Lithuanian Public Libraries: Network and Access issues

There are 1307 public libraries in total, that serves 3244,9 thousands (2010[1]) inhabitants. Five county public libraries, funded by the state, provide support and services in 10 counties. Main segments of Municipal library network are: 60 main libraries, 143 city (town) branches, 14 specialized children branches; 1085 rural branches, 91 of them function as combined school and public libraries.

Slightly over 90 per cent of public libraries provide public access computer and internet services. Public libraries employability equals 3642 FTE, among them 2737.9 librarians, either holding diploma in LIS or trained at work.  Public funding per capita in 2010 was 8.5 EUR. Municipal funding cuts resulted in closed 71 branches and shorter library opening hours. Survey 2010/2011 shows that during 2008-2010 number of libraries that are open less than 32 hours per week jumped from 25 per cent (2008), 36 per cent (2009), 41 per cent (2010). At the same time library staff have to manage bigger flows of visitors  in shorter time as number of visitors increase yearly. There are average 32449 visits per town library and 3661 visits per rural library.     

[1] As provides official statistics at end of 2010. Census 2011data is being processed, but it is speculated that there is less than that due to high emigration.

Ramune Petuchovaite
Senior Specialist, Ministry of Culture


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