National Digital Library to Launch in Russia

Russia has unveiled new plans to launch a National Digital Library in 2015. The Minister of Culture Vladimir Medinsky said that the new initiative will transform local libraries into modern information and cultural hubs, adding that citizens’ access to the service will be via the internet with a single electronic library ticket.

“Next year we will launch a national electronic library, set to be the largest collection of online texts, books, magazines in Russia” Minister of Culture Vladimir Medinsky told regional governors. “We will send you an approved model of a library, the implementation of which will allow the libraries to be turned into modern information and cultural centres at minimum cost.

The intention behind the National Library is to be able to give smaller branches the ability to offer wireless internet access and tap into e-Books. There are only a few thousand digital editions currently available in most of the modern libraries, such as Moscow and Murmansk.

It is currently unknown who will be providing the e-Books. Currently in Russia most of the libraries only offer academic and historical digital editions. The type of content that is primarily used for educational purposes and not leisure reading.