Today’s post comes from ILN Country Coordinator for Poland, Magdalena Gomułka
In truth I could not choose the one library space. There are a lot of places in Poland which are worthy to talk about. Lots of them have a unique architecture, an impressive collection or a modern technology. Places, I would like to share with you, stand out among the others. They are important for me because I visited or used it like a borrower.
The University of Warsaw Library: Library Garden
The UW Library is one of the most important Polish libraries. A modern building consists of two parts: a commercial area (shops, cafes, offices) and a library space (reading rooms, a lending room, open stacks). Both structures are covered with an amazing garden. It is opens for all visitors, not only for students and employees.
We can distinguish to parts – lower and upper garden which are connected with lots of paths and bridges.
During a walking we can admire a wide range of plants. Definitely a fish pond and a small fountain are noteworthy. When you see swimming ducks, fishes, blue or pinkish-white trees and shrubs, you will never think that this is the Library’s roof.
Certainly everybody will enjoy a visit here, and working in the office with an outstanding panorama of the whole Warsaw is without a doubt a pleasure.
The Jagiellonian Library in Krakow: Main Reading Room (Lectorium)
History of the Jagiellonian Library is combined with the Jagiellonian University which was established in the fourteenth century. A quantity and a diversity of collection is a reason to including the Library to the National Repository. Many rare books like medieval manuscripts or a collection of Polish underground literature can be found here.
The main building has ten various reading rooms. The greatest is the Main Reading Room, also called Lectorium, can fit in 164 readers and allow using the reference collection which contains the newest and most important books from all the fields of knowledge. Bookshelves itself are impressive. They are situated on the two floors in each side of room. An imposing stained glass window on the ceiling let a light in. Additionally, old-fashioned, heavy, wooden tables create an exceptionally pleasant atmosphere.
The Silesian Library: high-bay storage
In spite of the Silesia Library was founded in 1922, the current building has new technological solutions. On two top floors of the place there is a special storage. “Librarians” who reshelve books there, are full-automated robots. Those machines called Mustangs due to a fast moving in the section (three metres per second). The most popular volumes are transported to readers with the electronically-controlled system (Telelift-UniCar).
When I first saw the high-bay storage I thought it could not be the stacks. In fact a similar solution is adopted from an automotive industry. The robot who hands book to a reader is uncommon, isn’t it?