Thursday, April 07, 2016

NLI groundbreaking ceremony

RENOVATION: Israel’s national library turns the page with an eye on community, technology (Judy Lash Balint/
The recent groundbreaking ceremony for the new building of the National Library of Israel (NLI), a major event in the history of Jerusalem, was a deeply personal moment for many of the most prominent participants.


The collections of the NLI are a repository of the cultural history of the Jewish people and encompass 5 million books, among them many rare and ancient volumes, including the original writings of Maimonides, Franz Kafka, Sigmund Freud, and Albert Einstein. By law, as any Israeli author will tell you, two copies of every book published in Israel—in any language—must be deposited at the NLI.

In 2007, the National Library Law was passed by the Israeli Knesset, followed in 2008-10 by a Master Plan for Library Renewal designed to efficiently move the library into the 21st century, as well as to preserve and open access to the cultural and intellectual treasures of the State of Israel and the Jewish people that are safeguarded in its collections.

But the new building, to be located between the Israel Museum and the Knesset, is “to be much more than a library,” asserted NLI Director Oren Weinberg.

Background on the renovation of the Israel National Library is here.