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Vilnius Jewish Public Library opens today

BC, Vilnius, 16.12.2011.Print version
On Friday, 16 December 2011, the new Vilnius Jewish Public Library, located at Gedimino prospectus 24, in Vilnius, Lithuania, will be opened officially.

At 12:00 pm o’clock (noontime), there will be a Press conference (at Gedimino prospectus 24, 2nd floor; Vilnius Jewish Public Library).


At 2:00 pm o’clock (14:00 hours), there will be a program of presentation of the new  Vilnius Jewish Public Library to the guests from Lithuania and from the world (at Gedimino prospectus 24, 2nd floor, Vilnius Jewish Public Library).  Guests are from:  the USA, Israel, European Parliament, Seimas (parliament) of the Republic of Lithuania, Government of the Republic of Lithuania, Lithuanian Ministry of Culture, Lithuanian Ministry of Foreign Affairs; et als.  Admission is by invitation.


On Saturday, 17 December 2011, from 11:00 to 17:00 (5 pm), the Vilnius Jewish Public Library will officially open its doors to the general public.  This Opening Day, for the general public, will provide an opportunity to view the premises, the collection of books and photographs, the exhibits, and a presentation of a slide-show giving a retrospective of the establishment of the library.  Visitors will be greeted and will have the opportunity to speak with the initiators of this library.


The impetus for the library was from a private collector, humanitarian, and visitor from the USA -- Mr. Wyman Brent.  His initiative was to bring to Vilnius, and thereby to pass to Lithuania, a collection containing more than 5,000 valuable books.  The collection consists of books by Jewish authors, as well as books on Judaism by non-Jewish authors.


The book collector Mr. Brent first came to Vilnius in 1994, and he states that he fell in love permanently with Vilnius.  Over the course of several years, he become interested in Jewish culture, history, and heritage, and came to follow the path towards his dream -- to establish a Jewish Library in Vilnius.


Wyman Brent is convinced that as soon as the library officially opens its doors, then the love of Litvaks (i.e., Lithuanian Jews) and their longing for their old motherland of Lithuania will encourage a continuous flow of literary, artistic, and informational valuables to The Northern Jerusalem, as Vilnius was once called.  Moreover, the library will urge many peoples to visit Lithuania in attempts to rebuild devastated human and cultural treasures, and to re-establish internal and international bridges.


Activities of the Vilnius Jewish Public Library will provide an encouragement to revive the traditions of Jewish book culture and community libraries, will create a public space to encourage knowledge of the capital’s cultural diversity and history, and will become a cultural center with a variety of continuing exhibitions, events, meetings, and concerts.


Vilnius Jewish Public Library is founded as a structural sub-division of the Vilnius County Adomas Mickevicius Public Library.

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