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Associations and InstitutionsAnnual 

64th IFLA Conference Logo

   64th IFLA General Conference
   August 16 - August 21, 1998


Code Number: 060-140-E
Division Number: VIII.
Professional Group: Regional Section: Asia and Oceania
Joint Meeting with: -
Meeting Number: 140.
Simultaneous Interpretation:   No

Library network of the Asian part of Russia: readiness for cooperation

Boris S. Elepov,

Elena B. Soboleva

Olga P. Fedotova


Elena B. Artem'eva

State Public Scientific-Technical Library
Siberian Branch, Russian Academy of Sciences
Russian Federation


The Asian part of Russia Siberia and the Far East is a vast region, making up 2/3 of the total territory of the country and bordering on a number of the major countries of the East and South-East. At present the priority in foreign contacts' development in all main spheres, including library and information services, is given to searching out the ways of cooperation with the countries of the Asia/Pacific region. The basic idea, defining the suggested cooperation paradigm is that it is only international cooperation that could promote the harmonisation of relationship between countries and nations. The Internet gives the possibility to realise the task of mutually-profitable exchange of regional information resources.The unique nature of the data-bases, compiled by the Siberian and Far-Eastern libraries reveals itself in the fact that no other resource on the national level gives the opportunity to access to documents covering the regional issues. Moreover, a programm "Regional Information Resources" could be worked out within the framework of IFLA Section Asia/Oceania. One more direction of cooperation we suppose to be coordination of research projects in the fields of librarianship, bibliology and programmes of highly-qualified staff-training.


The Asian part of Russia Siberia and the Far East is a vast region, making up 2/3 of the total territory of the country (12.780,2 thousand km2), with about 20% of the whole population. It has always played a special role in Russia's foreign affairs. This territory of the North and North East of the Euro-Asian continent borders on a number of the major countries of the East and South East and has transport communications with them. In view of its potential and position this region is destined to act as a bridge between East and West. The successful solution of geopolitical cooperation problems in the context of sustainable development ideas depends in many aspects on making effective use of all the objective factors of the region's location: geographical situation, natural resources, productional and scientific potentials, communication and transport links, etc. v Contacts with foreign countries have become especially active in the recent years, developing in different directions. We witness an intensive growth of mutually-profitable economical, scientific and cultural ties with Europe and especially Germany But the major priority is given, of course to searching out the ways of cooperation with the countries of the Asia/Pacific region, where Russia has been represented since 1997 by the association "Siberian Agreement", joining up the basic territorial units of the region.

In this paper we make an attempt to present to the attention of the audience the analysis of the regional potential in the field of library and information services and to map out specific and mutually-profitable measures of cooperation development.

The basic idea, defining the suggested cooperation paradigm, is that only international cooperation could provide the users in each country with the necessary completeness of information and, as a result, promote the harmonisation of relationship between countries and nations. On the whole this statement is based on the experience accumulated in the region of Siberia and the Far East. At present here function 13.813 libraries of different types: State Public of the Ministry of Culture of the Russian Federation, Trade Union, Academic, Scientific, Research, Agricultural, Medical, etc. But as far as such an important index as book supply of the economically active part of the population is concerned we have to state, that inspite of the significant role our region plays in the production system of the country, it has always been lower than the average in Russia. Without listing all the reasons of such a situation we can name the most important one: if you analyse the "geographical composition" of libraries and information establishments obtaining due to the existing law a compulsory free of charge complete set of native printed press, you will see that 7 from the total amount of 12 legal deposit copies located in the whole country are distributed among Moscow libraries, 3 among those of Snt. Petersburg and only 2 (!) go to the Siberian/Far Eastern region (1 - to Novosibirsk and 1 - to Khabarovsk). All 5 profile sets are also received by Moscow libraries.

Territorial remoteness, high popularity dispersion, unsatisfactory degree of book supply urged the libraries of the region to find their own way of increasing the level of satisfaction of users' information needs. And this way has been found: the main peculiarity of the regional library network is its high degree of cooperation and coordination in stack formation and library and information services.

