Tuesday, March 23, 2021


I didn't know that libraries were such a big deal here in Czechland.  There are approximately 5.410 public libraries here.  That's almost as many libraries as there are towns which is one library for every 1.900 people.

Relative to population that's about four times as many libraries than the EU average and 10 times more than in the USA.  Czechland actually has the densest public library network in the world.    

Soon after Czechoslovakia became an independent country the First Library Act was passed in 1919.  The law required that every municipality had to have a public library.  This was done to promote education and universal literacy.  Promotion of the Czech language was important as German was a dominant language of the Austro-Hungarian Empire.   

Even following the Velvet Divorce the law was still in place in Czech Republic until 2001 when the requirement was dropped in order to save money.  Since then about 11% of the country's public libraries have merged or closed.  

Brno's Jiří Mahen Library celebrates its 100th anniversary this year.  

It is the biggest public library in Moravia and the second largest in the entire country.  

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