September 18 marks the 100th anniversary of the birth of Ms Raisa Simakova, a veteran of the National Library of Belarus, a participant in the Great Patriotic War, a senior sergeant of medical service, a survivor of the Siege of Leningrad.
Ms Simakova was born on September 18, 1920 in Rugotino village of the Bezhetsk region of the Kalinin district in the family of peasants. In 1928, the Simakov family moved to the city of Tosno, Leningrad Region, where in 1939 young Rasa graduated from school and joined the company of friends who entered the Technological Institute in Leningrad the same year. Soon Raisa realized that this direction was chosen spontaneously, so she dropped out of her first year and entered the Literature Department of Pokrovsky Leningrad Pedagogical Institute. (Now - A.I. Herzen Russian State University), where she studied until 1941. At the same institute, without interrupting her studies, Ms Simakova graduated from a two-year school of reserve nurses. Unfortunately, she couldn't finish her studies at the institute. The Great Patriotic War made its terrible adjustments to the life of young Raisa...
From the first days of the war, Ms Simakova was drafted into the ranks of the Soviet Army, where she worked as a surgical nurse in the garrison evacuation hospital EG 1171 (Leningrad) until August 1945, when she was recalled from the ranks of the Red Army by the institute to continue her studies. Ms Simakova did not graduate from the Pedagogical Institute. In September of the same year, she entered N.K. Krupskaya Leningrad State Library Institute (now - St. Petersburg State Institute of Culture), which she graduated in June 1948 with honours. Ms Simakova obtained the specialty "librarian" and was sent to work in the BSSR.
From August 3, 1948 to August 1949, Ms Simakova worked as Head of the Reading Room of Government Library No. 2 in Minsk. Then 12 years as Senior Bibliographer in the same library. It is important to note that at this time, Ms Simakova successfully combined her work in the Government Library No. 2 with the position of teacher of history and organization of librarianship in Russia at the Library Technical School that opened at that time. It is clear that immediately after the war there were no textbooks, so I. Simanovsky, Director of the BSSR State Library named after V.I. Lenin and their methodical office, provided assistance in the selection of materials for the Technical School. Thus, by joint efforts, the first course of students graduated from the Library Technical School. Ms Simakova worked in two places until the technical school was moved to Mogilev in 1961 Mogilev.
In October 1961, Government Library No. 2 was reorganized into a branch of the BSSR State Library named after V.I. Lenin V.I. Lenin. It was during this period that the branch began active joint work with the State Library, especially with the Department of Book Storage, Interlibrary Loan and Reference Department. All reference and information work was entrusted to Ms Simakova. Particular attention was paid to questions of party building, materials of congresses, party conferences, etc. Together with the Reference Department of the State Library, a selective dissemination of information service was organized to help the heads of departments and heads of sectors of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of Belarus.
Ms Simakova worked as Head of the Department until she retired in 1987.
For all the time of her work, Ms Simakova took an active part in the life of the library, was an agitator and head of the sanitary post of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of Belarus, was a freelance instructor for the people's control of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of Belarus and the Council of Ministers of the BSSR, head of a theoretical seminar for Komsomol members of the library, a member of the library's party bureau. She successfully combined the work of Head of the branch of the BSSR State Library named after V.I. Lenin with a large reference and information work of the staff of the Central Committee of the CPB. She was the chairperson of the Council of Veterans of the Great Patriotic War of the library, took an active part in the meetings of veterans with young people, spoke at these evenings with messages, reports, lectures.
For forty years Ms Simakova worked in the branch of the State Library, had more than forty certificates for diligent work, including a certificate of the Supreme Soviet of the BSSR, numerous certificates of the Ministry of Culture of the BSSR and the Belarusian National Committee of trade unions of cultural workers.
The employees of the Bibliography Research Department were lucky enough to personally congratulate Ms Simakova on September 18, 2019. on the 99th birthday and Libraries Day, record an interview and just talk to such a life-loving, optimistic and intelligent woman. Despite all the difficulties and trials that fate presented to her, she did not stop loving life and people to the last. Unfortunately, two months after our meeting, Ms Simakova passed away... But the impression of politeness and kindness from this meeting will forever remain in our hearts and memory...
Bibliology Research Department
Read about the veterans and employees of the National Library of Belarus in the news section “Our History: a Portrait Gallery.”