The Most Significant Events
The government approved the first Czechoslovak law on public libraries.
July 22, 1919
The municipal council decided to establish a municipal public library in Piešťany by annually allocating from its budget 60 hellers (cents) for each inhabitant and using the collected revenue to eventually commence construction. In less than six years of intensive preparation, they were able to collect 37,153 Czechoslovak crowns.
The Municipal Public Library was opened in Piešťany in the new building of the T. G. Masaryk State Municipal School (the present-day Pierre de Coubertin High School). The first library board was made up of members from the town council: Anton Fuksa, Félix Weinberger and Geyza Novotný. From archival records we have learned that, year after year, the library grew larger and larger and the number of readers dramatically increased – which is why it was forced to move several times to larger and more suitable premises...
The library was moved to the newly built Municipal Hall (the present-day Town Hall). In the 1930’s, library duties were carried out by one librarian, a teacher named Rudolf Gloss. Later he was given some assistance. Costs associated with the library‘s activities such as adding to its collection and paying staff were covered by the town.
It can be read in the Piešťany Town Chronicle...
Based on the law entering into effect on June 22, 1919 no. 430 Coll. and Act, the town of Piešťany, immediately after being taken over by the state, must ensure that a certain amount of funds are allocated for the public library so that it can purchase books of value and can fulfil its mission to the fullest extent. The first books were borrowed in the autumn of 1925. The administrators of the new state municipal school had set aside one room for library use. In 1925, there were 550 books and 225 readers. The number of volumes as well as the number of reader continuously rose. In 1926, there were 1,341 books, in 1927, there were 1,625 books, and in 1928, there were 2,040 books and 486 readers. In 1929 there were 2,397 books and 523 readers, in 1930 there were 3,094 books and 608 readers, in 1931 there were 3,359 books, and 460 readers, in 1932 there were 3,577 books and 432 readers. As of 1931 the number of readers began to level off and the number of borrowed books reached 20,317 which rose to 21,858 in 1932. Right from the beginning there were lists – acquisition, location, alphabetical order, and by author’s name. The list was published for the readers. Up until1932, the librarian duties were carried out by one qualified librarian, and since 1932 up until today there has also been one assistant. A designated area for adolescents was established in 1932, so that they could raise a new generation of readers. A reading room had also been established, though it did not have a large capacity. From the onset, all personnel and material expenses, which amounted to about 16,000 crowns annually, were covered by the town of Piešťany. As of 1929, the municipal library was located in the Municipal Hall, in the courtyard section on the first floor, which during construction of the building had been designated for just such a purpose. The librarian at the time was the teacher Rudolf Gloss.
The library was moved to the premises of the former Jewellery shop on Freedom Square.
The library was moved to the Spa Hall (Kursalon) under the name The People’s District Library.
It can be read in the Piešťany Town Chronicle...
The People’s District Library, located in the cafe of the former Kursalon in 1952, had 7,500 books. During this year, inappropriate books were discarded leaving the total at the end of the year at 5,500 books. The collection included fiction, non-fiction, educational books, as well as books for young people. The number of books borrowed annually was 19,500.
The library was moved to the former Slavia Hotel on Winter Street. The move to Winter Street was done in the spirit of making the library more professional by dividing the collection into fiction, educational, and foreign language literature. The latter came from the Winter family’s collection, which greatly enhanced the library’s collection. The overall professionalization of the record keeping and the fact that the library was thriving during the 1950’s was in great part due to the efforts of Jan Schneider, who was the librarian at the time.
Mária Miezgová became the Director of the People’s District Library.
It is recorded in the chronicle that after 1957, thanks to the new director, there was a spreading of awareness and educational programs along with library book club discussions and literary gatherings.
As a result of the new territorial division of Slovakia, Piešťany ceased to be the seat of the region, and so the name of the library was changed to the People’s Town Library.
A Children’s section was added to the library in the former St. Joseph Pharmacy.
Margita Knapová was appointed Director.
1982 - 1988
Construction of the library building on 19 Školská Street.
April 7, 1988
The ceremonial opening of the newly built library building on Školská Street, build according to the design by the architects Ing. Bohuslav Pernecký and Ing. Marianna Bogyová. The library was forced to abandon its more than modest space on Winter Street, which could no longer sufficiently meet the demands of the times and the ever-increasing number of readers, and so it moved to its new, professionally constructed and cultural repository, which had been built according to a very progressive and, at that time in Slovakia, quite unique project.
January 1, 1989
After the change of regimes and the recognition of the new state, the library was renamed the Town Library.
Ing. Margita Galová became the Director of the Town Library.
This year saw the opening of a playroom for healthy and disabled children, with access for the disabled.
1998 - 2003
Opening of the Internet Centre with public access.
The introduction of the automated lending system and accessing the on-line catalogue in the Section for Children and Youth
Opening of the Piešťany information centre, library centre
This year saw the opening of the computer lab for the disabled and socially disadvantaged, which was established as part of the Šanca bez bariér (A Chance Without Barriers). Patrons of the lab include the swimmer Committee Martina Moravcová and the Chairman of the Paralympics Ján Riapoš. The town of Piešťany acquired the lab as a result of winning the competition of Slovak towns and villages called Oskar bez bariér (Oscar Without Barriers). Since 2010, the computer lab has also served as an Internet centre.
The library changed its logo and design of promotional and informational material.
In today’s world not even a library can operate in a modern and up-to-date fashion without quality promotion. We are glad that we were successful in implementing the long-prepared plans related to changing the logo and the entire logotype of the library. A small, dynamic group of young people, students from the Department of Visual Communications at the University of Fine Arts in Bratislava, and future graphic designers came to Piešťany so that they could, as part of their own project “Design on Wheels”, work “for room and board” on a new appearance and image for the library. During these few August days, they created a new, modern and typographically interesting logo for the library, as well as an information system, in which the composition of the letters (font) refers to books stored on the shelves. They also developed an application for printing the logo on library business cards, letterhead, and promotional materials.
The long-term poor condition of the floor in the Section for Adult readers finally underwent renovation. The renovated shelves and circulation desk were placed in new locations. Thanks to the new floor and its interesting colour, this section of the library acquired a much more modern look as well making the interior airy and bright.
Relocating and upgrading the Internet Centre – thanks to a successful project through a grant scheme of the Slovak Republic‘s Ministry of Culture.
The library celebrated its 85th anniversary. The gift commemorating this landmark was the successful project “Regional Operational Programme Strengthening the Cultural Potential of the Region” – intervention in memorial and repository institutions. The result was the renovation of the library building, to be implemented the following year.
2011 - 2012
Extensive renovation of the library made possible by a grant from the European Union. Another positive outcome, in addition to a newly installed elevator, was that the library was also made barrier-free (wheelchair accessible).
In recent years, the Piešťany Town Library has developed into a modern, professionally equipped, community-based information and cultural institute, which provides services to a wide range of visitors and organizes numerous cultural-educational events of regional and national importance. Through various electronic databases as well as traditional informational material, visitors can find information from the fields of literature, culture, art, sports, science and technology as well as regional tourist information.
The Piešťany Town Library has positively entrenched itself in the consciousness of the wider public and has also built extensive partner contacts in not only the town and region but all over Slovakia as well. It is a partner library of the Office of the National Council of the Slovak Republic, a member library of the Association of Slovak Librarians, and the Slovak Library Association.