Brno’s Mahen Library Celebrates 100th Anniversary
Brno’s Jiří Mahen Library, the biggest public library in Moravia and the second largest in the Czech Republic, is celebrating its 100th anniversary this year. In 2020, the library spent over CZK 575,000 on ebooks and other digitization initiatives. Photo Credit: BD.
Czech Rep., Feb 4 (BD) – Brno’s Jiří Mahen Library, the biggest public library in Moravia and the second largest in the Czech Republic, is celebrating its 100th anniversary this year. The library offers an extensive archive of literature, newspapers and magazines, AV media and music materials, access to the Internet and electronic databases, and services for the visually impaired. In 2020, the library was working on improving digital services, especially due to the closure of libraries during the COVID-19 pandemic. In 2020, Mahen Library lost about a third of its operating days. Library staff are currently helping with the current situation by using 3D printers to create respiratory protectors. Library volunteers are also delivering books to readers.
The library’s new project, the 3D visualisation of Schrattenbach Palace, launched on February 1st, one of the initiatives for the digitalisation of the library’s works, to enable people to stay connected. This year, there will be no physical celebrations of the library’s centenary due to pandemic measures. The director of the library Libuše Nivnická told Aktualne.cz that “the library will use everything that digital technologies allow. The current situation disrupts our plans, but we will commemorate the anniversary and we will also adapt operationally.”
Celebration activities planned for the anniversary are postponed until the spring. Nivnická added that the number of users of the library held up well last year: “The numbers did not show a drastic decline in either adult or child readers. The assumption that ‘children do not read’ is not true. Even people who have not reached for an ebook before have learned to use it. However, they often do not realize that this service is not free and that the library pays for them. In 2020, we paid over CZK 575,000 for these loans.”