“The Belarusian diamond, the treasury of knowledge, the keeper of the historical and cultural heritage, the republican information, scientific and socio–cultural center and the business card of Belarus”, as our readers called the library. Hundred thousand people nave visited our institution since it has been established. In the running up of the centenary we have something to surprise you with: here you have a top of interesting facts! Check yourself, how much do you know exactly?
1. The National library is one of the largest in the world: building floor area is 113,669 sqm; total weight is 140,000 tons. The weight of the library’s building is twice larger than Ostankino television tower in Moscow.
2. The main entrance to the library made in the form of the pages of the opened book. The building in the form of a precious stone was conceived not by chance: a diamond, or even more precisely, a rhombocuboctahedron symbolizes the spiritual and material values stored in the library. Due to its unusual construction, the National library of Belarus listed into the TOP-50 of the most “unusual buildings of the world” and takes 24th place.
3. The building has an unusual illumination: external electronic illuminated board is one of the largest advertisement carriers in Belarus, which floor space is 1,440 sqm. For 15 years of existence of the library there has not been a day when the illumination was not turned on.
4. The planes of rhombocuboctahedron are covered by a net of 4,500 LEDs, which can provide more than 16,000 shades. The National library is seen from the space at night time!
5. At the beginning of 2022, the number of library users exceeded 200 thousand! Comfortable conditions are created for all readers in the institution. For visually impaired and blind users, workplaces are equipped with special equipment. Some services can be obtained remotely.
6. There are 17 Reading rooms at the service of users, which can accommodate more than 1,500 people.
7. Delivery of documents is carried out through the modern system "Telelift". The delivery speed is about 20 minutes.
8. The National Library maintains contacts and cooperates with the largest libraries in the world. To date, the Diamond of Knowledge has 47 existing cooperation agreements with library and educational institutions of foreign countries.
9. The pride of the library is the Museum of the Book. The exhibition hall (288 sqm) displays more than 300 unique book monuments: handwritten and early-printed books, rare editions of the 15th – 21th centuries.
10. Numerous awards are the contribution of the National Library to the development of Belarusian culture, preservation and popularization of the book heritage. Among them are the Prize of the President of the Republic of Belarus "For Spiritual Revival" (2018), the special prize of the President of the Republic of Belarus to cultural and artistic figures (2012), etc.
11. The library annually hosts more than 200 different events, while every fourth one is of an international nature. The library hosts meetings at the highest state level with the participation of heads of state, heads of government, creative and scientific events, presentations, etc. In total, about 30 art projects and more than 200 book exhibitions take place every year.
12. The volume of the library's stock has crossed the ten-millionth milestone (10.4 million copies). Among the libraries of the CIS countries, we occupy the third place in this indicator, second only to the Russian state and Russian National Libraries.
13. The fund includes printed publications, manuscripts, sheet music, films, microcopies of documents, electronic, etc. materials published both in Belarus and abroad in more than 80 languages. It will take about 40 years just to scroll through all the documents stored in the library at a speed of 1 document in 2 minutes.
14. The National Library is creating an electronic library, the volume of which is already about 650 thousand documents. This is the largest collection of documents in electronic form among the libraries of the country. It will take about six months just to scroll through this array at a speed of 1 page per second.
15. To listen to the NLB music collection included in the electronic library, it will take 26,600 hours or more than 3 years, listening to music 24 hours a day without interruption.
16. Today, the library provides access to more than 100 databases of world publishers. The library forms its own and acquires domestic and world electronic information resources.
17. Today, the library owns the largest collection of handwritten books in the country – more than 1,000 units in Old Russian, Church Slavonic, Polish, Russian, Latin, etc. languages.
18. A special microclimate is observed in the holdings: it is important to maintain a certain humidity and temperature in the premises. The standard for humidity is 50-60%, for temperature is 18-21 degrees.
Else in the library you can …
19. Watch a movie. In the Music and audiovisual documents reading room, the user can choose a movie from the library's extensive video library or watch a movie online.
20. Listen to music. Songs for music lovers: there are 17,000 vinyl records in the library's collections. Recordings from them are digitized and are in an open access sound database. But connoisseurs of analog sound can listen to music directly from the record.
21. Or even play the piano. Musical instruments are installed in the Music and audiovisual documents reading room in a special room with sound insulation.
22. It is interesting to spend time even for the youngest guests of the library. While the parents are busy, the teachers of the Children's room will look after the child – they will play educational games, read books or just watch good cartoons.
24. Get pleasant impressions and visit the 73-meter height. Closed and open Observation decks and amazing views of the Belarusian capital are definitely worth seeing!
The article is provided by the Public relations department.