Local Library Visit by Bus 3: Municipal Library of Piraeus, Hellenic Maritime Museum Library and Aikaterini Laskaridi Foundation – Historical Library
Municipal Library of Piraeus
Type of library: public (municipal)
Postal address: 22, Eleftherios Venizelos Str., 185 31 Piraeus, Greece
Distance from Congress venue: 12.0 km
Meeting point: Sygrou Fix Metro Station
Optimal route: by bus
A volunteer will be waiting for you at the proposed meeting point.
The Municipal Library of Pireaus was founded on January 30, 1927, on the mayoral of Takis Panagiotopoulos. It was originally housed in the Municipal Theater but in 1975 the lending department and the reading room were transferred to the 5th floor of the Town Hall. In 2004, it was relocated at its own building at the intersection of E. Venizelou and Kolokotroni streets.
The library’s online catalogue, where users can search among 100,000 records, is accessible via the Municipality’s portal. The Library’s collection is enriched by an archival collection of palettes (16th-19th century), manuscripts, 600 maps, magazines, Governmental Newspapers (1833 – 2002). Every summer (June to July) the library collaborates with the National Library of Greece to create reading and creativity programs especially designed for children. In addition, the Library has partnered with the University of Piraeus to offer Information and Communication Skills courses to undergraduate students. In addition, creative writing and computer skills seminars are offered to Piraeus’ habitants. The library also participates in domestic and European forums on culture and philology.
Hellenic Maritime Museum Library
Type of library: special
Postal address: Akti Themistokleous, Freattis, 185 37 Piraeus, Greece
Distance from Congress venue: 11.0 km
The Hellenic Maritime Museum Library is a special library founded in 1949. The library’s aim is to contribute towards the provision of information regarding seamanship, Hellenic history and traditions and, in general, world shipping.
Aikaterini Laskaridi Foundation – Historical Library
Type of library: private
Postal address: 2nd Merarhias and Akti Moutsopoulou, 185 35 Piraeus, Greece
Distance from Congress venue: 15.0 km
The history of the Library began in December 1993, when Konstantinos Laskaridis founded the Kaiti Laskaridou Library in memory of his late wife. The Library was, at that time, located in a building of YWCA, Neo Phaliro Chapter, of which Kaiti Laskaridou had been a founding member.
The initial collection included 3,000 titles, most of which were donated by its founder. It operated as a lending library, while at the same time organizing various functions, seminars, educational programs–including the Creative Saturday Mornings program–and also started running the Short Story Contest.
During the Neo Phaliro period, the Library opened its doors and advertised its work to the public. Its growth and the positive reactions of the public led Panos and Marilena Laskaridis to the decision to relocate the Library to a new building in Piraeus, where Kaiti Laskaridou had been born.
In 2006 the Library relocated to the neoclassical building on 169, Praxitelous & Mpoumpoulinas Street. The growing library collection and the increase in all related activities, led to the acquisition, in 2008, of the neoclassical building on 36, 2nd Merarchias Street (formerly the French Institute of Piraeus). In 2013 the Lending library was relocated again, this time to a modern building on 173, Kountouriotou Street.
Today the Library is in full bloom. It has been divided into the Lending and the Historical Library.
The Lending Libary includes some 30.000 books covering every important subject of knowledge. Emphasis is placed on the literature section, containing both classic and modern, as well as Greek and foreign literature. It also has journals and periodicals, audiovisual material and reference books. Moreover, the library boasts a very rich and diverse Children and Youth section, with books for preschoolers and young children, and of course middle grade and young adult literature. In addition, the Library has developed a foreign-languages (non-greek) section. The Lending Library offers to the public several comfortable rooms for reading, conferencing, using computers and organizing activities. Free wi-fi network and online access to the Library catalog is available for all members.
A distinct and very important section is the Maritime collection. It includes material covering the subjects of maritime history, maritime professions, maritime technology and ship-building, as well as those of fishing and lighthouses.
The book collections are continuously enriched through donations of members and friends of the Library, as well as with purchases of both modern and earlier editions. Thus, the public can access not only old and rare books, but also recent publications, exhibited in a special stand at the Lending Library reception.
The Historical Library, including some 300.000 titles, follows, in chronological order and in each field of science and knowledge, the achievements of Greek civilization, letters, science and the arts, from prehistory, classical and Hellenistic period, the years of Byzantine culture and of Ottoman Domination, the Greek Revolution up to today.
The Historical Library comprises individual book collections previously owned by important personalities of arts and letters. The main corpus of the Historical Library is housed in the 2nd Merarchias building. These collections maintain their thematic unity according to each collector’s interests, with the rationale that this is also what interests visitors and scholars.
From the librarian’s point of view, the organization of the Historical Library aims to display and promote the main body of each named collection, while all other relevant material of each collection is accessible in another library building close by, preserving the integrity of each library.
The Historical Collections are listed independently and made available through Internet. The Foundation’s rich educational programs, in conjunction with other events and lectures relative to Greek civilization turn the Historical Library into an ideal venue for learning. Irrefutable evidence are the books contained within.