The library of Lezhe

Was created as a modest reading room within the premises of the former House of Culture. In 1962 the library with a book fund of 1200 pieces, passed on the second floor of the former cinema "Drini". It was at this time that the youth department opened. As it needed expansion, in 1976 the library used a one storey building by the riverside. At that time, the books in Slavic languages accounted for most of the funds. In the '90s, the library reached 65,000 copies, books and documents with over 15,000 titles.

A little history ...

The history of libraries is inherent in the ancient language and culture of the Albanian people. Besides data on history, archaeological discoveries indicate the existence of libraries. Ancient Lissus is thought to be one of the earliest centers for filing of documents, in addition to Durres, Berat, Finiq or Apollonia. The beginnings of the first publications in Albanian in the XVI century around Lezha coincide with the opening of schools as in Blinisht and Pllana in year 1638. Pjeter Bogdani at his work "Band of the Prophets", writes about his uncle's efforts to establish and maintain a library and its books. According to the historical data, the first libraries in the areas of Lezha belong to the XIX and XX century. They were mainly at religious institutions, or belonged to persons who loved culture. Their funds, however they have been, reflected the intellectual level of the time, the trends and desires of early efforts towards culture and knowledge.  Historical records tell about of Shkodra library, created in the late 19-century by the mufti of the known Tabake quartier. It was rich in Albanian manuscripts, written in Turkish alphabet and had over 2000 volumes, containing theological, philosophical and legal in Arabic, Persian and Turkish. The Troshani College in Lezha district opened on June 14, 1882 by Father Marian Pizzochini of Palmanova and Father John Pjerino of Bergamo. This was a library which was used not only by the professors and priests, but also by famous students of this college such as Fishta, Gjeçovi etc.. This college has taught philosophy and theology of a high level. Troshani Library remained as such until 1967. Sappa or Zadrima is the bishopric where Frang Bardhi served as Bishop. He is the author of the first dictionary of Albanian language and of many relations and as such justifies the reasoning that there may have been a library. To mention here is the fact that when Bardhi sat down to write "Apology of Skanderbeg", he tells us that he had to consult with nearly 120 articles, published books and authors at the time about our great hero. Also it is very often mentioned the library of Gasper Gurakuqi, ethnographer, researcher of history, for many years parish priest of Dajç, Zadrima. His Library opened in the early 19th century's. There were about 1500 copies of religious and teaching books.

The library stayed open until 1967. Part of this fund is preserved today in Public Library of Lezha. New City Library of Lezha ended in June 2001. Works for its construction had started in 1988. Currently it has five library reading rooms with a capacity of 250 seats, namely: the room of books in Albanian or translated; Albanology room, foreign languages, the archive and children book’s room. In addition, the users can use the second floor hall, where the press is served, and where the open book fairs, exhibitions of library and other cultural activities take place. The library has a fund of about 100,000 copies with over 25,000 titles. Available to users are artistic books and translations in Albanian and foreign languages, and a fund of about 7000 copies of the periodical, mainly of the period from 1958 onwards. But the library has copies of journals and a number of documents belonging to the first half of the 20th century, collections of already famous journals "Hylli I Dritës", "Leka", "Zani i shna Ndout", "Lajmëtari i zemrës së Jezu Krishtit" etj.  We should mention a rare fund, consisting of 1100 copies of books and documents, mainly religious literature in the Latin, Italian and Turkish languages etc., 74 of which are incunabula, belonging to publications from before 1830.

The library

The funds, allocated under the topics are:

  1. Books in Albanian and translated: 19130 titles with 72728 copies.
  2. Foreign Book: 6620 titles with 8800 copies.
  3. Albanology: 1020 titles with 6294 copies.
  4. Antiquarian 75
  5. Children's Books: 1989 titles with 16,511 copies.
  6. Periodical in Albanian: 58 titles with 5100 copies.
  7. Foreign periodical: 34 titles with 1920 copies.

The Lezha Library is a three-story building with ample facilities and has almost all the equipment needed for normal work and a contemporary service. The entire fund is collated and processed under the new standards. The library serves the residents of cities of Lezha and Shengjin, the areas nearby, consisting of more than 40,000 inhabitants. But it is also open to any reader outside the periphery of the town of Lezha. After passing to the new building the reformating of funds was made according to library formats and materials, moving from fixed system to the new classification system universal decimal (KDU), according to new modern standards. We note here that the service is open funds.

Collections are listed by area of knowledge. The reader finds the author he is looking for, takes the book or the document and where appropriate he loans it for temporary use at home. This practice has facilitated the service and has increased the level of interest and information to users. In his work the library is trying to offer services based on community requests. During the annual work planning, priorities are defined. Positive is that services do not come as a result of ideological political or religious pressure. They aim for a better reflection of the changes made in city’s citizenship; like movements as a result of arrivals from other areas, changes in family structure, employment issues, communication and cultural diversity. In this respect, this institution is building its work taking into account the psychology of inheriting the traditional culture, but also the use of new technologies. We are still forced to accept as a priority to rely on oral methods, to move slowly in the use of new communication techniques and information. But however we are moving in the right direction. The library has a system of 7 computers, printer and photocopier, which serve to create a set of data based on program CDS / ISIS. The library has completed memorization of funds in the foreign language hall to continue with other funds. Soon the library will also offer service via Internet. It aims to become a local gateway to knowledge, in a communication and information center. It develops activities, which affect human and intellectual culture.

Promotions of books, creative activities, discussions with the students, cycles of conversations about literature, and creative activities with writers have made the impact on the frequency tendency to be significant. Some of these activities have created an experience as those for "World Book Day", "Day of Poetry" the activities for the "Month of literature", etc.. Also interesting are the book and ethnography exhibitions, exhibitions of painting and photography, which have aroused interest and are very well accepted by the citizens. The Library currently has 7 employees, 4 of them with an University degree and specialized in bibliotekonomi. The staff is experienced and has a strong desire to work.

The Library serves all readers in all days of the week: from Monday to Friday from 8:00 to 15:00 am, on Saturdays it opens from 8:00 to 12:00 am.

All services are free here. You are welcome!

Services and Contacts

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Lagjia Skenderbeg, Sheshi Gjergj Kastrioti
Lezhe, Albania
Tel: +355 215 22270 / 22219
Fax: +355 215 22570
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