KLAIPĖDA COUNTY I. SIMONAITYTĖ LIBRARY has celebrated the 70th anniversary of its establishment in 2015. During the entire period of its existence, the library strived to be the custodian of the national culture meeting information needs of the region, ensuring the right to information, freedom of expression, providing an opportunity to all and each resident of the region to use the library information resources. The library has collected a fund full of new publications and valuable local and manuscripts colelctions. The library had a fund of 16 520 units in 1951, which increased to 970 457 units.
After a new building of I. Simonaitytė library was built in 2006, the library is becoming one of the most significant cultural centres not only in Lithuania, but also in the entire Lithuania in all respects: beautiful palace, modern information technologies providing connection with the entire world, rich book funds, relevant exhibitions, conferences, welcoming of new books, concerts, performances and competitions. About 400 different events are held in the library per year, 200 out of which are exhibitions. All kinds of art are loved in the palace: literature, music, art, poetry, photo art, educational activities. New, spacious, modern building is serving people in every sense. Users come to the library to not only take and read a book or the latest publication, but also to meet interesting people: writers, poets, musicians, artists, philosophers and representatives of publishing houses. Attractive and ergonomic environment of the library optimally adapted to the visitors’ needs allows them to feel comfortable, cosy and exceptional. The spacious library houses not only five reading rooms, open book funds for adults and children, but also facilities for cosy rest, aesthetic premises for visual and verbal events, two cosy courtyards. The library has Event and Conference Halls and Gerlach’s Attic, where a permanent maritime heritage exposition is installed, a modern training room. There is a café and a bookshop operating in the former office. The library can offer 102 computerized work places with free internet access. 16 181 visitors made use of the free internet access in 2011.
The services of the library are used by more than 16 thousand registered users, and 28% users out of this number are form towns and districts of other regions. The library is visited by more than 1 200 users per day, who take 401 documents in average.
The activities of the library receive much attention and active involvement of the community. The employees of the library, who preserve and cherish the treasures entrusted to them carefully, know the needs of each user, respond to the historical and daily global, national, city events, provoke the cultural community of the city for intensive intellectual life. The users of the library are encouraged to participate in various competitions and contests, to contribute to the formation of a modern library image and to express their attitude to the library using different creative methods.
The library provides methodological, information and organizational assistance to 11 centralized library systems within Klaipėda and Tauragė counties (to 201 libraries): 11 public libraries in the centres of municipalities, 23 city branches and 167 rural branches. There are 2.3 million physical units of documents gathered in the collections of the libraries, and 101 thousand users use library services. Over 1.76 million visitors visit those libraries per year, and 3.5 million physical units of documents are lent to those users.
Two nominations have been established on the initiative of director of the library Juozas Šikšnelis in 2012: Išminties marės (Lagoon of Wisdom) that shall be awarded to one of the libraries of the region for the best performance results of the year, and Jonvabalis (Glow-worm) that shall be awarded to the best librarian of the year in the region.
Klaipėda County I. Simonaitytė Public Library, that understood its value successfully, today is an important and equal partner of state authorities, businessmen and politicians. Today the library is invited to general projects useful for the development and education of the society and for strengthening of relations.