New Home for Books

National Library Changes Place of Residence
The central library of the country has suspended its work and will resume it in May, when the new building of the National Library opens in the capital city. The new home may seat up to 2,000 readers and has 20 reading halls. The book depositary has enough space for 14 million books.

— Other libraries take years to move to new buildings, says Director of the National Library Roman Motulsky. But we try to be as fast as possible. Some 600 trips will be required, and it will take all these trucks about four months to transport the books. The books have been packed, and documents have been stored in special containers. Rare books will be escorted by security services. The key thing is to place the books on shelves properly.
The staff of the Library is over 1,000 specialists, but they would never be able to meet the schedule even if they worked 24/7. They need help from the military and students.

The staff is quite happy about the necessity to move. It has been high time the books were moved into a better place, they say. The old building is decayed, and rare books were kept in conditions far from ideal. In the “diamond” they will be treated as dear guests, at a set temperature, in well-ventilated rooms with heated floors. At last all books will find “seats” on special shelves, and not in piles.

The “diamond” is a high-tech gem, connected to the largest organizations and scientific institutes by a fiber-optic cable. It will take librarians 15 minutes (including a short trip in special elevators) to get the necessary books.

The builders assure the readers and librarians that this May will see the opening ceremony. They are finishing rooms for international meetings now. Furniture is being delivered to the new building. It is time for designers and landscape architects to beautify the treasury of information.

The old building of the library was opened in 1932, but World War II destroyed most of it, and many precious books were removed from the country. After the war some 600,000 books were returned to the library from Germany, the Czech Republic, Slovakia and Poland. The collection of the National Library numbers over 8 million books.

Alexander Sokolov
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