State Scientific Library in Banská Bystrica

Štátna vedecká knižnica v Banskej Bystrici
Contact: Dr Oľga Lauková (f) Director
Telephone: 421 (0) 48 415 5067
Lazovná 9, 975 58 Banská Bystrica, Slovakia
Mailing address: 
P O Box 205, 975 58 Banská Bystrica, Slovakia
421 (0) 48 415 5111, 421 (0) 48 471 0769
421 (0) 48 412 4096
8am-4pm Mon, 10am-6pm Tue-Fri, 9am12am Sat

The State Scientific Library in Banská Bystrica is a modern and flexible public cultural, scientific and information institution focusing on library, bibliographic, research, educational, publishing and cultural – educational activities. It was founded in 1926 as a Municipal Public Library. Since obtaining the statute of the scientific library in 1969, it has been built as a universal scientific library with an aim to acquire, professionally process, maintain, provide care for but mainly make available the library and information resources to the general public, to provide free access to information, support science, training and education at all school levels as well as encourage lifelong education. The library also fulfils regional, sub-regional and national assignments, particularly regarding its bibliographic, research and publishing activities. Within the national bibliographic system of the Slovak Republic, it participates in creating the concurrent Slovak national bibliography by excerpting from selected titles of specialized periodicals. In the field of the research in the history of the book culture, the library cooperates in the tasks of nationwide nature. It participates in creating a general base of Slovak publications and in tasks of Slovak national retrospective bibliography. It is a nationwide coordinating working place for the bibliographic activities specializing in national resistance movement and the Slovak National Uprising. It systematically develops a database about historical, economic and cultural development and about personalities of the town of Banská Bystrica.

It provides library-information services by using modern information technologies in specialized professional study rooms and language centers. The Ministry of Education of the Slovak Republic issued the State Scientific Library with the Certificate of Eligibility for Research and Development in 2010.

Currently, the library profiles itself as a multifunctional and multicultural centre through its activities, promotion and implementation of leisure activities.

Since 2001 the Literary and Music Museum has been incorporated into the State Scientific Library’s organizational structure by which the activities of the Library extended into literary-library and music-library collecting and professional activities. The library collection contains nearly 2,000,000 of units, including 600,000 books, periodicals, pieces of music, legislative documents, technical norms and patents, maps and other documents. The State Scientific Library has the right for the statutory copy; it has about 80 employees and every day provides services for 600 - 800 visitors. The overall number of the library patrons is approximately 8,000. Every person older than 14 can become a member of the library and the occasional visitors can ask for one-off service, as well. Service users can order the literature via an order form directly in the library or electronically via internet. In the study rooms, library patrons have various databases or internet - another important source of information at their disposal. They can ask professional employees of the library to elaborate them bibliographic research.

Within the scope of the national project Information for Innovation which aims at creating of the network to connect all scientific, academic and specialized libraries, a Scientific Information Center was established in 2009. Its main goal is to enhance the quality of the specialized services in the field of small and medium enterprises and to ensure the accessibility to scientific, technical and economic information in the central region of Slovakia, on the basis of the electronic information technologies via internet. Its most important task is to facilitate accessibility to the information and in this way, to spread innovations and to build knowledge-based economy in the Slovak Republic via NAVIGA database. The universal study room is the largest one in the library. More than 10,000 books can be found here - from encyclopedias in different languages, through handbooks from various fields to textbooks and local literature. A modern information technology enables access to on-line library catalogue, databases and internet. In the study room of the technical periodicals, there can be found more than 1,000 different newspapers and magazines, including the most recent ones. In the study room of music and audiovisual documents, library patrons have possibility to listen to their favorite music through earphones using the new self-service audio system. The bibliographic and information database center and its services are primarily used by the students. This center provides bibliographic, research and information based services. Several other study rooms are situated in the library. In the study room of archived periodicals, readers can find older volumes of the newspapers and magazines. The Information Center of Patents was established by an agreement of the Industrial Property Office of the Slovak Republic. It fulfills a specific function - its main goal is to provide the public (above all the library members and visitors) with the information resources on patents in the field of the industrial property. In the study room of special documents, there can be found information documents, Slovak technical norms, Slovak patent files, journals in the domain of standardization, metrology and testing, patent bulletins, ministry bulletins, legal codices, CD ROM databases: ESPACE (patent files), JASPI (Slovak legal codices) and patents. It is worth to mention that the library has the Study room of the age-old and precious documents. The oldest books date back to the 16th century. The German study room was opened in cooperation with the Goethe Institute. It organizes various activities for students as well as for German language teachers from pre-school to university levels. The library provides many other specialized services, e.g. European Information Center helps to search for the information concerning the EU themes via internet or it offers possibility for on-site studying of EU information materials, books and periodicals. The Center of the Russian studies was opened in order to encourage education in the Russian language; it contributes to spreading of the Russian cultural heritage and makes available all the documents for the visitors in the study room. The Info USA center provides information on the U.S.A. and organizes American cultural and information programs in the central Slovakia region. The British Center was established in cooperation with the British Council. Its main goal is to encourage education of English language and it offers information on the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, exploring its own internet resources. Based on the world-wide project supported by the Shanghai Library, a center for Chinese culture „Window of Shanghai“was opened in 2010. It follows in the message of Ladislav E. Hudec, a significant master builder and a native of Banská Bystrica, whose buildings are an inseparable part of the city of Shanghai. It provides information on Chinese science, culture and political system; it supports mutual relations between the P.R.C. and the Slovak Republic. It organizes cultural events contributing to spreading of Chinese cultural heritage, traditional arts and literature.

The Education Center of the State Scientific Library has at its disposal a modern IT room and the lecture room with its own book resources for every day use, in the domain of IT education. Numerous exhibitions of Slovak and foreign artists are organized in the Attic Gallery. The State Scientific Library is not only an ordinary library or an information center. Its activities are manifold. Numerous exhibitions, concerts, presentations of outstanding personalities of the Slovak Republic within the framework of the cycle Personalities, various presentations of the publishing houses held along with literary discussions and exhibits of their new books are organized on the regular basis. It arranges and participates in numerous events of national and regional importance. Moreover, the library comes to the fore by presenting various cultural activities in the foreign countries. All these activities have their regular patrons and enrich the cultural life of the city of Banská Bystrica. Theatre D44 is used for small theatre performances and it is mostly used by the students of the Academy of Arts in Banská Bystrica. The library keeps its members and visitors informed about all activities and program through the Library Newspaper which is available for free.