14 November 2019

A Celebratory Afternoon at the Life Library

The Martynas Mažvydas Mažvydas National Library of Lithuania celebrates its centenary. On 14 November, the Library hosted the centennial afternoon titled “Life Library”. Among the guests of the event there were His Excellency the President of the Republic of Lithuania Gitanas Nausėda, members of the Seimas and the Government of the Republic of Lithuania, Ambassadors to the Republic of Lithuania, honorary social, research, cultural and education figures, publishers and the National Libraries partners and fellows.

To quote Director General of the National Library Prof. Dr. Renaldas Gudauskas, “The anniversary slogan “The National Library as a readers’ sanctuary for 100 years” is not a resonant wordplay. In the global context, our Library has suggested an innovative, though rather simple, model, which we call life library.

The President of the Republic of Lithuania Gitanas Nausėda highlighted the aesthetics of the Library’s interior, its openness for the cultural community an possibilities that the Library provides for everyone to develop, grow and acquire knowledge. To quote the President, “Some thirty years ago, a dishevelled graduate Gitanas Nausėda used to spend here day after day. Here I prepared my thesis, communicated with friends and engaged in reading and discussions until the Library’s closing.” The President expressed his thanks to all the people working at the Library: “I wish good luck to all of you, to books and their custodians and to the Library itself!“

The Library’s faithful friend, the Chairman of the Supreme Council – the Reconstituent Seimas Vytautas Landsbergis not only reminded the audience of the everlasting wish of the people to communicate messages but also warned of dangers lurking at a library: “The library is a very dangerous entity. If you catch a reading virus there, you are likely to catch a writing virus, and never leave this place. Though it is glorious for a person to never cease reading. Vytautas Landsbergis wished for the Library to remain a hub of humanity and the venue for uniting people.

On behalf of the Committee of Education and Science and the Committee of Culture of the Seimas of the Republic of Lithuania, the Library community was welcomed by Dr. Eugenijus Jovaiša. In his greeting, the Prime Minister Saulius Skvernelis wished the Library all the best success.

The guests of the event had been offered a possibility to attend a sound performance delivered by stage professionals: the actor Andrius Bialobžeskis, the percussion group “Giunter Percussion”, the cellist Justas Kulikauskas, the jazz pianist Andrej Polevikov and young visitors to the Library as well as students from the Faculty of Arts and Creative Technologies at the Vilnius University of Applied Sciences. The impressive spectacle was created by means of projected visual compositions showed on a special openwork screen and by the synchronization of light and sound.

The celebratory afternoon ended with acknowledgements to all who work in the various Library’s spaces. “It is you who create the harmonious everyday rhythm at the Library, and your hearts emanate remarkable energy, which reaches every corner of this sanctuary of books. Let never stop the harmonious and joyful beating of the hearts of all of us!“

The recording of the event will be broadcast on the Lithuanian Television on 20 December.

The information partner of the commemoration of the National Library’s centenary is the Lithuanian National Radio and Television

Moments from the event: bit.ly/2OfZVqW