Galina Nikolaevna was born in 1922 in the village of Gorodok, Bobruisk district, Mogiliovski region. Her childhood and youth were spent in Minsk, where the family moved to a permanent place of residence.
In the early 1940s, the girl worked as an operations officer in the Republican police department, where she handled cases of street children, lost people and petty criminals. Suddenly, the Great Patriotic War broke into the life of nineteen-year-old Galina, breaking the established peaceful way of life. Together with a colleague, she was forced to evacuate to Saratov.
Many years later, Galina Kirilenko recalled that terrible time like this: "The flames were raging behind me. Minsk was engulfed in the glow of fires. [ ... ] she did not run away from the city for good, she thought: the artillery will go off, the houses hit by bombs will burn down – and everything will return to normal."
In Saratov, Galina Nikolaevna got a job in the village council, where, along with other things, she had to collect the war tax. Then she decided to resume her specialty and entered a six-month course at the police school, after which she was assigned to Kalinin to work in the criminal investigation department.
A little later, she was transferred to the Department of the People's Commissariat of Internal Affairs, which deals with military censorship.
During the war years, G.N. Kirilenko passed through Latvia, Lithuania and reached all the way to Germany. Details of that terrible period of her life can be found in the interview "Photo from the forty-first", which she gave to the special correspondent of the newspaper "Soviet Belarus" Viktor Korbut in 2005.
Galina Nikolaevna (left) with her colleague Raisa Petrovna Simakova
Galina Nikolaevna's contribution to the overall victory over the Nazi invaders was awarded the Order of the Patriotic War, the medals "For the Capture of Konigsberg", "For the Victory over Germany", "For Military Merit".
Meeting of Veterans of the National Library
(Galina Nikolaevna, second from the left)
In 1946, Galina returned to Minsk and two years later graduated from the library department of the Minsk Pedagogical Institute named after A.M. Gorky (now the Belarusian State Pedagogical University named after M. Tank). It is noteworthy that among her mentors was the first director of the State Library of the BSSR named after V.I. Lenin Iosif Bentsianovich Simanovski.
After receiving her diploma, she took up the position of the head of the Library Loan of the Central Committee of the Belarus’ Communist Party, where she worked for almost 13 years. Since April 1961, she worked at the State Library of the BSSR named after V.I. Lenin, where she passed all the steps of library skills: senior bibliographer, senior editor, head of the sector of subject indexing and organization of subject catalogs, head of the sector of the processing department.
Galina Nikolaevna kept one of the most important sections of the systematic catalog, the catalog of abstracts on agriculture and medicine, classified and systematized literature on these branches. It provided methodological assistance in organizing and maintaining catalogues both inside and outside the library.
For all the time of her work, G.N. Kirilenko took an active part in the life of the library staff, was the secretary of the comrades' court and the people's assessor of the Leninski district. Her professionalism has been awarded a number of commendations and certificates.
Galina Nikolaevna, third from the left in the first row, May 1974
Galina Nikolaevna Kirilenko went on a well-deserved rest in 1981, but never ceased to be interested in the life of the National Library of Belarus. According to the memoirs of her daughter Alina Aleksandrovna Galuzo, she really wanted to get to the opening of the new library building planned for the summer of 2006, but fate decided otherwise – in December 2005, her life's journey ended.
The article was prepared by Natalia Korneychuk and Irina Kuketa, employees of the Library Science Research Department.
Read about veterans and employees of the National Library of Belarus in the section "Portraits: the history of the library in faces".