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Libraries in Poland


xanxibar 1 | 2
25 Jan 2011 #1
Can anyone tell me about libraries in Poland, please ? Can I expect to find free-to-user libraries, as in UK ? Or pay libraries, perhaps ?
SeanBM 35 | 5,808
25 Jan 2011 #2
I have only been to free libraries here in Poland but with a very limited section in English.
maried2bookworm
25 Jan 2011 #3
Yea They are free, same as uk, probably not many books in english though, maybee in bigger citys. unless of course you speak Polish, which will definately help trying to get a card.A few English books new in shops but very expensive as they arent subsidised/regulated here. Saw some in a second hand clothes shop, must get shipped over with the clothes Oxfam? sells in bulk, probably all babs cartland or cath cookson that couldnt be sold at car boots though. The British council has libarys too. cant remember if its free to join tho.
OP xanxibar 1 | 2
26 Jan 2011 #4
Thankyou, maried2bookworm, for your helpful reply. I'm learning Polish (also in Kraków from April) and seeking easy books in Polish. Your reply is much appreciated. Derek (xanxibar).
anastazja
26 Jan 2011 #5
If you want to read books in English look for British Council libraries. In £ódź we have one, I don't know about other cities.
smallfoot
28 Nov 2015 #6
Merged: Public or Private Libraries in Warsaw

Hi Everybody,

does any of you have or know of a listing of public or private libraries in Warsaw, especially the ones that open for long hours, even on weekends?
delphiandomine 88 | 18,475
28 Nov 2015 #7
buw.uw.edu.pl/en/index.php?option=com_content&task=blogcategory&id=18&Itemid=51 - the University of Warsaw's library is open until 21:00 during the week as well as until 19:00 on Saturday and 20:00 on Sunday.

SGH's library is also open for quite a while and also open on Saturday/Sunday - biblioteka.sgh.waw.pl/en/hours/Pages/default.aspx

And SGGW's library is also open on Saturdays - bg.sggw.pl/ang/godziny.html

All of them will let you join as a non-student.
DominicB - | 2,709
11 Dec 2016 #8
moved from

What if his university library has poor resources and not up to date?

I don't think you're clear on the idea of what a university library really is capable of, even a small university library in a poor country. The books on the shelves are only the tip of the iceberg.

I sponsored and supported a student while I was in Poland. Actually moved to Wrocław so that he would be able to stay with me. During his freshman orientation, he brushed off the library orientation course, much to my consternation. I made him sign up for the next session. He came back a changed man. He had no idea the sheer megatonnage that the (old, rinky-dink) Wrocław University library packed.

Compared to that, the internet, or, rather, those parts of it that you could access from home, is a cheap penny firecracker.
Paulina 10 | 1,722
11 Dec 2016 #9
I don't think you're clear on the idea of what a university library really is capable of, even a small university library in a poor country

Well, I don't know, Dominic, I myself was buying books on the internet both in Polish and English and I think I've stumbled upon one or two in second-hand bookshop in order to make my graduation work better and more interesting (since there wasn't much in the university library), so maybe I have some idea :P

And what if he's studying in one of those "business schools" in some small city (Wrocław isn't exactly some tiny sh1thole by Polish standards, btw :P)?

he brushed off the library orientation course

A library orientation course (I had one too lol) won't help you if there are no books that you need...
DominicB - | 2,709
11 Dec 2016 #10
if there are no books that you need...

Any university library can get you any book you need, or a facsimile thereof. The on-site holdings may be tiny, but basically any book or journal in the world is at your disposal. On top of that, they have access to the truly useful parts of the internet, something you can't access from a home account without paying a fortune. And you have an eager staff of expert reference librarians to help you. You should have paid attention during your orientation, because they undoubtedly explained these thing and much, much more in excruciating detail.
Paulina 10 | 1,722
11 Dec 2016 #11
basically any book or journal in the world is at your disposal

Dominic, what are you talking about? If that was the case there would be no need for bookstores because people would simply borrow books from libraries for free. In my case I needed also some newer books, so how on Earth would they get them for me for free?

You should have paid attention during your orientation, because they undoubtedly explained these thing and much, much more in excruciating detail.

I'm sorry, Dominic, but what's clearly "undoubtable" is that you haven't attended a library orientation course at my university, so how on Earth would you know that? :) You don't even know when I was studying and what was available back then.

And you have an eager staff of expert reference librarians to help you.

Yes, and the library staff everywhere is equally eager and expert :))

God, why am I wasting my time here again... lol *facepalm*
Sparks11 - | 335
11 Dec 2016 #12
I think someone just wanted to take a fresh look at the old and tired discussion of "Will the internet destroy libraries?" :)
DominicB - | 2,709
11 Dec 2016 #13
If that was the case there would be no need for bookstores because people would simply borrow books from libraries for free.

Of course you can borrow any book in print even from your municipal library. For free. How can you not know this? They certainly covered it during orientation.

