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Bajai Városi Könyvtár Hírlevél

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The library’s history

Before this library was established several small libraries had worked in Baja, also nomerous partly church, partly temporal related reading clubs had functionated as libraries ( Casino, Catholic Fellow Club, Guild, Baja’s Civil Reading Club, Public Administrative Library, Csitanica, Cistercians, Franciscans Library etc.) since the city’s multi-ethnic, multi-religion citizenry’s libraries were organized to fulfill the need of these communities.

Our book stock was part of the Istvan Türr Museum’s library in 1945, which had had a reference library from the beginning. It’s stock contained of 5.8000 volumes in that year.
Dr. Endre Takács main archivist was in charge in the Museum in 1947. He increased the library’s stock to up to 22.481 volumes since he obtained the Public Administrative Library and the former National Casino’s library. As he was the ministerial commissioner of endangered private collections, he got hold of the Hadik-Barkóczy counts’ and György Zichy count’s libraries and he bought books from the citizens of Baja as well.
As a consequence of the acquisition the library was noted as an emphasized library in the country so among the first ones it started to lend books in one of the museum’s premises on 5th of April 1948.  This room became too small so this section temporary moved to the building of the apprentice school on Ferenc Deák Street but it moved on to 1. Kálmán Tóth Square on the summer of 1950, where the District Library worked at that time.
In the same time the already functionating library was disconnected from the Museum. The City Library was drawn together with the District Library in october 1952 and it’s new name was District Library.
The name-giving ceremony was held two years later (on 2nd of May 1954) and the institute was named after Endre Ady according to readers’ requests. ( Great gift of life was when we got Ady’s French Bible, - which was printed in St.Petersburg in 1817 - as a present from a baja doctor’s heritage.
As the District Council was terminated in 1972, the Library was maintenanced by the city again. The stock was much bigger than before but the place remaind the same. This is why the town continously tried to find a better solution to place it.
It seemed to be a good idea to renovate and convert the synagogue into a library. The synagogue wasn’t in use and the Jewish community offered to the city to buy it in 1972. After a long planning-period the decision was made after the ceiling of the adult’s department had collapsed on 26th of September in 1980. They had to move in to the building of the children’s department and the children’s section was moved to the premises of Attila József Community Center. These rooms had funcionated as club rooms before.
The renovation and transformation of the synagogue started in 1982 and after the necessary works the opening was held on 22nd of October in 1985.
Due to it’s historic character the building’s area couldn’t be changed, a reinforced concrete basement was built under the original area. This is the so-called ’power storage’ where the multiple copies and the periodical collection were placed.
There’s a reading section of 40 at the opened shelves lending room, the gallery ( used to be the women’s gallery) is the area of the reference library and the local history collection including 12 research spots. The children’s section operated in the borrowed rooms between 1981 and 1989, then it moved back to the former building of the Adult library on Kalman Toth Square for a few years.
The city council bought the building of the Jewish Community on Ede Telcs Street because they wanted to transform it into a library. The jewish elementary school, later on the cantor’s, the rabbi’s, finally the caretaker’s flat took place in this buliding. After selling the synagogue this place was used for religious gatherings.
As the city couldn’t afford the original transformation plans, it happened on a modest way. The most important part of the plan remained: to ensure passage between the two buildings through the basement.
The building was finished by 1th of december 1993 where the staff of the library could work together only for a few minutes from the city centre.
Through decades it wasn’t only the collection that increased but because of several competitions, the library’s technical equipments grew as well. After 1995 it had an integrated system and workstations that belonged to it. The library acquisitions and cataloging could start. Retrieval, stock control and barcode rental became possible after the built of the database. Since the library’s hompage started to work more and more information could reach people and by now 24 hours availability and remote search facility are possible.
Thanks to winning EU competitions furhter workstations were established, where info-communication courses help the study of older people.
By now the library has more than 200.000 volumes and in this multiethnic city it became an intellectual center where beside library activities there’s a vibrant cultural life with performances, clubs, concerts and where everybody is welcome who want to take a look at the building including incunabulums, antiquas, several books with historical value and the torah rolls of the ark.
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