We can assume now that we have enough interaction experience for expanding international cooperation. For more than 30 years (since 1996) here, on the vast territory of the Siberian/Far Eastern region, an Association of scientific libraries has been functioning. It unites district (territorial, republican) universal scientific libraries of Ministry of Culture of the Russian Federation, the libraries of the Siberian Branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences and Agricultural Academy; scientific libraries methodical centres of higher educational establishments of the Eastern and Western Siberia and the Russian Far East; Institutes of Art and Culture, implementing staff educational programms for regional libraries. Since 1995 the libraries of national autonomous districts have joined it. Though belonging to different departments and ministries, these libraries function within the framework of the integral territorial library system, coordinating their work in the main directions (developing depository collections, inter-library loan, information, bibliographic, research and methodic work, staff training). It has been created and now successfully functions a Coordinative Council. A statistical data-base of the main indexes of Siberian and the Far Eastern libraries' activities has been created and maintained. Naturally, as every other organisational structure, the regional library network has its own nucleous central regional library, having the most developed material, technical, staff and scientific basis for supporting different sorts of connections within and outside the community. On the vast territory of Siberia and the Far East its function is performed by the State Public Scientific-Technical Library of the Siberian Branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences an official regional centre of interlibrary loan, the only library (except the Russian Library of Patent Literature in Moscow), receiving and preserving native and foreign patents for the period of more than 50 years, regional centre of scientific-technical information, research centre on the problems of librarianship, bibliography and bibliology, poly-profile depository of scientific literature for the libraries of the region (its collections exceed 14 mln. copies). The whole complex of these functional characteristics forms the group of tasks the successful solution of which defines the Library's future, the perspectives of socio-cultural development of the territory and an adequate supply of scientific, research and production programms with information. One of the main directions of work of the regional libraries' association, being the basic one for guaranteeing library services, is the maintenance of the regional distributed depository system of storing libraries' collections.

The organisational structure of this system is differentiated not only according to the territorial and functional principle, but also the profile of their collections. It embraces 3 levels of universal and profile depositories: regional, inter-territorial, republic (autonomous) and district (territorial) libraries.

  1. Depository libraries of the regional level are: a poly-profile depository the State Public Scientific-Technical Library of the Siberian Branch of the Russian Academy of sciences; profile Central Scientific Agricultural Library of the Siberian Branch of the Russian Agricultural Academy, acquiring agricultural and adjacent-field literature; Basic Scientific-Technical Library named after acad. I.P.Bardin of the Kuznetsk Metallurgical Plant literature in the field of ferrows metal industry.

  2. Inter-territorial depositories are differentiated according to zones: West-Siberian, uniting the libraries of the Altai Republic; Novosibirsk, Kemerovo, Omsk, Tomsk and Tumen districts; East Siberian, uniting the libraries of Krasnojarsk, Irkutsk and Chita districts, Tuva, Burjatia and Hakassia republics; Far Eastern zone for the libraries of Amur, Magadan, Kamchatka and Sakhalin districts, Chabarovsk territory and Sakha (Yakutia) Republic.

  3. Republic, territorial and district universal libraries that do not play the role of inter-territorial depositories, but function as depositories for local lore and national literature. The largest scientific-technical libraries function as depositories for materials, published on industry, transport, building, trade and communication problems.

Libraries, having unique collections of great scientific and cultural value, such as: Scientific Library of Tomsk University and that of Irkutsk University are responsible for storing and preserving their collections in the regional system and lending them through the inter-library loan. Scientific medical libraries hold literature on health service problems in their republic, district, or territory. Libraries of higher educational and scientific research institutions store scientific works and other issues of their institutions and also publications about them.

There have been defined functions and tasks of depositary libraries of different levels, created an organisational structure, coordinating the activities of libraries of different ministries and departments in collection development; compiled an adequate instructive documentation, allowing not only to coordinate acquisitions to depository collections but also regulate the redistribution of nonprofile literature and literature of low demand between libraries within the system.

There have been also built systems of methodical and informational supply for regional depository system and the system of professional training. Information about the regional depository system is available through the Internet on the Library's WWW server (http://www-sbras.nsc.ru/libr.). Collections' compiling is one of the most important tasks for each library. With that aim in view libraries of the region actively use international relations only in the Asian/Pacific region our library has 66 exchange - partners. And in this respect we see interesting perspectives: an International Exchange data-base and issues of collections-exchange Bulletins together with regional data-bases give present and future book exchange - partners greater possibilities for choosing the literature they need.

The main objective of the world's library policy is providing equal access to information for all users no matter how remote their location is. The Internet gives the possibility to realise this task. At present the Library's WWW server contains the catalogue of its collections since 1992 and data-bases, comprising documentary information on regional aspects of nature resources, economy, culture and history as an important part of the united regional information resource. They are: The History of Siberia and the Far East, Science in Siberia and at the Far East, Nature and Natural Resources of Siberia and the Far East, their Preservation and Rational Usage, Literature and Art of Siberia and the Far East', etc. The unique nature of these data-bases reveals itself in the fact that no other resource on the national or regional level gives an opportunity of access to documents covering the regional issues.

