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110 Anniversary of Birth of Faina Mieryna, Veteran of the National Library of Belarus

110 Anniversary of Birth of Faina Mieryna, Veteran of the National Library of Belarus
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Ms Mieryna belongs to the team that worked at the State Library of the BSSR named after V.I. Lenin and took part in the post-war restoration of the national treasury.

Ms Faina Mieryna was born in 1911 in Minsk in a family of civil servants. Right after finishing school, the 18-year-old Faina began her career in the library profession as a librarian at the Komsomol House. В 1930 году она переехала в In 1930 she moved to Stalingrad, where she worked at the technical library of the Stalingrad Tractor Plant named after F.E. Dzerzhinsky (now the Volgograd Tractor Plant).

Two years later, she returned to Minsk and was hired by the State Library of the BSSR named after V.I. Lenin as a member of the Technical Reading Room.

This is how Ms Mieryna recalled that time: "1932... The library had just moved into a new building, one of the most beautiful in Minsk, made of glass and concrete. I was working in the Technology and Agriculture Department at the time. It was a very interesting and well-rounded department... Readers loved our Department, as they could quickly get the necessary literature or reference, they didn't have to subscribe for books, we found everything in our collection at once...".

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Ms Mieryna, second from the left, 1st row

As fate would have it, Ms Mieryna's career was connected with A.N. Ostrovsky Komsomolsk-on-Amur City Library from 1936 onwards, where she was in charge of the library's loan system for two years.

When she returned to Minsk, she continued her work at the State Library of the BSSR and was in charge of the Technical Literature Library until the beginning of the Second World War.

"...The work was very interesting. All the department's staff were very attentive, despite the cold (the ink froze on the tables, hands were freezing) working with love, a desire to serve readers as best and fast as possible..." – she shared her memories of that difficult time.

The war had made some changes in Faina's plans: from the very first days she was forced to evacuate. For three wartime years, she worked in different positions: she was Head of the library of the Propaganda Unit of the Lenin Communist Party of the Soviet Union in Ordzhonikidze (now – Vladikavkaz); was Senior Librarian in the Library of the Naval Academy of the Order of Lenin named after K. E. Voroshilov in Samarkand (now the Military Research and Training Centre of the Navy "Naval Academy named after Admiral of the Fleet of the Soviet Union N.G. Kuznetsov").

During the occupation the German fascist invaders did irreparable damage to the State Library of the BSSR named after V.I. Lenin; everything that had been created by the working team during 20 years was destroyed. That is why right after the liberation of Minsk the oldest workers, who survived the occupation and those who came back from evacuation, started the restoration of the looted and destroyed library. In 1944, Ms Faina Mieryna was able to return to Minsk and join the great restoration work.

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It was not until the post-war years that Ms Mieryna was given an opportunity to receive specialised training: from 1948 to 1952, she attended a correspondence course at the Krupskaya Leningrad State Library Institute (now St Petersburg State Institute of Culture).

Until July 1971, Ms Faina Mieryna worked in various positions in the main library of the country. There was a period in her professional biography, when she worked in the Book Chamber of the BSSR and compiled the "Chronicle of the BSSR Press", as well as consolidated editions on Belarusian bibliography.

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Ms Mieryna had a lot of awards: the Diploma of the Supreme Soviet of the BSSR for donation, the medal "For valorous work in the Great Patriotic War", Diploma of the Ministry of Culture of the USSR and the Central Committee of the Trade Union of Culture Workers, the Ministry of Culture of the BSSR and the BRK of the Trade Union of Culture Workers (1967). In 1962, for her long and active library work Ms Mieryna was awarded the badge of the Ministry of culture of the USSR "For excellent work"

Unfortunately, we do not know the further story of Ms Faina Mieryna. We are continuing our search and would be grateful to anyone who has any information and will help supplement the material.

Bibliology Research Department

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