The Central Public Library of Mytilene: 100 years in the making, now available online

07/09/2017 - 13:00

The Catalogue of the Central Public Library of Mytilene is now available online, through the openABEKT service. You can access it here.  

Mytilene’s Central Public Library is very active and community orientated. It collects, preserves, displays and makes accessible documents of unique value, mainly related to the Island of Lesvos and the opposite Aeolian lands until 1922. Since the 1970s, it has a Mobile Library. It offers free computers and internet access to all residents and visitors of Lesvos, as well as computers for people with special needs.  It has nearly 10.000 members, a very active social media community and lends out approximately 1.500 books per month.

Now, with its Catalogue available online through openABEKT, the Library intends to fully utilize the possibilities that openABEKT offers for new improved online services to the local communities, being true to their mission, one of which is “to support users in learning to use new technologies”. Their catalogue has about 110.000 items, which will gradually be inserted into the new openABEKT platform.

The Library’s story is rather fascinating: it was first created in 1952, after years of efforts by the island’s growing merchant class, which, in the beginning of the 20th century were travelling, studying abroad and wanting to bring home all the public services they observed during their travels in Europe. In 1929 they set up a society called “The Bibliophiles’ Association”, whose sole purpose was lobbying and establishing a Public Library. They funded it themselves, offering affordable weekly lectures to the island’s cultivated people. The first collections of the Library were Newspapers & Magazines, Manuscripts and a Student aid collection. Local heritage was of big interest to the Library founders, so they decided to collect folk uniforms of the area and material about the history of each region, which formed a special collection with the title "Asia Minor Library". The island’s rich merchant families donated their own book collections and soon, the Library had an impressive collection. If you want to find out more stories about this amazing island and its merchant class 100 years ago, why not browse our “ERGANI” repository, which holds the Historical Archive of the Aegean?


openABEKT was developed through the project "A Platform for the Deposit, Management and Delivery of Open Metadata and Digital Content" which was implemented by the National Documentation Centre within the Operational Programme "Digital Convergence" (NSFR), co-funded by Greece and the European Union-European Regional Development Fund.
Within the framework of this project, EKT developed new services offered in a
SaaS (Software as a Service) model. SaaS offers economies of scale, as it frees users from expenditure associated with infrastructure and maintenance, since storage, maintenance and backups happen exclusively online, through EKT’s Cloud infrastructure.