to the generosity of the sponsors, the newly constructed children’s playroom was filled with numerous artistic works, a shiny new VCR, bookshelves full of books and wooden toys in colourful containers.
One of the selfless benefactors was Jiří Trnka, who donated a collection of special toys designed to develop the motor skills of disabled children. Other generous contributors included Tising, Sandra, Rotary Club, Únia slovenskej mládeže (Slovak Youth Union), Microhome, the printing house Hevi, Q111, Buvik, Mladé letá, Fortuna print and others.
In cooperation with discussion groups of parents and supporters of disabled children, under the guidance of Dr. Gabriela Škorvanková a MUDr. Oľga Boldišová, we prepared several exhibitions of art work created by disabled children from Bratislava and Piešťany. We succeeded in obtaining from an international documentation centre in Oslo a rare collection of books for children with a variety of disabilities, which we then introduced to library-goers in Piešťany. We carried out a number of very successful, and popular with children, creative workshops in cooperation with Bibiana, the International House of Art for Children. Another highly appreciated event is the benefit concert “Artists Big and Small for the Children of Piešťany”, which we organized together with Slovak Television and during which the children of Piešťany were introduced to important creators of children’s culture such as Daniel Hevier, Peter Glocko, Marianna Grznárová, Dušan Dušek, Patrícia Jariabková and others. Also of interest was the exhibition “The Contemporary Slovak Toy”,which we organized in cooperation with the M. A. Bazovský Gallery in Trenčín.