1998 statistical survey



holdings (total)

5 650 555

5 718 773


66 096

71 621


1 167

3 403

users enrolled

29 269

29 005


744 194

639 435


612 648

571 207




staff (FTE)



expenditures (Kč mil.)
($ mil.)



investment programmes (Kč mil.)
($ mil.)



(Exchange rate in 1998: 1 USD = 30,12 Ke)

Annual Report

1. Major innovations during the year

Major events were:

2. Finance and funding

The regular annual appropriation obtained from the Government (the Ministry of Culture) was by ca 15 % lower then the amount really needed, so the Library had only very limited funds in most areas ranging from literature purchase to staff policy. The due amount of depreciation of buildings and equipment for which the Library fell behind with payments, continued to increase. Lack of funds for running costs and especially upgrade or replacement of obsolete technology were the main problem, as well as funds for reconstruction of the main building. Good opportunities were in several - mainly RTD projects - that may, however, create problems in the future, when new and necessary routines require money for their maintenance and proper functioning.

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



purchase of literature incl. subscription

8,9 %

11,0 %

operation etc.

40,3 %

39,0 %

staff (salaries + personal duties)

49,7 %

47,0 %

depreciation realised

1,1 %

3,0 %

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



appropriation - total

91,3 %

91,0 %

i.e. regular appropriation

77,8 %

82,0 %

extra funds

13,5 %

9,0 %


8,7 %

9,0 %

3. Legal status

There has been no changes or progress in the matter of Library legislation. Nevertheless, the Ministry of Culture submitted a draft government cultural policy document to be discussed, including the library services issue. A transformation of cultural services organisations is being considered into more independent public-law non-for-profit institutions.

4. Legal deposit of materials

No change, but the library stressed largely on claiming missing titles from the publishers. Also physical media digital publications were claimed; the results will be evaluated to see, whether the legal deposit law will be able to cover this area in practice.

5. Building and plant

There was no progress in the planned reconstruction of the Klementinum, as the funding of it had been frozen as a consequence of the state budget restrictions.

6. Acquisitions

Compared with 1997, the acquisitions budget slightly increased (from ca $420 000 to ca $598 000), but it was still far below our needs. Funding acquisitions continues to be one of the major problems of the Library, both journal subscription and purchases of foreign books.

7. Conservation and Preservation

Ongoing research and development in classical conservation and preservation, enlarged microfilming of important titles on national co-operative basis (access supposed to be digital). More attention paid to modern holdings (surveys, rebinding, boxing, microfilming, digitisation). Research concerning micro climatic conditions and their improvement in the old main building.

8. Information and New Technology

The LAN has been enlarged in two places, realised a fast connectivity between the main building and the central repository (100Mbit/s), which will be necessary for access to digital documents mounted on planned robotic storage device.

Another digitisation line of rare documents built on the basis of a camera scanner; microfilm scanner and disk arrays for pre-cache of digitized microfilm. The data from digitized microfilm expected to be available on Internet towards the end of 1999. Written various software tools related to digitisation, formatting of digital documents, and access to them (e.g. plug-in for Internet browsers to facilitate manipulation with image files).

Realized final edition of the DOBM (SGML-based) data format for compound digital documents as products of digitisation. The format is applied in routine for any digitized documents - also from other libraries and archives. Concrete applications of the format written for several types of documents, the format was adopted as the UNESCO Memory of the World standard and published on CD-ROM and on Internet (see and ongoing pages).

Large disk arrays enabled access to almost our catalogues in image format on Internet (more than 5 mil. cards), see

Purchased a new server for the Union Catalogue, developed several ORACLE applications for its administration and shared cataloguing - full functioning under these applications expected in 1999.