In my case I needed also some newer books, so how on Earth would they get them for me for free?

Even the newest books are available though inter-library loan, often before they are available to the public. They covered that, too.

You don't even know when I was studying and what was available back then.

Everything was available to you back then, no matter how long ago that was or where it was. This was all explained to you.

the library staff everywhere is equally eager and expert

You never even bothered asking them, did you? I have never met an incompetent reference librarian. The ones I met in Poland were all extraordinary. There is a very special place reserved in Heaven for them.
DominicB - | 2,709
11 Dec 2016 #14
If that was the case there would be no need for bookstores because people would simply borrow books from libraries for free.

Of course you can borrow any book in print even from your municipal library. For free. How can you not know this? They certainly covered it during orientation.

In my case I needed also some newer books, so how on Earth would they get them for me for free?

Even the newest books are available though inter-library loan, often before they are available to the public. They covered that, too.

You don't even know when I was studying and what was available back then.

Everything was available to you back then, no matter how long ago that was or where it was. This was all explained to you.

the library staff everywhere is equally eager and expert

You never even bothered asking them, did you? I have never met an incompetent reference librarian. The ones I met in Poland were all extraordinary. There is a very special place reserved in Heaven for them.

I think someone just wanted to take a fresh look at the old and tired discussion of "Will the internet destroy libraries?"

Old and tired indeed. Once you know how to use a university library, you realize how meager and pathetic the internet is for serious research.
Paulina 10 | 1,722
11 Dec 2016 #15
Of course you can borrow any book in print even from your municipal library. For free. How can you not know this?

Oh no... So I was buying books all my life, while I could simply borrow them... And when I went to any municipal library and asked whether this or that book is available and I got an answer "No, I'm sorry, we only have this and that title of this author" or "No, we don't have books of this author, but the books of this one are on similar topic" - they all lied... They just didn't want me to lay my unworthy hands on those precious books stored away somewhere in the library dungeons... :P

How can you not know this?

Oh... I don't know... Because nobody told me? :P Please, do tell, how do I do that and what to do if they look at me as if an UFO has landed in front of them when I ask them about it? ;D

They certainly covered it during orientation.

Dominic, what they covered was how to physically search for books and other stuff in the library and told us how to "reserve" and borrow books through the university's library internet system.

They covered that, too.

Nope, they didn't!

Everything was available to you back then, no matter how long ago that was or where it was.

Sure, even during the stone age they had the internet ;))

This was all explained to you.

No, it wasn't. And now what? You will write that I was "undoubtably" blind and deaf? lol
Trust me, Dominic, I was a good student and a diligent one and I paid attention - after all I needed books for my graduation work - don't you think I would use any resources that I could get my hands on? All other students were doing the same as me if they couldn't get the books they needed so they somehow mysteriously didn't pay attention too? lol

And, anyway, I was interested in the topic I was writing about, obviously, so I don't regret buying those books - I still have them.

You never even bothered asking them, did you?

One would have to know what to ask about in the first place :)

I have never met an incompetent reference librarian. The ones I met in Poland were all extraordinary.

Well, if you say so, but the guy lives in Jordan so I'm not sure if that helps him in any way...

i dare you to go to your library and find a book that talks about the cost of stores and lands in my country Jordan and provide me with the rules and regulations about it from a book in a polish library.

Dominic, will you take up the challenge? :D And take photos of those books to prove that you borrowed them :P
DominicB - | 2,709
11 Dec 2016 #16
Oh no... So I was buying books all my life, while I could simply borrow them

Of course you can simply borrow them. Are you that clueless?

And any library can get you just about any book in the world through interlibrary loan. You just didn't know enough to ask.

You're imagining a serious library as some kind of on-site collection of physical books. It isn't. Not even close. That's not even the tip of the tip of the iceberg. A library is a extremely sophisticated set of extremely effective tools for accessing information from reliable sources from anywhere in the world.

That you failed to realize this was a major failure on your part. You were certainly told, but chose not to listen because, like many undergraduate smarkacz's, you though you knew better and didn't have anything to learn.

Had you paid attention, your studies would have been a lot more productive and a lot more fun. And a lot cheaper, too, because you wouldn't have had to spend money on books that you could easily have read for free.

Dominic, will you take up the challenge?

It's comically trivial to anyone who know how to use a university library. Not even worthy of being called a "challenge".
Paulina 10 | 1,722
11 Dec 2016 #17
Of course you can simply borrow them.

So why do librarians say that they don't have this or that book (not that it was borrowed by someone else, but that they simply don't have it)?

Of course you can simply borrow them. Are you that clueless?

Yes, imagine that I am :) So, please, explain. Maybe there will be a very special place reserved in Heaven for you too :))
If a librarian says "We don't have this book in our library" - what do I do??

And any library can get you just about any book in the world through interlibrary loan.

