Library — the Source of Your Knowledge!
KCPL yesterday, today and tomorrow
The origins of Kaunas County Public Library (KCPL) date back to 1st of October in 1950. At the very beginning the Library was established in a building designed by the Lithuanian architect Vytautas Landsbergis-Žemkalnis (K. Donelaičio St. 8). During the years, the Library was expanding and on 7th of September in 1987 new premises were opened in the Small Oak Grove (Radastų St. 2). Currently the readers are served in both departments.
When the Library started working, the main fund included 23 thousands publications which were provided by the National Republican Library of Lithuania and by the Library Collectors. Later on the main book fund (the book depository) was organized; the Library was opened for the public use: Library membership was available and the service for the visitors in the reading rooms was provided. Moreover, in 1973 the Library organized an event known as ‘‘Musical Wednesdays’’. Since then the Library got famous in the cultural life of Kaunas. During a decade there were more than 160 events held.
A new stage for the Library started with the Independence of Lithuania. In 1993 an exceptional task was given to the Library. It was to preserve the second copy of National Press and to prepare the national retrospective bibliography. In addition, European Information Centre of Kaunas Vicinity, German Reading Room J. Bobrowski and Swiss Reading Room were established. KCPL became a part of the The World Bank Depository Library.
In 1998 a systematic computerization of the Library was started. Using the fibre optic network the Library joined LITNET (a network for Lithuanian educational institutions) and the Lithuanian Integrated Library Information System (LIBIS). The Library has also developed a website and an electronic catalogue which allow the reader to search for the information while not being at the Library. Moreover, after a decade a self-service system of borrowed and returned publications was available at the Library.
For the past decade KCPL has been particularly active in presenting information about Kaunas history and cultural heritage. KCPL organizes various events, exhibitions, arranges representational publications and electronic catalogues. In 2006 the exploration of the preserved publications and manuscripts kept at KCPL were intensified. After KCPL had joined the program ‘‘Development of Virtual Electronic Heritage System’’ the documents were digitized and presented in the virtual space.
In 2007 Lithuania started to implement a national project called “Libraries for Innovation” which is supported by the Bill and Melinda Gates’ foundation. As a result, a modern Training Centre was set up and public Internet access points were opened at the Library. Furthermore, the Training centre serves as a place where the staff of the regional libraries can improve their skills and trainings for the general public are being held here.
By being friendly and open KCPL is on a way to become a centre of information, leisure and the city’s culture. Our Library not only communicates and collaborates; it also is looking for new activities, alternative financing sources, encourages self-development and improvement.