3 Universiteto, LT-01122, Vilnius
Vilnius University (VU) Library 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 Jesuit College was transformed into a 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 over 5 million items. There are 330 thousand manuscripts and documents in various languages, dating from the 13th century up to the present. VU Library is also famous for its collection of rare manuscripts and prints, which consists of more than 167 thousand ancient and rare volumes released between the 15th and 20th centuries.
A collection of over 94 thousand original graphic prints is the oldest collection of this kind in Lithuania. It includes collections of old (17th through the first half of the 20th century, around 10 thousand items) and modern graphic prints.
VU 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 that of Academic Libraries Association of Lithuania, the Lithuanian Research Library Consortium and Confederation of Open Access Repositories (COAR).
Since 2017, VU Library is participating in the international incunabula research project Material Evidence in Incunabula (MEI) under the auspices of CERL. In November 2018, VU Library, as a partner, joined the national initiative providing digital content to National Virtual Heritage System and Europeana. The Library is involved in an exchange of publications with 80 foreign libraries and academic institutions in various countries.
In 2018, the Library users could search for information in 78 subscribed databases (e.g. Web of Science, Science Direct (SciVerse), AccessMedicine, ACS publications, EBSCO eBook Academic Collection, Academic Complete, Springer LINK, Wiley Online Library, JSTOR, Emerald Management eJournals Collection, etc.) Since 2015, Vilnius University Library provides an opportunity for its users to access electronic publications of the best world publishing houses through Evidence Based Acquisitions model.
The Library invests into evidence-based decisions in developing information services. Library staff applies analysis of information resources used by students and researchers in studies and research activities. Results of analysis allow monitoring tendencies of relevant resources and improving both printed and electronic collections.
The Library provides scientific communication services to the University’s research community. Those include ensuring access to scientific publications and final theses (dissertations and their summaries) and disseminating them through the eLABa system; disseminating Open Science/Open Access ideas (promoting OA through publications in various OA journals, OA Week’s events, consultations for researchers, etc.); managing research data (coordination of RDM services, promoting, training, assistance and consultancy for researchers (MIDAS archive, open data, preparation of RDM plan, etc.), creating and developing a tool for preparing the RDM plan, training for doctoral students, etc.); consulting and training researchers and employees; editing and entering publications and the metadata into the system; performing scientometric analysis and dissemination of information (bibliometric analyses of VU and its subdivisions, individual scientists’, training, dissemination of information, consulting on the issues of scientometrics); assisting in preparation of statistical reports. Altogether 59,412 publications of VU scientists and over 8.5 thousand graduation papers were registered since the creation of the eLABa system.
In 2018, VU Library provided services to more than 43 thousand users. They visited the Library more than 1 million times. Printed materials were borrowed more than 310 thousand times, and information resources from the Library subscribed databases were downloaded 1 347 314 times.
VU Library has 31 reading room: 13 reading rooms are situated in the Central Library, 8 reading rooms in the SCIC, and 10 reading rooms in the premises of faculties and centres.
In 2018, the open stacks in the Library reading rooms expanded, currently including more than 448 thousand publications. Reading rooms have 1,720 work and study spaces, 316 of which are equipped with computers.
Vilnius University community members may use 3 group-work rooms in the Central Library and 5 in the SCIC. In 2018, these rooms were booked for more than 18 thousand hours. Eight IT laboratories in the SCIC were booked for almost six thousand hours.
The SCIC has 34 individual work rooms; the Main Library has 62 individual work places which could be booked in advance for free. All these places were almost permanently booked.
Opening of the SCIC revolutionised the information landscape in the University, while another stage of integration of the faculty libraries formed two information centres, both linked by united management, administration, and maintenance systems. For the first time in the University’s history, information sources and the Library’s infrastructure is open for users 24/7.
Reconstruction in the Central Library enabled unrestricted access to all the Library’s facilities for the disabled visitors: a wheelchair lift was constructed on the staircase of the Library. In the Central Library and the SCIC one can find adjustable study places; SCIC and Central Library also purchased software and hardware for the blind and partially sighted visitors, as well as persons with reduced mobility.
Since 2009, users of VU Library can develop their information literacy skills using Information Literacy Website. The action to generate a united and systematic information literacy skills’ development program at the University was continued in 2018.
Image development is an important part of each institution’s activity. The Library pays special attention to the formation and strengthening of internal and external communication, as well as quick and convenient provision of information to its clients through the use of the Library’s website and social networking. In pursuance of this aim, the number of VU Library social network users has considerably increased, while Facebook and Instagram became 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 the seminar Information Behaviour of Target Groups. Users’ Survey for Practitioners.
In 2018, the staff of VU Library organized 604 guided tours in 4 different languages, which were attended by 8,247 persons from 56 countries. The SCIC has captured the attention of the public both as a symbol of modern architecture and as an organisation providing innovative services. In 2018, the Centre was attended by 205 visitors from numerous official delegations and groups from academic institutions both in Lithuania and abroad, as well as representatives of businesses.
In 2018, the publishing activities of the Library included research of printed heritage, publications about Vilnius University academic community as well as publications dealing with the Library services and activities. Members of the Library staff prepared and published 50 publications: books, scientific articles, conference proceedings, translations, interviews.
Birutė Jasiūnaitė: bibliographic index (1980–2018) [electronic resources]. Vilnius University. Department of Baltic Studies, Vilnius University Library; comp. by Rita Kivilšienė, Jūratė Zvėgienė. Vilnius: Vilnius University Faculty of Philology, 2018. 66 p.
Lietuva : Facsimile publication of Maironis Manuscript. Kl. J. Maculevičius; Vilnius University Library; prepared by Inga Liepaitė, Paulius V. Subačius. Vilnius: Vilnius University Press, 2018. 164 p.
Publications of Lithuanian periodicals. 1909, Part 1. Vilnius University Library; comp. by Elvyra Urbonavičienė, Vida Jakštienė, Dalia Valikonytė, Eglė Akstinaitė-Veličkienė. Vilnius: Vilnius University Press, 2018. 688 p.
Už visą auksą brangesnė laisvė! (Freedom, more precious than gold!): catalog of the exhibition. Vilnius University Library; prepared by Evaldas Grigonis; translated by Kristina Gudavičienė, Gediminas Auškalnis. Vilnius Vilnius University Press, 2018. 311 p.