We continue to publish media coverings of the bright event in the history of the National Library and Belarus – the construction of a new building.
January 2004. The building of the National Library of Belarus has grown by 33 meters, 15 of them made up the underground level. It was planned to double the height of the building by December – up to 72 meters.
Even in spite of the bad weather, construction is proceeding at the proper pace... The similarity with a beautiful, fantastically toylike diamond (or a brilliant?) from the project becomes more obvious every day. A diamond, the beauty of which is simply difficult to appreciate, gradually turns into a brilliant in the skillful hands of builders.
A diamond becomes a brilliant.
Holas Radzimy. Belarus in Moldova, 2004, No. 2, February, p. 1.
March. Over the next 20 months remaining before the planned commissioning of the building, it is necessary to use $ 150 million, which is approximately 7.5 times more than in the previous 13 months from the start of the construction.
The general contractor of the construction ("Minskstroj") noted that one of the main problems is that builders have to master the innovations offered by the designers "on the fly". This applies primarily to the "diamond" itself – the book depository, which should resemble the gemstone not only in shape but also in appearance.
It was supposed to make its entire outer surface of solid and absolutely clean glass without metal inclusions, using the original technology of spot fastening using spider-like structures fixed in the outer wall body instead of aluminum or steel frames and frames as fasteners. Such glass was not produced in Belarus, therefore a tender was announced for its supply from abroad.
Other materials also come from abroad: Etafom (ten-millimeter tape for temporary insulation of concrete) is imported from Russia, formwork "Peri" is imported from Germany.
September. The construction of the book storage floors is nearing completion.
Installation of metal structures has began. <…> Finishing works, which started in August, are being carried out along the way. Tightening, wall cladding with tiles are being executed, the floor heating system is being adjusted. The company "Triple" has already started their work (its specialists make a dome).
Ju. Klimovich, Technical Construction Director.
Prymak I. "Closer to the Skies with Books"
Zviazda, 2004, 10 September, p. 2.
The construction employs from 450 to 800 people, they build in three shifts, seven days a week, and sometimes on holidays. Construction workers from Homiel work on a rotational basis. In total, more than 30 enterprises and organizations take part. Students of Belarusian universities – BSUIR, BNTU and BSU – also participate in the construction, gaining valuable construction experience.
The Belarusians living in Moldova also contributed to the construction of the National Library of Belarus by sending financial resources to the construction fund.
A diamond becomes a brilliant.
Holas Radzimy. Belarus in Moldova, 2004, No. 2, February, p. 1.
The Homiel region is to volundatory transfer 7.2 billion rubles for the construction of the National Library.
Narodnaja Volia, 2004, 5 February, p. 2.
New building – new opportunities
According to the results of 2003, the Library collection amounted to more than 8 million storage units, including 70 thousand rare and early printed books and manuscripts, 2.8 million periodicals, 80 thousand sheet music pieces, 30 thousand audiovisual documents, 107 thousand art edition, 15 thousand maps, 700 thousand abstracts of dissertations, 120 thousand microforms. More than 90 thousand people use the Library. The lending of books amounted 3.5 million per year.
The new building made it possible not only to gather all departments in it, but also to improve the technology and comfort of user service, and also to revise the organizational work structure.
The general concept of user service and the organization of staff work in the new areas has been approved, the premises of the reading and service areas in the stylobate were distributed and agreed upon, the number of shelves and their arrangement in the book depository were determined.
The most necessary equipment that will soon be required <...> is racks. 90 types and sizes are needed. For books, magazines, old manuscripts, paintings, gramophone records. <…>.
These are products for multifunctional use. They are designed taking into account modern requirements, not stationary, but mobile, they can be moved indoors on rails. <…>.
The colour is light beige.
Grabko, N. Book Home: What will be in it?
Minsk Courier, 2004, October 21, p. 5.
In February 2004, an agreement was signed with RUE "Agat-System" for the development of technical specifications for the creation of a complex of information technology systems. This made it possible to use more than 1.5 thousand computers in the new building to provide technological processes for both users and employees of the Library.
On June 10-11, Lukashenka gave instructions to create a national information centre on the basis of the National Library of Belarus in Vitebsk at a permanent seminar for employees of national and local government bodies "Innovation policy of the state and ways of its implementation".
Now it is the National Library information centre.
Getting ready to move
Preparations for relocation continued this year. The "Program for relocation of the National Library" was developed and adopted, the "Information resources and organization of services for users of the National Library relocation schedule" was approved. These activities were meant for the period from 2003 to June 2006:
- inventory count of computer and material and technical equipment;
- passportization of card catalogues;
- collections revision;
- conservation and packaging of the collections;
- relocation of collections, catalogues and structural divisions of the library.
The national budget allocated 3.5 billion rubles for the relocation of the National Library.
Work in the old National Library building continued.
The old building. Photo by Bazyleva-Lanko
On spring days, an exhibition of paintings and graphics by Uladzimir Tsierashchuk "Above the Cimmerian Bosporus" was opened here, the result of the artist's walking travels in the Eastern Crimea.
Mr Raman Matulski, Director of the Library, while in the People's Republic of China, studied the experience of the work of the National Library of China from March 30 to April 2. First of all, he was interested in the use of modern library and information technologies, including the German Telelift book delivery system introduced here. Following the meeting, a protocol on cooperation between the two libraries was signed.
In August, test access to the electronic library of dissertations of the Russian State Library was opened.
During the year, the National Library collections were replenished with about 500 books donated by 65 organizations. The Library received from one of them 39 handwritten and early printed books of the 17th – late 19th centuries on October 12.
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Information and Analytic Activity Department.