On May 11th, 2023, the Lithuanian Ambassadors’ Club organised an excursion to the Martynas Mažvydas National Library of Lithuania (NLL). A large group of Lithuanian Ambassadors’ Club members and diplomats from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs attended the visit. The Director General of the Library, Prof. Dr. Renaldas Gudauskas, discussed the history of the library, its traditional and non-traditional activities, and spaces.
NLL Director informed the audience about the reconstruction of the library, which started in 2010 and cost 27 million EUR. After the reconstruction, the library was visited by more than 5 million readers. The library has 20 km of shelving with around 7 million books. It was interesting to hear that, in addition to its traditional library activities, the NLL has become a promoter of various cultural and educational projects and research. Why do people come to the NLL? The survey showed that 1/3 of people come to the library for knowledge and research purposes, 1/3 come to the library as “work,” meaning “for personal needs,” and another 1/3 – for leisure.
Prof. Dr. Renaldas Gudauskas said that the NLL is also the Library of the Seimas of the Republic of Lithuania. In particular, the NLL has close cooperation with the National Security and Defence Committee and the Future Committee. “The library is a place where people meet books, people meet people, thoughts meet thoughts”.
At the end of the event, the participants were invited to visit many interesting spaces of the NLL: the co-working, creative, and leisure spaces, the TV studio, and various reading and meeting rooms. The tour was kindly led by Viktorija Pukėnaitė-Pigagienė, Director of the Communication and Marketing Department of the NLL.