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History of the Central City Library named after VG Belinsky

Виссарион Григорьевич Белинский The V.G. Belinsky Central Municipal Library was unveiled in 1934, and at that time was called ‘District Library № 12’. The library was situated in Romain Rolland Street. Its appearance did not impress anybody with its sizes or surprised with its beauty. It was a basement premise with furnace heating. But it was the only library for the residents of Nagorny, Shatilova Dacha and Alekseyevka districts. Public events were held in the so-called ‘red corner’ of the Housing Management Office which was located on the first floor of the same building.

In summers, the library opened its travelling exhibitions in Shevchenko Municipal Gardens and in the City Zoo. After Kharkov was liberated from Nazis, the library was among the first which opened its doors for Kharkovites, on September 30, 1943. The citizens of Kharkov brought there not only the library books that they had managed to preserve during the fascist occupation (about 9,000 books), but also their own books. They helped to repair the shelves and glass cases, sort out the fund, and that helped to restore the library in the shortest possible time.

There were only three people who worked in the library: Avernovich Nadezhda Nikiforovna, who was the head of the library, and two employees – Grabovskaya Nataliya Ivanovna and Pahomova Zoya Aleksandrovna. In 1944, Tcherkass Zinaida Stanislavovna became the head of the library.

The history of the library has been written by people who are devoted to their vocation and have been going together through joys and sorrows. The following entry in the 1944 library order book is really remarkable: ‘Due to the redundancy in the library and reduction of the position of a librarian, Kudrinskaya L.M., according to her wish, is dismissed and regarded as a non-staff librarian without payment.’ Unfortunately, very little information is available about the beginning stage of the library life and its first employees. However, it can be confidently stated that they were enthusiasts and enlighteners. Hesina Mariya Ilyinichna headed the library for more than 11 years, from February 1948 till June 1959. Under her guidance, the library was one of the best in the city. In 1954, the library moved to a wonderful new 330 square meter premise at 34, Danilevsky Street. The new library had a spacious reading hall, which made it possible to hold public events; a circulating department, which allowed organizing a free access to the fund; a well-equipped book depository; rooms for bibliographers and the complement department.

Грамота

In 1957, in honour of the 40th anniversary of the Great October Revolution the library was awarded the name of V.G. Belinsky.

In June 1959, the library was headed by Sazonova Mariya Ivanovna, who dedicated to it 26 years of her life.

There is an abstract from the earliest reports of the library: Of the 1st of October 1948 the book fund was 11,798 items. There were 2,693 readers. The attendance was 61,774 people and 59,154 copies of books were issued. Besides, the library issued 30,947 copies of newspapers and 15,939 copies of magazines.

The reports show that the library carried out much work with the readers of the district. That work included readings aloud, reviews, talks, lectures, consultations, readers’ conferences, which were held not only in the reading hall of the library, but also in the cinema-theatre ‘Kharkov’ before the shows, in the hotel ‘Kharkov’ and in industrial enterprises. The most popular events among the readers were ‘Questions and answers time’ and discussions of the books written by Soviet writers. For example, during 1948 there were 470 readings aloud and talks, and they were attended by 5029 people.

There were literature matinees held for children. In 1949, Children’s Library № 6 was opened on the basis of the children’s department of our library. It was situated not far from our library, in 8th Congress of Soviets Street, which later was renamed into Chichibabin Street. Afterwards, in 1978 the library received a new comfortable premise.

During the many years of its work, the library got in touch with a huge number of people’s fates. For many generations of Kharkovites, our library has been a hospitable place where, in a close communication with books, the human soul relaxes, forgetting all life problems and hazards, where it discovers the unknown and enriches itself with new knowledge.

District Library № 12 used to have a Library Board which consisted of 8 employees and 20 active library readers. Those were engineers, workers, students and pensioners who were invited to read lectures and give talks. They also took part in arranging literature parties and readers’ conferences. The readers took an active part in the life of the library, and the library also met their readers’ wishes: of March 1960, the library started to work without days-off and prolonged its working day for 2 hours to serve all the readers.

Of February 1, 1974, according to the order of the Department of Culture of Kharkov Executive Committee of the City Soviet of Working People's Deputies, our library is called the V.G. Belinsky Central Municipal Library for Adults.