From what I know such books are only available in the reading room of the library and that wouldn't be an option for me anyway. I had no time to go to the library every time I had some time to write my graduation work. I needed something that I could physically borrow to home or simply buy. So buying books was far more convenient, fun and definitely more productive option for me.

Had you paid attention, your studies would have been a lot more productive and a lot more fun

I did well enough, thank you very much :))

And a lot cheaper, too, because you wouldn't have had to spend money on books that you could easily have read for free.

Well, apparently you have to cover the cost of sending the book. But as I wrote - I don't regret buying those books, I kept them after I finished my studies.

you though you knew better and didn't have anything to learn.

You know what, Dominic, you don't know me and you have no idea what you're talking about.

It's comically trivial to anyone who know how to use a university library. Not even worthy of being called a "challenge".

Well, do it then :) Maybe borrow them written in Arabic or sth so it would be more interesting or "challenging" or whatever, I don't know ;)
DominicB - | 2,709
11 Dec 2016 #18
If a librarian says "We don't have this book in our library" - what do I do??

Very simple. You ask them to order it for you from another library. It's called interlibrary loan, and it's free.

From what I know such books are only available in the reading room of the library and that wouldn't be an option for me anyway.

You know wrong. The only books you can't take home with you are rare manuscripts and archival copies, and books put on reserve by professors so that they are available for the whole class to use. In other words, things that are pretty much irreplaceable. For the first, facsimiles are often available. For the second, you can copy them or have them copied. Most of them exist in scanned or microfilm form. For the third, you get off your duff and go to the library. Or buy it yourself at considerable expense, if it's available on the market at all.

apparently you have to cover the cost of sending the book.

Not at any library I heard of. Certainly not in Poland. I ordered hundreds of books that way during my stay in Poland.

So buying books was far more convenient, fun and definitely more productive option for me.

If you had the cash to burn, good for you. For most students, that's a prodigious, or even prohibitive, outlay for mere convenience's sake.

you don't know me and you have no idea what you're talking about.

I've been in academia long enough to recognize your story when I hear it. I've heard it countless times before. And get you eyes checked. Even after my patient explanation above, you are still thinking of a library as "books". It's a lot more than that, more than you can imagine.
Paulina 10 | 1,722
11 Dec 2016 #19
You ask them to order it for you from another library. It's called interlibrary loan, and it's free.

But will they allow me to take it home?

You know wrong. The only books you can't take home with you are rare manuscripts and archival copies, and books put on reserve by professors so that they are available for the whole class to use.

Maybe it depends on the library in question?
Here you have this for example:

biblrac.pl/pl/site/index/2-abc-czytelnika/118-uslugi/155-wypozyczenia-miedzybiblioteczne.html

"The materials brought from other libraries can be used only in the library's reading room for a certain period of time as specified by a library that loaned the material. The cost of bringing the library materials from other libraries is covered by the reader according to postal fees."

Not at any library I heard of. Certainly not in Poland. I ordered hundreds of books that way during my stay in Poland.

Maybe you ordered books from Polish libraries?
Here you have fees for bringing books from abroad in National Library:

bn.org.pl/programy-i-uslugi/wypozyczenia-miedzybiblioteczne/oplaty-za-sprowadzenie-materialow-bibliotecznych-z-zagranicy

That's expensive. It cost me less to buy the books I mentioned in an online store and I could keep them for life...

It's a bit cheaper in the Jagiellonian University:

bj.uj.edu.pl/wypozyczalnia-miedzybiblioteczna

It's "even" cheaper in Wrocław University, but, still... 50 zł?:

bu.uni.wroc.pl/o-bibliotece/wirtualny-przewodnik-uzytkownika-cenniki#miedzybiblioteczna

I could buy a book for 50 zł... And I could use it at home whenever I wanted, for as long as I wanted and keep it forever.

For most students, that's a prodigious, or even prohibitive, outlay for mere convenience's sake.

Well, imagine a Polish student would need a book from abroad - he or she would have to pay sth around 50 zł, apparently.

Even after my patient explanation above,

Sorry, Dominic, but it wasn't a "patient" explanation - you behaved like an unpleasant as$hole.

you are still thinking of a library as "books".

No, I'm not. I know you can find more in a library than just books. But that's not what we're discussing right now.
Paulina 10 | 1,722
11 Dec 2016 #20
Another links:

biblioteka.stalowawola.pl/index.php/wypoyczenia-midzybiblioteczne

"Materials brought from other libraries can be made available only in the Main Reading Room of Municipal Library in Stalowa Wola for the period of 3 weeks"

lib.tu.kielce.pl/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=18:regulamin-wypozyczalni-miedzybibl&catid=5:miedzybiblioteczna&Itemid=18

"9. The materials brought from other libraries are being made available on spot in the Main Library"

If I googled some more I'd probably find more of this.

Do you still want me to get my eyes checked, DominicB?


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