3 Universiteto, LT–01513 Vilnius
Director General – Irena Krivienė
The Library of Vilnius University is the oldest institutional library in Lithuania and one of the oldest in Eastern Europe. It dates back to 1570, when the Jesuit College and the Library were founded. The College of Vilnius was transformed into the university in 1579, and its Library became the University’s Library.
After the opening of a new building - the Scholarly Communication and Information Centre (SCIC) in February 2013, the Library manages to evenly actualize its tasks for two integral information centres. The Library collection contains 5.2 million items. There are 325 thousand manuscripts and documents in various languages, dating from the 13th century up to the present.
The Library is also famous for its collection of rare manuscripts and prints, which consists of 167 thousand ancient and rare volumes of the 15th–20th centuries.
A collection of 94 thousand original graphic prints is the oldest collection of this kind in Lithuania. It includes collections of old (17th–the beginning of the 20th century, about 10 000 items) and modern graphic prints.
Since 1965, the Library has been a depository of the United Nations. We receive publications of the General Assembly of the UN and other subdivisions of the following organizations: UNESCO, WHO, IAEA, FAO, ILO, UNIDO, IMF, and ICJ.
The Library is a member of three international organizations: Bibliotheca Baltica, Consortium of European Research Libraries (CERL), and Association of European Research Libraries (LIBER), as well as Academic Libraries Association of Lithuania, the Lithuanian Research Library Consortium and Confederation of Open Access Repositories (COAR).
The Library participates in the international project of the digitized manuscript cultural heritage Manuscriptorium. The Library is a member of the international project World Digital Library since 2009. Digital content of the VUL cultural heritage is part of the National Virtual Heritage System. In 2016, the Library carried on COST activity ISI130 Reassembling the Republic of Letters, 1580–1800. A Digital Framework for Multilateral Collaboration on Europe’s Intellectual History. The Library is involved in an exchange of publications with 84 foreign libraries and academic institutions in various countries.
In 2016, the Library users could search for information in 73 subscribed databases (e.g. Web of Science, Science Direct (SciVerse), Springer LINK, Wiley Online Library, JSTOR, Emerald Management eJournals Collection, EBSCO Publishing, IEEE Xplore Digital Library, Passport, American Institute of Physics (AIP) Journals, American Physical Society (APS) Journals, Sage Journals, Annual Reviews etc.).
In 2016, the Library provided services to more than 45 thousand users. They visited the Library more than 1 200 thousand times. Printed materials were borrowed more than 452 thousand times, and information resources from the Library subscribed databases were downloaded 996 thousand times. In total, information resources were used 1 448 thousand times.
The Library has 32 reading rooms: 14 readings rooms are situated in the Central Library, 9 reading rooms in the SCIC, and 9 reading rooms in the premises of faculties and centres.
In 2016, the open stacks in the Library reading rooms expanded, currently including more than 433 thousand publications. Reading rooms have 1 722 work and study spaces, 323 of them are equipped with computers.
Vilnius University community members may use 3 group-work rooms in the Central Library and 5 in SCIC. In 2016, these rooms were booked for more than 19 thousand hours. 8 IT laboratories in SCIC were booked for almost nine thousand hours.
SCIC has 34 individual work rooms; the Main Library has 76 individual work places which could be booked in advance for free. All these places were permanently booked.
Wireless network and Eduroam are freely available in both Library buildings. Spaces of the Library have been created with regard to the wishes of readers: those who need quiet place can work in the reading room, while the ones willing to discuss certain issues with colleagues can use the area designated for informal communication equipped with settees and tea-tables. SCIC has a Leisure Reading Room with various literature and board games for the musing and cognitive leisure. There is a special room for studying parents in the SCIC, where they can work with their small children. In the Central Library one may find the Czeslaw Milosz Reading Room. Its collection is based on award winning and classic literature in various languages divided into the following sections: prose, poetry, children’s fiction, ancient literature and fiction of Lithuanian authors translated into foreign languages. In the SCIC, students can have a lunch-brake in cafeteria. The Central Library users may use lounge room for that purpose. In the SCIC and in the Central Library students have an opportunity to heat their home made food, to make tea or coffee.
Opening of the SCIC conceptually changed the community character of University information surroundings: another stage of integration of the faculty libraries was finished forming two information centres, both linked by united management, administration, and maintenance systems. Information sources and the Library’s maintenance systems for the users of the Library are available 24/7 for the first time in the University’s history.
Reconstruction made in the Central Library allowed free access to all the Library’s facilities for the disabled visitors: a hoist was constructed on the staircase of the Library. In the Central Library and SCIC one can find adjustable study places. SCIC and Central Library purchased soft- and hard ware for the blind and partially sighted visitors, persons with reduced mobility.
Users of Vilnius University Library can develop their information literacy skills using Information Literacy Website since 2009. Work to generate a united and systematic information literacy skills’ upbringing program at the University was continued in 2016.
Image development is an important part of the activity of each institution. The Library pays special attention to the formation and strengthening of internal and external communication, quick and comfortable provision of information to its clients. In pursuance of this aim, the main means are the Library’s website and social networking. The number of VU Library social network users has considerably increased. Facebook was one of the most successful tools of communication. The Library organized and promoted international seminars, exhibitions, its staff had a possibility to attend thematic seminars on the most relevant topics. The Library paid special attention to both internal staff training and seminar organization to librarians from other Lithuanian academic libraries. The VU Library in collaboration with Goethe Institute invited librarians from Lithuanian academic libraries to attend seminar Measuring and Assessment of Library Performance.
In 2016, the staff of the VU Library organized 658 guided tours in 4 languages, which were attended by 9 435 persons from 53 countries. SCIC has captured the attention of the public both as a symbol of modern architecture and as an organisation providing innovative services. In 2016, the Centre was attended by 737 visitors from numerous official delegations and groups from academic institutions both from Lithuania and abroad, as well as representatives of businesses.
In 2016, the publishing activities of the Library were developed in the following directions: research of printed heritage, publications about Vilnius University academic community and publications dealing with the Library services and activities. Members of the Library staff prepared and published 60 publications: books, scientific articles, conference proceedings, translations, interviews.
Aleksas Girdenis. 2016. Bibliografijos rodyklė (1956–2015). Vilniaus universitetas, Vilniaus universiteto biblioteka, Baltistikos katedra; (compiled by Mirga Griškevičienė, Zofija Milda Petrauskienė, Zita Barabanovaitė ; prepared by Salomėja Peciulkienė, Dalia Valikonytė ; edited by Elvyra Urbonavičienė), 3rd corrected edition. Vilnius: Vilnius University Publishing House, 180 p.
Regina Koženiauskienė. 2016. Bibliografijos rodyklė (1990–2015). Vilniaus universitetas, Filologijos fakultetas, Lietuvių kalbos katedra, Vilniaus universiteto biblioteka; (prepared by Salomėja Peciulkienė). Vilnius: Vilnius University Publishing House, 110,  p.: portr.
Sondra Rankelienė, Indrė Saudargienė. 2016. Bibliotheca curiosa; Vilnius University, Vilnius University Library, Heritage Collections and Research Centre; (index by Sondra Rankelienė). Vilnius: Vilnius University: Vilnius University Press, 172 s. : illustrations, facsimiles, bibliography, p. 162–168, and footnotes, index p. 169–171.