According to the order of the Department of Culture of Kharkov Executive Committee of the City Soviet of Working People's Deputies № 155 of 30.12.1975, ‘About centralization of state public libraries of Dzherzhinsky District’, all state public libraries of Dzherzhinsky District’ were united into one network – CLN, which was headed by the V.G. Belinsky Central Municipal Library. Much work was done in preparing and undertaking the centralization, especially with funds and catalogues, including creating a joint catalogue. Of 1977, Dzherzhinsky District CLN also includes children’s library.

Прессконференция с редакцией журнала «Прапор»

The Head of CLN, together with the Central Municipal Library, was at that time Sazonova Mariya Ivanovna. The staff of the library was growing. There appeared employees who serviced the whole system: an artist, inter-library exchange system staff, workers of the Department of acquisition and processing of literature, specialists of the Department of methodology, and also the Department of bibliography was enlarged.

In 1980, in accordance with the order №162 of 24.03.1977 of the City Soviet of Working People's Deputies, 240 square meter premise containing newly-decorated reading halls of social, political and periodical literature were opened at 13, Sumskaya Street.

Being in the center of the city and close to the underground, having a wide subscription list of periodicals (more than 100 newspapers and magazines), the library started to attract to its reading halls readers from all over the city.

Beginning with 1938, the working hours of the library, like in all the others in the city, was set from 11.00am till 20.00 pm

In the 70s and 80s, the library had a rich creative life and took an active part in the social life of the city and the country. Acceleration of scientific and technological progress was the demand of the time, so the motto of the library was the slogan: ‘Ideological, informational and cultural provision for specified complex national economic programs’. New forms of servicing big industrial enterprises were introduced in the work of the library. For example, the V.G. Belinsky Central Municipal Library and the staff of the ‘Metallist’ Plant signed the Treaty of Creative Cooperation, and as a result there appeared team membership. The library arranged joint public events under the motto ‘Books to enterprises’, which included Days of Information, Days of Specialists, Days of Quality, bibliography reviews, presentations of new books, not only in the premise of the library but also in factory workshops, factory hostels and the ‘red corner’ of the plant.

In order to march in step with time and to assist the acceleration of scientific and technological progress, the V.G. Belinsky Central Municipal Library opened the ‘Public Office of the All-Russian Society of Inventors and Rationalizers’ ’That creative laboratory, which was the first step into inventive and rationalization activity, allowed every citizen of the country to uncover their abilities and talents.

Творческие встречи в стенах ЦГБ им. В.Г. Белинского

The Director of the library at that time was Gamse Zinaida Semeyonovna. A creative specialist and a talented leader, she gladly supported all the initiatives and undertaking of her co-workers.

From 1995 till 2013, the V.G. Belinsky Central Municipal Library and Dzherzhinsky CLN was headed by Fisenko Galina Vasiylyevna. With her arrival, the library became an active participant of different projects and experiments. Thanks to her efforts, it was possible to preserve the experienced personnel of the library in the difficult years of the 90s, because alongside perestroika, the rough times of changes came to the library.

As the entire library community was in search of new approaches and new concepts of librarianship, there appeared new tendencies and directions in library practices. And the library began to experiment. The beginning of the experiment was research into library users’ demands. Having studied the demand, in 2003 the library became the instigator of the development and implementation of the library system reorganization programme of Dzherzhinsky District for 2003-2005.

Творческие встречи в стенах ЦГБ им. В.Г. Белинского

The aim of the programme was to implement modern scientific findings into CLN practices and to introduce new technical equipment into libraries within a three-year term. That allowed the libraries to reach a new level of quality in library and information service of readers. Possibilities of paid services were studied; suggestions and recommendations of their step-by-step introduction into all the libraries of Dzherzhinsky District were offered on the basis of the ‘Programme of Dzherzhinsky District libraries development for 2003–2005’.

The V.G. Belinsky Central Municipal Library is distinguished by its variety of different forms of leisure and educational activity. For many years the literary and music room ‘Slobozhanschina’ has been working in the library. Its founder and organizer was Krupchatnikova Alisa Michailovna, who headed it for more than 15 years. Every Thursday the library holds interesting meetings with famous writers, scientists, specialists of the local lore and musicians of the city.

Творческие встречи в стенах ЦГБ им. В.Г. Белинского

For many years the library has been maintaining active cooperation with the museums of the city, creative unions and public organizations. The clubs ‘Interlocutor’ and ‘Lada’ offer exciting lectures and musical parties to all literature lovers. The creative union of young writers, musicians and actors, called ‘Candle’, is making its first steps. In 2008, the Director of the library, Fisenko Galina Vasiylyevna, became a laureate of the City Award in the category of social activities for creating a social activities center on the basis of the library.

