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Library values designating Scholarly Communication and Information Centre

The present day of Vilnius University Library, the first record of which was made on 12 May 1570 in the documents of Vilnius Cathedral Chapter, is especially exciting – not every generation gets the chance to build and develop a new library. Today our ambitious dream comes true – on 6 February 2013 the Scholarly Communication and Information Centre (SCIC) opens its doors to users. Our Centre is the first structure in Saulėtekis Valley and this fact as if repeats the history of our Library once more – the old Library was established nine years earlier than the University itself.

The old Library, which is situated in the central campus of Vilnius University, with its scientific and heritage collections and integrated humanitarian faculties’ libraries, and the SCIC containing collections of physical, technology and social sciences, from now on will operate in two buildings, but both of them will be integrated through horizontal activities, they will have the same system of values and services. Both buildings will have one name – Vilnius University Library. It is not by chance that we took a mathematically incorrect formula 1+1=1 as an illustration of our work scheme, which defines integration of various services (related to cultural heritage and information provision), work in two buildings, preservation of old collections and our strive for innovation, desire to cherish university traditions and establishing new ones, our aspiration to combine aesthetics and functionality.

Openness, partnership, responsibility, tradition and dynamism – these are the values guiding our every-day activities, helping us to define new trends of the Library development. They are encoded in the description of the multifunctional Scholarly Communication and Information Centre.

Open and adaptive space for studies and research, for work and communication – that was the main purpose we have been seeking to achieve starting from the very first sketches of the technical SCIC project. After considering the change in habits of our users, the SCIC is providing a variety of services and spaces, where everyone can find information and physical environment suiting his or her needs – high quality information resources of various types and forms, silent zones and rooms for individual work, reading rooms and conference halls, recreation zones where users can have a cup of coffee and engage in friendly conversation.

In the first place our Library provides its services and facilities (such as 24/7 service, open stacks in the reading rooms, recreation zones for knowledge sharing, seminar and group work rooms for generating new ideas) for studying young people. Students are looking forward to the opening of this centre. The SCIC is a productive investment in our future, that is in young people and we will do our best to satisfy their needs and even more.

In striving to meet the needs of our users and even to do more than that, the staff of our Library took a task to analyse the best practices of Europe’s academic libraries and apply them in creation and development of the SCIC. Alongside traditional services, dynamism and openness to innovation of our employees helped to create an experimental environment based on the most advanced information technologies and thus encourage young people to look for new things, explore unknown fields and be creative.

We would not have this new Library without a complete support of so many people: former and current leaders of Vilnius University, former leaders of Vilnius University Library, the academic community, strategists of high education, businessmen, other libraries and members of the public. At the end of the 20th century our idea to build a new library received a generous financial support of King of Sweden Carl XVI Gustaf. In times when the financial situation was really hard, the fund “Light of Science” established in 1998 in order to support the construction of a new library, initiated the action “Your contribution will leave a mark in history”. Every, even smallest, contribution was of great worth, the most important thing for our Library was the moral support of every voluntary contributor giving us absolute assurance that we will have a new library. We are grateful to the Fund for its significant achievement to disseminate widely a message that the University wants to have a new library. A technical project for the new library of Vilnius University was prepared in 2004-2006. It was included in the application for European structural assistance and in 2010 the construction of the SCIC was started.

The SCIC is a result of a successful partnership and long discussions, which led to the decision to create a future of Lithuania in one of science, business and studies valleys. We all in corpore had a great wish to build a new library and we already did it. We, the community of Vilnius University Library, hope and believe that the SCIC will contribute to the strengthening of cooperation between science, studies and business, assist in improving high academic standard and will take an active part in cherishing academic spirit and traditions in Saulėtekis Valley. We in corpore are prepared to undertake this mission.  

Director General of Vilnius University Library

Irena Krivienė