Library today

Kirov Order of Honour Universal Regional Scientific Library named after A.I Herzen was opened on December 6 (18), 1837 with the immediate participation of Alexander Ivanovich Herzen. In the course of time the Library has undergone lots of changes, but has been always meeting the people’s requirements. The Library saw its mission in preservation of the cultural and historical heritage of the Vyatka region, in intellectual and spiritual development of its citizens. Having the status of a Central Library of the Russian Federation’s subject, it is on the list of particularly valuable objects of Vyatka region cultural heritage.

Our Library is nowadays a large informational and cultural center of Kirov region. Its book stock is more than 4 million copies, among them 50,000 documents are regional, federal, and world book monuments. They are part of national book stock of Russia.

The Library has been constantly developing. This process caused the expansion of book stock, so it was necessary for the Library to move. The main building of the Library is an architectural monument of the end of the 18th century. This building was bought for Vyatka public library in 1863. It has been rebuilt several times: in 1929 a large reading hall was built, later in 1960 – a book storage with seven decks.

In summer 2007, S.V. Stepashin, the Chairman of the Chamber of Accounts of the Russian Federation and the Chairman of the Russian Book Union visited the Library and helped to solve the problem of a new extension. In 2008, the plan was made and in 2009 the building of the extension began.

Nowadays the Library’s building consists of two parts: the historical one and the new extension. The historical building hosts the Local Studies Department Department of Literature in Foreign Languages; The Regional Center for Rare Books; Large Reading Hall; A.I. Herzen’s Memorial Study and a Book Gallery.

In the readers’ area of the new building one can find all basic service departments: online catalogue hall where you can apply for reference and get to know the Library’s resources; next to it is the readers’ registration department which registers readers and gives out library cards.

On the ground floor there’s a lending department, universal according to its structure. Readers can borrow books here. Most of the books are in open access available to all readers. There is also a special area for those willing to work with online catalogue and search base. Similar work areas are at the readers’ disposal in all basic service departments.


Also located on the ground floor is a sector of patent information, an editorial-publishing department (the Library successfully issues regional studies and methodological collections, materials of scientific conferences, advertising products, etc.). Readers can also use the photocopy center.

On the first floor one can find the readers’ service department, which includes humanitarian literature sector, natural sciences and technology sector, patent sector, musical and sheet music sector, ecological information and culture center, periodicals reading room. Next to the readers’ service department there is a comfortable reading room for scientists with a free Wi-Fi hotspot. The other readers will as before be seated in the large Reading hall in the old part of the Library. One can get there through the gallery between the buildings.

Automation department has its own modern classroom and comfortable seats with database access points for the users.

On the second floor the art center and its showroom keep on their work. The modern showroom with its different showcases made of glass gives wide opportunities to exhibit books and documents from the Library stock and private readers’ collections. A language laboratory is also located there.

Located on the fourth deck are the book depositary department, book repair division and rooms for staff use only.


Sufficient quantity of modern computers on the desks, mini print shop, well-equipped book-binding shop enable the Library to enlarge the list of services for the readers.

A parking garage for visitors’, employees’ and company cars is located at the basement level.

The social profile of the Library has also changed – it has become more popular. Many forums and conferences, discussions of Kirov region Public Chamber’s projects, the Governor’s meetings with the public and bloggers, presentations and exhibitions – to name a few of cultural events that take place at the Library. Traditional literary and musical evenings, club’s meetings and lectures on different subjects are combined with new forms: flash mobs, “night at the Library”, large-scale documentary exhibitions and expositions in modern interiors, etc.

In 2009 the Library bought modern software, automatic library system OPAC Global, which permits to raise Library’s automatisation. OPAC Global system is oriented at making RUSMARC format central catalogues and creating corporate electronic libraries based on web-technologies.

2011 saw the introduction of electronic library cards, which made registration of new readers and visitors easier and increased the quality of library statistics.

In August 2012 the process of RFID technology adoption began. This technology helps to highly accelerate such work operations as search, book loan, inventory making and help to prevent book stock theft. The essence of the technology is the use of an RFID tag attached to every book to provide new functional capabilities and high performance in all fields of work.

In 2011, the process of a Central electronic catalogue for all libraries of Kirov region creation began. Today any reader can find the books he needs using not only the electronic catalogue of our Library, but also the Central electronic library catalogue of Kirov region.

Nowadays we can hear a lot about the safety and availability of cultural heritage. Kirov Regional Scientific Library named after A.I. Herzen is actively digitizing its book stock using the two professional scanners bought with grant money. Digitized editions are available to readers not only within the Library walls, but also to remote users on our Web page.

One can find an electronic catalogue of books and articles published starting from 1993 on the Library’s Web page. Professional automatic library system OPAC Global enables remote users to work with the full version of the Library’s catalogue. Also noteworthy is the Central electronic library catalogue of Kirov region, created in 2011. All the best technically and professionally equipped libraries of the region participating in the project add information on their book stock to the catalogue. Even though the active work has just begun, one can already find information on books stored in different districts of Kirov region on our Web page.

Ask the Librarian” service enables our readers to ask for bibliographer’s reference.
Electronic Documents Delivery service (EDD) organized on our Webpage makes it possible for the readers to place an order and get a copy of the document needed from our book stock. Anyone from Kirov region as well as other regions of Russia can use this online service.

Especially popular is “Vyatka electronic library”, a full-text database of local print media. The aim of the project is to provide free access to local print media collection “The Memory of Vyatka”, which is carefully collected and stored in our Library. The collection consists of publications issued in Vyatskaya Guberniya (Vyatka province, the former name of Kirov region) in XIX-XX cc. Not all publications on regional history have been digitized, which is also due to copyright law. However, the resource is being constantly updated.

The Web page not only allows browsing full-text materials, but also their copying, printing, and saving them for further use. One can find full-text proceedings of all research-practice conferences and readings, organized by the Library, methodical books and other publications of the Library, e.g. a popular regional history anthology “Herzenka”.

The “Libraries of Kirov region” section provides diverse information on the activities of Kirov region municipal libraries: reports on organized events, programs, and projects, methodical materials and some normative documents of local importance. In this way, municipal libraries of the region which don’t have their own Web page can share their information on ours.

Some sections of our Web page are independent Web projects with divergent structure, original design and a broad informational coverage. For instance, “Centre for ecological information and culture” section, the page of literary and debating society “Zelyonaya Lampa” (“Green Lamp”), “Pavlenkovskoye Dvizheniye” (“Pavlenkovskiy Movement”).

The Library is a major publishing center with its editorial-and-publishing department opened in 2006. The Library yearly hosts all Russian research-practice conferences, seminars, and panel discussions.

Of great importance and priority is the work aimed at preserving the literary monuments and collections of regional history literature, the true pride of local people. In 2012 a new subdivision of the Library was opened – Regional history scientific research center. As part of their methodological work, the specialists of our Library constantly visit various districts of Kirov region to help the introduction of new technologies, organize methodological days, as well as training workshops and courses.

2012 marked two important dates: the 200th anniversary of Alexander Herzen’s birth and the 175th Birthday of the Library. We are looking forward to the many bright and interesting events ahead.