Obsolescence of a quite large number of PCs, other components, and even one of the main servers felt as one of the most serious problems mainly in the library information system area. Lack of money did not enable improvement of some partial computer cabling that produced difficulties in an important segment of acquisitions and cataloguing. Needed also substantial upgrade of the ALEPH system that will require substantial hardware investments in 1999. Very fast development in the HW and SW area proved to be problem with which the library cannot cope. It seems that the cycles of modernisation on several places in this area shortened from 4 to just 1.5 years.

9. Services to readers

Improved and enlarged access to databases of the NL in house and on Internet; implemented the circulation module; started preparation of a new Reference Centre - to be opened in 1999.

10. Exhibitions

Some 11 exhibitions were presented in the Library premises last year, several of them of major importance, e.g. the presentation of Venezuelan book production, exhibitions and events organised on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of the State of Israel, the presentation of Czech music material collected in the National library in Warsaw, or a large exhibition organised on the occasion of the 650th anniversary of the Charles University.

11. Publishing

In almost the same structure as of previous year, apart from the regular issues of periodical publications such as Czech National Bibliography, other bibliographic serials, and journals (printed and on CD-ROM), several important titles have appeared from the area of cataloguing standards and recommendations. In addition, several special bibliographic and monographic works have been completed. A comprehensive bibliography of Czech so called "samizdat" publications met with wider interest and appreciation.

Of particular note are some new publications on CD-ROM: Digitization of Rare Library Materials - Storage of and Access to Data, the Solution for the Compound Document, Manuscripts and Old Printed Books; Catalogue of Arabic manuscripts from the collection of the NL (marked with UNESCO Memory of the World logo); Universal Decimal Classification - UDC Consortium selection file in English-Czech version.

12. Cataloguing and Other Technical Processes

A national authority file, first part, has been made available on NL web page.

A database of old printed books is under preparation - with scanned samples now available on Internet, and a new database of analytical description of old manuscripts has been started to be built. The latter one is available on Internet with the database of digitized documents (over 200 manuscripts) at and ongoing pages.

Digitized also ca. 170 rare vinyl (partly shellac) discs (samples in DOBM structure on Internet). Ongoing work on Union Catalogue of Music Resources - processed important regional collections of old manuscripts and printed music.

A great effort spent to reduce backlogs of unprocessed material has come to an end, the cataloguing division keeping current with new receipts.

13. Library Co-operation

Two co-operative projects on the Czech National Bibliography joining the regional state research libraries were going on according the plan: these are shared retroconversion of the Czech book production of the 20th century (reached back the year 1945), and shared cataloguing of current Czech book production

The same applies for co-operative project of protective microfilming, or now regular sending sets of Czech National Bibliography records to OCLC to be downloaded into WorldCat.

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), 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, MASTER (Manuscript Access through Standards for Electronic Records), UNESCO Memory of the World programme, etc.

14. Staffing matters

Last year again, as a consequence of very limited budget for staff, the total number of personnel had to be reduced; ca 10 % positions from those formally assigned to the Library have remained vacant.

15. Major celebrations, anniversaries and events

The CENL annual meeting was hosted by the Czech National Library in the Klementinum; Minister of Culture delivered an opening address, and the President of Senate received the Librarians in the Palace of the Senate.

Last year again, the opening celebration of the Prague Book Fair with the presence of political authorities and notable personalities took place in the Klementinum. On this occasion the NL opened the doors of the baroque Library to the public for several days.

A major cultural and social event, recorded by TV, and accompanied by auction of paintings was organised in Klementinum by the Society of Friends of the NL to support the Library and to call public attention to NL's problems and needs. Present was Mrs Dagmar Havlová, spouse of the State President, the Minister of Culture, and other personalities.

16. Other notable information

After the expiration of term of the previous Board of the NL (advisory body to the Minister of Culture), a new Board has been nominated for the term 1998 - 2000.

A new NL Strategic plan for 1999 - 2003 has been under preparation. The first draft of this was approved by the new Board in Autumn.

Five main strategic long-term research and technological development projects of the NL have been defined and submitted to the Government RTD committee, concerning the areas as follows: