1997 statistical survey

holdings (total)

5 650 555

(incl. ca 9 000 ancient manuscripts, ca 3 500 incunabula)

66 096


1 167

users enrolled

29 269


744 194


612 648



(i.e. 26 monographs, 77 periodical issues)
staff (FTE)



expenditures excl. invest. (total)

Kč 156 800 000 (i.e. ca $ 4 610 000)

(incl. salaries + personal duties

Kč 78 000 000, i.e. ca $ 2 290 000)

investment programmes (total)

Kč 16 900 000 (i.e. ca $ 497 000)

Annual Report

1. Major innovations during the year

After having reorganised the collections, the Library was able to improve the availability and time schedule of document supply from its local stacks as well as from the new distant repository.

Some important steps have been done in development of library areas such as digitisation, retroconversion, and preservation.

The reconstruction of the heating system has been completed as well as the cabling for local digital network; and the most precious baroque part of the Klementinum has got a newly restored roof and facade.

2. Finance and funding

The regular annual appropriation obtained from the Government (the Ministry of Culture) was by ca 25 % lower then that originally planned. This insufficient amount, in addition, was even reduced by other 11 % in following months, owing to severe cuts in national budget resulted from dramatic situation of the economy of the country. Besides, the rate of the Czech currency fell down deeply. The Library had to restrict or stop expenses in a number of areas such as literature purchase, journal subscription for the next year, equipment provision, binding of books, etc. The total number of staff was reduced by ca 9 %. The due amount of depreciation of buildings and equipment for which the Library fell behind with payments, has increased again significantly.

On the other hand, the Library was successful in getting good amount of extra funds added to regular appropriation determined for realising special projects in such areas as digitisation, retroconversion, microfilming, preservation, union catalogue.

The major part of the Library revenue earnings comes from renting premises whether for long term or ad hoc. This kind of resources is allowed to use for maintenance and repairs of the same building exclusively. The sales of services and goods bring only limited amounts; these can be used in all areas except for salaries.

The structure of the Library expenditure (investment programmes excluded):

purchase of literature incl. subscription

8,9 %

operation etc.

40,3 %

staff (salaries + personal duties)

49,7 %

depreciation realised

1,1 %

The proportion of the total resources (investment funds and donations excluded):

appropriation - total

91,3 %

i.e. regular appropriation

77,8 %

extra funds

13,5 %


8,7 %

3. Legal status

There has been no changes or progress in the matter of Library legislation nor of position of so called national cultural institutions, as the political crisis prevented the government from focusing on such issues. Meantime, a group of directors submitted to the Ministry of culture a proposal of principles of policy and rules relating to the largest national cultural institutions, included the National Library.

4. Legal deposit of materials

The new legal deposit legislation still doesn't work effectively, as there is some 20% of the total titles missing, as estimated. However, there was certain improvement in the acquisitions of legal deposit thanks to more active application of penalty clauses from the legal deposit law. On the other hand, it was difficult to exact the electronic documents from publishers, as the legal deposit law isn't clear enough in this point, and seems to be in contradiction with existing author rights legislation.

5. Building and plant

The reconstruction of the heating system has been completed as well as the cabling for local digital network.

A new reading room was opened in Autumn, concentrating materials of social and natural sciences.

The most precious baroque part of the Klementinum has got a newly restored roof and facade.

Although the financial restriction allowed to complete the technical and archaeological feasibility studies to a very limited extend only, the results obtained proved enough no substantial obstacle of a future reconstruction and adaptation of Klementinum as definitive seat of the National Library. But the funding of the project is now expected to be postponed in view of economic situation of the country.

6. Acquisitions

Acquisitions were one of the major problems of the Library: there was a substantial decrease of journal subscription for 1998, and foreign book acquisitions lacked necessary funds as well. The acquisitions budget had the total value of only ca $ 420 000 which was several times lower than necessary (the Library has central functions of a research library for natural sciences and humanities). The acquisition crisis went deeper.

7. Conservation and Preservation

This was one of the most dynamically developing areas. Several research and technology development projects started concerning microfilming, digitisation, and chemistry-based conservation of leather and paper:

In addition, much work has been done for improvement of physical storage of materials and improvement of protective bindings of new acquisitions.

The development of this area was enabled by funds received through several governmental (especially RTD) grants.

8. Information and New Technology

Several important goals have been achieved:

In the IT area, the Library had to face some problems:

9. Services to readers

The volume of all transactions in the area of services increased significantly. After having reorganised the collections, the Library was able to improve the availability and time schedule of document supply from its local stacks as well as from the new distant repository (ca 14 km from Klementinum).

A new reading room was opened in Autumn, concentrating materials of social and natural sciences.

The Library had to face serious lack of staff in the area of services which caused both problems in responding all reader requirements in time, and slow changes especially in the domain of a better implementation of new technology.

The circulation module hasn't been implemented yet (except for in the branch Slavonic Library), due to low quantity of data available.

10. Exhibitions

Some 15 exhibitions were presented in the Library premises last year. Two of them were of major importance and met higher interest of the public: "Bibliotheca semper viva - Directors of the Czech National Library 1777-1918" on the occasion of 220th anniversary of the opening of the Library to the public, and "Cervantes and Czech readers of his work" on the occasion of 450. anniversary of the birth of the author.

11. Publishing

Apart from the regular issues of periodical publications such as Czech National Bibliography, other bibliographic serials, and journals, several important titles have appeared from the area of standards and recommendations, e.g. Czech version and interpretations of AACR2R and UNIMARC, ISBD for some special types of documents, Core bibliographic record for the Union catalogue, as well as some other such as union list of Cyrillic prints in Czech libraries, or studies from the area of standardisation, medieval literature, etc.

A CD-ROM has been published containing a complex solution for digitization of rare library materials concerning storage of and access to data, supporting SW for generation of compound digital documents and for access to them included.

Since the publishing activity of the Library is part of library information services according its Statutes, the revenues from sales of publications do not reach the balance with publishing costs, nor they bring any profit.

12. Cataloguing and Other Technical Processes

Great effort was spent to reduce backlogs caused by the process of implementation of library automation system and building of the new structured network.

The main catalogues of the Library were scanned and opened to the public in image format, while the successive tagging of them is going on.

A new programme was launched to complete the database with short records of those items frequently flowing through circulation process.

LCSH - Library of Congress Subjects Headings were taken over as leading principle of subject cataloguing in the National Library. The same applies for UDC - Universal Decimal Classification, Hague Consortium top terms level as code for subject indexing (the Czech translation of the file has been published on CD-ROM).

The Czech National Bibliography was available in printed format, on CD-ROM, and on-line; standards: UNIMARC, AACR2, ISBD, LCSH Czech version (English version to be prepared).

It has been decided to change the platform for the Union Catalogue to enable automation of administration routines and to enable shared on-line cataloguing to various different library systems (ORACLE-based in-house application to be implemented in 1998).

The WWW access to OPAC (including articles from Czech journals and newspapers) has been improved and more workstations for users installed.

13. Library Co-operation

There was a progress in two co-operative projects with the largest regional state libraries:

The intention of the project of analytical cataloguing of Czech periodicals is to improve the existing co-operation in building the bibliographical database of articles as well as to establish links to full texts of articles, if possible.

First co-operative project within the National programme of protective microfilming (complying with ERROM standards) of newspaper collections has comprised 18 rarest and at the same time most endangered, if not damaged titles.

The 1996 set of Czech National Bibliography records have been downloaded into OCLC WorldCat as a result of collaboration agreed on in 1995. The Czech National Library served as testing site for OCLC UNIMARC>USMARC conversion programme development.

The NL participated in a number of international organisations, projects, and meetings, e.g. IFLA, CENL, LIBER, ABDOS (Arbeitsgemeinschaft der Bibliotheken und Dokumentationsstellen der Ost-, Ostmittel- und Südosteuropaforschung; the conference ´97 was held in Prague), CERL (Council of European Research Libraries), ISBN & ISMN, ICAU (International Club of ALEPH Users), IAML (International Association of Music Libraries), ELAG (European Library Automation Group), PHARE Library Development Project, LIBECON -2000 - EU library statistics project; still dealing with EC to finance the project MASTER (Manuscript Access through Standards for Electronic Records), etc.

The co-operation with the UNESCO Memory of the World programme has been strengthened.

14. Staffing matters

As a consequence of cuts in budget for staff, the total number of personnel has been reduced by 9 %. This made possible to pay the same average amount for salaries as that of previous year, but not to follow the increasing curve of inflation nor to compete with the private sector for qualified staff.

15. Major celebrations, anniversaries and events

The main topic of the year 1997 was the 220th anniversary of the opening of the Czech National Library (originally belonging to the University) to the general public. A special programme appeared on TV screen, and number of other exhibitions and events were organised to commemorate this anniversary.

The ABDOS annual meeting was hosted by the Czech National Library.

The opening celebration of the Prague Book Fair with the presence of both Finnish and Czech ministers of culture, as well as some other important events took place in the Klementinum.

 16. Other notable information

The financial situation of the National Library became topic of a number of press articles and media programmes in Autumn. The Members of Parliament then assigned to the Library a special financial contribution for 1998 acquisitions.

The National Library Society (i.e. Friends of the NL) has Mrs Lenka Procházková, famous Czech writer, as a new president. Mrs Dagmar Havlová, spouse of the President Václav Havel, kindly accepted the title of Honorary President of the National Library Society.