Zugdidi Municipality Central Library History and Present
Georgian libraries have history of ages. First public libraries were created with churches and monasteries. Any person could use them. In the second part of XIX century literacy society opened public libraries. First libraries opened in Zugdidi in 1887 and information about this was published in newspapers “Iveria” and “Droeba” in 1888.
Zugdidi Central Library has very interesting history. It is the successor of the reading-hall which was opened by Zugdidi’s Theatrical society in 1899 and on 25th march they set R. Eristavi’s play “Divorce”. This was the first play in zugdidi. Aim of this play for one side was to give education to the population and on the other hand to raise some money to build the reading-hall.
For this time reading magazines and newspapers were subscribing by T. Tokhadzi’s typography. He was receiving magazines and newspapers and one table near the window was instead of the reading hall. But Tokhadze had poor income and he stopped subscribing them. Zugdidi’s society was trying to open this reading-hall somehow. Nikoloz Bukia recalls, “After the first play we had only 125 left. We bought two tables, two benches, some stools, a jag, a glass and the rest of the money we spent on two copies of newspaper “Iveria”, two copies of “Kvali”, and “Cnobis Phurtseli”.(“Mebrdzoli,” 7 august)
Thus began the function of the first reading halls. The numbers of readers increased.
It was necessary to rent a separate room. The Young asked for the help to charity merchant T. Abesadze. He invited progressive society and set up a question to open reading-hall. At the meeting they decided to name this hall after Akaki Tsereteli. The library had lack of money till 1908. They had income from charity. In 1908 Akaki Tsereteli’s 50th anniversary was conducted and charity society arranged Akaki’s evening in 2 parts: “First part was report about Akaki’s life and work and in the second the play “Patara Kakhi” was acted. At the meeting they decided to build a new building for the library with the money raised from play”-contrives Nikoloz Bukia (newspaper “Mebrdzoli” 1960, 7 august.)
The aim was achieved and limestone building was built in front of the hotel “Odishi” in Zugdidi. In 19th May, 1912 they opened fist library. Akaki Tsereteli attended this event. This day was real celebration. Literacy society also congratulated this day. Since this day people take care of the library. Then this building pulled down and the library was moved in other place.
The library was increased. In 1990 it had 18 branches in the city and 80 in region. In the same year Zugdidi and Zugdidi’s region united and it caused reorganization. Libraries were enlarged and reduced to 40. From November, 2006 the reorganization started again and all village branches were closed.
Today the Central library is as NNJP from 19th September, 2007. Zugdidi Central Library passed hard period, public wars in Abkhazia and other conflicts. Library’s staff reviled enthusiasm and survived the Book reserving fund. Today Zugdidi Central Library is main information center in 17 villages, with modern technologies, rooms with internet and comfortable halls.
In 2009 Ministry of Internal Affairs and Archives Division with Georgian parliament’s territorial integrity and with Abkhazia’s government organized the presentation of the magazine “Saarkivo Moambe”. The event was called “without Walls”. The archives division published special edition of magazine in different languages including Abkhazian an the documental film “Gindia’s Work” was Shown.
Library has program for blinds, books with Brail shrift and the readers of this categories use this program and books. Such books have only 10 libraries in Georgia including Zugdidi Central Library.
Zugdidi Central Library has good tradition in conducting events. Library arranges library days, trainings, presentations, meetings. Some of them are already tradition.
Zugdidi Central Library is always oriented to serve readers of the region and to be in the center of cultural and educational work of Zugdidi.
This site was last updated 03/29/11