The year of 2006 saw the beginning of the implementation of the municipal programme ‘Corporate network of municipal public libraries. Introduction of new information technologies for 2005-2006.’ In order to implement the project, the Corporate network of municipal public libraries of Kharkov was created. The central libraries of nine Kharkov districts and the V.G. Belinsky Central Municipal Library were united in a local network on the basis of the computerized information library system (ALIS) Absotheque Unicode.

All the coordination and methodological work for the implementation of this project and for teaching library workers to use it is carried out by the V.G. Belinsky Central Municipal Library.

Technical realization of this programme became possible thanks to the financial assistance of the Department of Culture of Kharkov City Council, which allocates the necessary funds for the formation and support of the libraries’ technological basis, and of the City Information Centre, which provides maintenance of computers and the internet.

Specialists of the V.G. Belinsky Central Municipal Library constantly work at forming, editing and updating the electronic catalogue. Nowadays information service of users takes a leading place in the activity of the library. Keeping its traditional forms, information service reaches a new level of quality and has almost unlimited possibilities. The computer-aided system allows librarians to comply with a request in no time, to provide it with a list of bibliography, to print it out and to save it as electronic media.

Implementation of information technologies into library practices and an internet access raises the status of the library, and it means that the demand for internet resources is rising as well.

Библиотека получила новую технику

On March 1, 2010 the library opened an internet hall, which immediately became very popular. The services for the readers include not only access to the library funds but also free access to the information resources of the World Wide Web, so that the readers can get any kind of information, including legal information; also there are facilities for studying and communication. Internet access has allowed each reader to interact with other libraries, archives, museums, media, local and state authorities, social services, private businesses and agencies.

In 2009, the library was thoroughly repaired, all the furniture changed and computer park renovated. It allowed the library to reach a new level of quality, made it more modern, comfortable and cozy for the staff and the readers.

Beginning with 2010, the staff of the V.G. Belinsky Central Municipal Library has been taking an active part in the competitions of the programme ‘Bibliomist’ (Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation), which assists Ukrainian libraries in modernization and equipping them with new computer technologies. One of the projects in the competition “Organization of new library services with the help of free internet access” met with success. The V.G. Belinsky Central Municipal Library and its three branches in Dzherzhinsky District won a grant and got 15 computers with licensed software, 15 web cameras, 4 printers and 4 scanners.

Nowadays the V.G. Belinsky Central Municipal Library has 21 computers, 4 printers, 3 coping machines, 2 multi-functional devices and 2 scanners connected to the internet. Out of those, 6 computers are installed in the internet hall and are used by the readers for the free access to the internet and to electronic catalogue via the module ABSOPAC Unicode. Experienced specialists of the V.G. Belinsky Central Municipal Library willingly render assistance to the readers. All this allows us to say that today the V.G. Belinsky Central Municipal Library is not just a big collection of books but also a library with a modern level of service.

For its success in the organization of librarianship, the staff of the V.G. Belinsky Central Municipal Library has been many times awarded diplomas of the executive committee of Kharkov City Council, Dzherzhinsky District Council and also of the Association of modern information and library technologies. The Association of the Cossacks organizations of Slobozhanschyna awarded the library with the title of ‘Honorary Bereginya of Sloboda Cossacks’.

Библиотека получила новую технику

It is necessary to name the rank and file librarians who during the 75 years of the library history have been contributing to its development and prosperity. Here are their names: Bran Lubov Markovna, Bondar Tamara Yakovlevna, Didenko Lydia Ivanovna, Krupchatnikova Alisa Michailovna, Kabalkina Tsylya Borysovna, Klimova Margaryta Yevgenieyvna, Kanevtsova Vera Platonovna, Nemytkina Lina Ilyinichna, Sydelnyk Valentina Antonovna, Fras Lenina Sergeyevna.

The work of our library has always followed its general conception: to attract to the library as many readers as possible, to use its funds to the maximum, to instill in people love to reading, to widen the range of their interests, to help uncover the readers’ creative abilities and talents. We aspire to conform to the status of the modern public library of the XXI century.

Serenko I.V.

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Центральная городская библиотека им. В.Г.Белинского

Адрес: Украина, Харьков, 61058, ул. Данилевского, 34
Телефон: (057) 705-19-90. citylibbelin@gmail.com
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