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A Visit to the National Library of Uzbekistan

This is a guest post by the Law Librarian of Congress, David Mao, who has previously written about federal architecture, state government contracts, speed limits, and cruise ship food rules, among other topics.

Through the arch is a courtyard with the main entrance to the National Library of Uzbekistan.  [Photo by Henry Freyer-Steyer.]

Through the arch is a courtyard with the main entrance to the National Library of Uzbekistan. [Photo by Henry Freyer-Steyer.]

A few years ago Robert Newlen blogged about the National Library of Uzbekistan (under construction at that time) and his visit to the construction site of the new library.  I recently visited Uzbekistan and had the opportunity to see the finished product.  Thanks go to Henry Freyer-Steyer, a fellow conference participant, for allowing me to use some of his pictures as I unfortunately had a very inconvenient camera malfunction during the trip.

Officially known as the “National Library of Uzbekistan named after Alisher Navoi” [Alisher Navoiy nomidagi O’zbekiston Milliy kutubxonasi], the library is modern, heavily used, and demonstrates the Uzbek government’s support of libraries and their importance to literacy and education.

The inscription in the National Library of Uzbekistan lobby reads, "Each and every state, each and every nation is powerful, above all, for its sublime culture, enlightenment and spirituality. - Islam Karimov, President of the Republic of Uzbekistan"

The inscription in the National Library of Uzbekistan lobby reads, “Each and every state, each and every nation is powerful, above all, for its sublime culture, enlightenment and spirituality. – Islam Karimov, President of the Republic of Uzbekistan” [Photo by Henry Freyer-Steyer.]

Technology is used throughout the building. In addition to computer terminals in most of the reading rooms, there also are electronic displays conveniently located on each floor that provide news and information such as on-demand videos on how to use various library services. The Library also has a sophisticated electronic book delivery system that transports collections from storage areas to patron service desks on each floor.

Visitors read an information kiosk in the lobby of the National Library of Uzbekistan.

Visitors read an information kiosk in the lobby of the National Library of Uzbekistan.  [Photo by Henry Freyer-Steyer.]

On the day of my visit, the reading rooms were filled with patrons young and old.  The picture below shows the library’s foreign literature room, where patrons also gather to practice foreign language conversation.

The Foreign Literature room at the National Library of Uzbekistan.

The foreign literature room at the National Library of Uzbekistan.

Uzbekistan is a relatively new jurisdiction (the country gained independence from the Soviet Union in 1991), yet the Law Library of Congress has collected Uzbek legal resources from well before this time.  Try the advanced search option of the Library of Congress catalog (using “Uzbekistan” and “law” as keyword search terms) to see Law Library holdings.  Researchers looking to compare Uzbek law with other jurisdictions can also search the Law Library of Congress Global Legal Information Catalog. Or, for assistance with researching the law of Uzbekistan or any other country, just submit a request through our Ask a Librarian service.

One Comment

  1. Fahriddin
    July 16, 2014 at 2:50 am

    Proud to have such library with great history, which opens huge opportunities for future generations.

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