This is a guest post by Pamela Barnes Craig, Instruction/Reference Librarian and a frequent contributor to In Custodia Legis. She is the co-author of the blog post Being Well-Informed: Congress.gov Training and her recent posts include Happy Belated Birthday, Title IX, and Civil War Military Trials.
I was fortunate to visit the National Library of Azerbaijan in Baku during my visit to the country in November 2012. I was given a tour of the research areas and specialty reading rooms, like the Azerbaijani History room. The Library is in a good location in the City of Baku, so it is always busy with students, academic and governmental researchers. Almost all of the tables and computer terminals were in use on all the floors during my visit. I was told that the librarians handled approximately 400 – 500 questions daily. People were milling about everywhere; it reminded me of the Library of Congress. Like the Library of Congress, this Library is running out of space for collections. As a result the Baku Library is being renovated to allow for more storage. As I walked around the library, listened to the various languages being spoken, and watched the hustle and bustle of librarians and researchers, I took pleasure in the familiarity of the setting.