Zoya Novikova is an inspiring employee of the “Dergachivska Public Library” who is currently bringing new life to the cultural heritage of her city and rebuilding it for the younger generation.

Standing together with Dergachi, Zoya, who is temporarily acting as the library director, considers it her mission to restore culture, rebuild the library, not only bringing back its former external and internal appearance but also bringing people back to their workplaces and the individuals who used to fill the institution with life.

The current state of the library: “We have gone through all stages, from regular to remote work. We have experienced terrible events. And now I am the only one left in the library due to lack of funding. Two colleagues are on maternity leave, and three others have suspended their employment. All other employees have lost their jobs.” Despite the fact that the Dergachi Public Library suffered damages, such as broken windows, doors, and a damaged ceiling, with the support of the local authorities, it was possible to repair these and even restore heating during the winter so that the institution could continue to function.

“People constantly come to us as readers, maybe not in the same numbers as before, but life goes on. People are happy that they can take literature for the soul. It is important at such times. We are gradually receiving assistance in the form of books from various sources: the CodeIT4Life Foundation, publishers like “Ranok” and “Zhorzh,” local deputies, the Lysychansk and Bezlyudska communities, as well as the Kharkiv Regional Administration. With the support of these people, we were able to organize campaigns in Dergachi, such as “Revive the Ruined,” “Give a Book to the Library,” and “The Future is in Ukraine.”