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Shirak Marz Regional Library in Gyumri

Gyumri, situated in the north-west of Armenia, is a town of about 125.000 inhabitants

Gyumri is important for all kind of education in the northern part of Armenia. Schools in the town of Gyumri and in the region use the books of the central library.

In the year 1988 the city suffered major damage caused by an earthquake. The central library was damaged. Many books were lost by the earthquake and the leaking roofs after the earthquake.

René Beunk was in Gyumri as a volunteer in 1989 after this devastating earthquake and there he became acquainted to Gevorg Amiryan, the future magaging director of the library.

The French School, the English School and Gyumri University were all in urgent need of contemporary literature and modern teaching materials. English and French literature, in short supply as it was in the Shirak Marz Regional Library Gyumri in Northwest Armenia, has practically gone lost in the most recent big earthquake. At the request of these Armenian institutions, schools in The Netherlands and Germany have collected books and teaching materials. 15,000 books have been sent to Gyumri via the Alvan Tsarik Foundation. There was also much interest in these materials beyond the region of Gyumri.

Even from the capital city Yerevan people come to borrow books in Gyumri because they are not available in Yerevan.
See Lists of book in library for an overview of the books available.

Besides books we sent tables, chairs, a photocopier and a lot of computers to the library. They were donated by several schools and companies.

Another result of our efforts is the fact that the library got a new and more beautiful housing. The Ministry of Culture declared that the library should have a monumental building in the old town centre of Gyumri that was restored as part of urban renewal. Because of that at the same time the urge for new furnishes arose. To say it with some bitterness: the decreasing "reading culture" in the Netherlands with closing libraries in this case had a positive effect on the library in Gyumri. We were allowed to ship the furniture of a large library in Nijmegen and of the smaller libraries in the municipality of Montferland to Armenia.

The Dutch company Rabo Vastgoed (i.e. Property) donated a large amount of cupboards and tables. These appeared to show up well especially in the art department on the highest floor. The reading rooms in the library were furnished with "our" furniture for the greater part, in the course of which the different kinds of furniture were tuned to each other very well.

In October 2013 the new building was opened officially and it has become really beautiful!

Gevorg Amiryan, Gyumri, Armenia.

Gevorg Amiryan is director of the Shirak Marz Library, the regional library of the Shirak region, in Gyumri with 80 employees. Until 1992 he was cultural attaché of the town of Gyumri. Gevorg Amiryan is contactperson of the Alvan Tsarik Foundation in Gyumri.

This picture shows the "new" building of the library.

Click the first "photos" icon for an impression of the procedure of selecting, packing, unpacking and placing of "our" books.

Clicking the second "photos" icon shows the pride of Gevorg Amiryan (and ours, too) of the interior of the new library in Gyumri.