The Tasks Of The Public Library In Petrograd

Written by Lenin in November, 1917, on the need to improve public education in Petrograd.

It takes knowledge to participate in the revolution with intelligence, purpose and success.

Because tsarism had played havoc with public education over a period of many years, the library service in Petrograd is in a very bad state.

The following changes, based on principles long practised in the free countries of the West, especially Switzerland and the United States, must be made immediately and unconditionally:

(1) The public library (the former Imperial Library) must immediately start an exchange of books with all public and state libraries in Petrograd and the provinces and with foreign libraries (in Finland, Sweden, etc.).

(2) The forwarding of books from one library to another must be made post-free by law.

(3) The library’s reading-room must be open, as is the practice with private libraries and reading-rooms for the rich in civilised countries,

from 8.00 a.m. to 11.00 p.m. daily, not excluding Sundays and holidays.

(4) The required personnel must be immediately transferred to the Public Library from the various offices of the Ministry of Education (with more women, in view of the military demand for men), where nine-tenths of the staff are engaged not merely in useless, but in downright harmful work.


Source: Marxist Internet Archive.