In accordance with the existing scheme district, territorial and republican libraries prepare universal indexes of local lore literature, basing on the new acquisitions to their collections. Thanks to their joined efforts there have been compiled unique data-bases, containing Union Catalogues of regional periodicals and serials from 1789 up to 1990. The particular interest, from our viewpoint, for the foreign library community may present regional data-bases compiled by the Library (on CD-ROM) and local-lore literature data-bases of district, republican and territorial libraries. Data-bases on national bibliography of Sakha republic (Yakutia) is now being compiled by the National Library of the Republic together with the Russian Book-Chamber. The Far Eastern State Scientific Library compiles data-bases on the retrospective part of its collections.

We think that within the framework of IFLA Section Asia/Oceania activities a programm "Regional Information Resources" could be worked out, foreseeing the creation and replenishment of the distributed data-base of the regional literature the components of which are stored on WWW servers of libraries participants, the strategy of determining geographical, theme and language frames for every participant being common, as well as preparation of printed and electron guide-books on regional information resources. One more direction of cooperation in the development of scientific research projects in professional fields is highly-qualified staff training. The State Public Technical Library of the Siberian Branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences has considerable scientific potential and not only coordinates and heads regional research programmes in the fields of librarianship, bibliography, bibliology and information science organising conferences on its own base and on the bases of other libraries, publishing collected articles and abstracted papers, but also promotes the process of growing up new generations of library and information sciences' professionals teaching them at post-graduate courses. Themes of doctoral papers reflect the specificity of regional development in the stated above fields. Since 1996 here functions the first and the only one in the region the Specialised Council on defence of doctoral thesis. We can also offer the full course programmes of studying to the library community abroad as well.

Summarising everything said above, we can state that the library network of the Asian part of Russia on the present stage of its development has, from our viewpoint, enough preconditions to cooperate more closely according to the above-mentioned directions of professional theory and practice with our colleagues in the Asian/Pacific region, synchronising efforts and defining common goals in promoting the creation of human society.


  1. Elepov B.S., Soboleva E.B. Informatsionno-Bibliotechnoje Obespechenije Uchrezdenij Sibirskogo Otdelenija Rossijskoj Academii nauk // Inform. Bull. Bibliotechnoj Assamblei Evrasii / Bibl. Assambl. Evrasii.- Moscwa, 1996.- V.5.-P. 23-26.

  2. Kozhevnikova L. Bibliotechnoje Soobchestvo i Problemy Sozdania Regionalnoi Kulturnoi Sredy // Regionalnii Biblitechnii Sistemy.- Novosibirsk, 1996.- P. 4-11.

  3. The Asian Pacific Community in the Year 2000: Challenges and Prospects.- Seol, 1992.- 586 p.

  4. Fedotova O.P. Tendencii Rasvitija Sistemy Depositarnogo Chranenija Bibliotechnich Fondov Regiona // Chitatel v Kontekste Kontsepsii Ustoichivogo Rasvitija Regiona.- Novosibirsk, 1997- P. 95-105.

  5. Artem'eva E.B. i dr. Biblioteca v Sisteme Obzestvennich Otnoshenij Regiona.- Novosibirsk, 1998.- in print.


Boris S. Elepov, professor,
Director of the State Public Scientific-Technical Library of the Siberian Branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences
Address: 15 Voskhod Str., 630200 Novosibirsk, Russia
Tel.(home): (383-2) 35-55-19
Tel.(work): (383-2) 66-18-60
Fax: (383-2) 66-33-65

Elena B. Soboleva, Dr.,

Deputy-Director of the SPSTL of the SB of the RAS
Tel.(home): (383-2) 20-26-13
Tel.(work): (383-2) 66-19-76
Fax: (383-2) 66-33-65

Olga P. Fedotova, Dr.,

Deputy-Head of the Centre of Complex Service of the SPSTL of the SB of the RAS
Tel.(home): (383-2) 11-73-18
Tel.(work): (383-2) 66-55-28
Fax: (383-2) 66-33-65

Elena B. Artem'eva,

Dr., Head of the Research Department of the SPSTL of the SB of the RAS
Tel.(home): (383-2)36-00-43
Tel.(work): (383-2)66-47-67
Fax: (383-2) 66-33-65