25 Juillet 2019

The National Library of the Republic of Kazakhstan Center of Preservation National Documentary and World Scientific Heritage

By Bakytzhamal Ospanova, Director, National Library of the Republic of Kazakhstan


The National Library of the Republic of Kazakhstan is the temple of the spiritual riches, manuscripts and books with world cultural and historical value. The opening of the library dates back to as early as 31 December 1910 according to the decision of the Vernensky City Council. The unique library stock is considered as a part of global documentary heritage of mankind which has to be transferred to future generations in all its completeness. The country’s main library has about 7 million units of storage of printing, graphic, audiovisual materials, electronic documents in 122 different languages. The library is a custodian of unique documents containing about 30 thousand copies of rare and especially valuable editions having scientific, historical, cultural, art and bibliographic value which are of special interest for scientists from all over the world.

There is an expression "All states write history equally, and people do it unique", and in the developed century history of library, there are people opening the pages of history in a new way. Uraz Dzhandosov, the first Director of library, the eminent state and public figure of Kazakhstan, laid the foundation for the formation of the state national book-depository which collects and stores written documentary heritage of the Kazakhs and other nations of Kazakhstan. I will highlight that collecting, preserving and granting the use of national documentary heritage of Kazakhstan to society was one of the primary activities of all heads of the National library. Since 1992, the library has been a member of International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions (IFLA) and the Conferences of Directors of National Libraries (CDNL), since 1993 – a Non-profit partner of the Library Assembly of Eurasia (LAE). Since 2002, it has headed the Kazakhstan National Committee "Memory of the World" of UNESCO.

I was appointed the Director of National Library since March 2019 according to the order of the Ministry of Culture and Sport of the Republic of Kazakhstan. For more than 32 years, I have worked in the National Library of the Republic of Kazakhstan, first as an ordinary librarian after obtaining my professional education and then working all my way to become its Director. For me, the librarian's profession is more than just a profession, it is a special state of mind.

As the head of one of the largest libraries in Central Asia and Kazakhstan, I continue to work on the transformation of National Library of the Republic of Kazakhstan into a multilevel, multipurpose and sociocultural institute of society. My goal is for the institute to be a place where each reader will be able to gain exhaustive knowledge and access to the best sources of traditions and the culture of our country. They demand high standards and these provided fresh impetus and stimulate us to keep abreast of new development and constantly introduce improvement. Our main priority is to care for the readers so that they become our good friends and also to attract new visitors to the library. This will help to further enhance the positive image and advancement of the library. It will also create a reliable base for its successful development and strengthened its image work and Public Relations (PR) activity. Our library adheres to policy of availability and transparency, and seek to inform the audience widely on current socio-cultural events, exhibitions and important events that took place actions. It is very important to understand that nowadays, people are frequently exposed to fake news and lacks access to real-life information. Therefore, libraries can bridge this gap by distinguishing itself from online resources.

The role and activities undertaken by the library in helping to implement information technologies, and rendering assistance in the Digital Kazakhstan — 2030 program execution are significant. New technologies and programs are being implemented to optimise satisfaction and information needs of users.

The National Library of the Republic of Kazakhstan is the coordinator and methodical center for all libraries of the country: taking part in the introducing new acts concerning culture at the state level; carrying out professional development of experts including "training staff on preservation and restoration of documents", running the “School of a cataloguer", "School of the methodologist"; organize Master Degree classes, organizing training courses and seminars in the regions of the country.

The staff of the National Library of the Republic of Kazakhstan is capable of carrying out the most ambitious tasks especially with a team of amazing and unique professionals working together. I respect and appreciate working with them every day.

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