How digital technologies helps improve the work of Moscow libraries

May 31

There are more than 400 city libraries in Moscow. In a short span of time, reading rooms with shelves, paper cards and card catalogues turned into comfortable, modern-equipped spaces with free Wi-Fi access.

Today, you can not only read books here, but also work, study, attend master classes, lectures and film representations. But the reboot of the capital's reading rooms is not limited to this. In honor of the All-Russian Library Day, which is celebrated annually on May 27, we talk about how in less than three years digital technologies have improved the work of Moscow reading rooms and what new opportunities they have provided to citizens.

At the end of 2018, the implementation of the unified automated library Information system (UALIS) began. Thanks to it, it became easier for residents to use book stocks, and for librarians to serve visitors.

"Modern libraries are changing according to the demands of the time. It is important that reading rooms retain their relevance, remain a comfortable space for everyone, and digital technologies help us in this. The paper library card, which had to be issued in every library, was replaced by a plastic card. It allows you to take out books in any city reading room. More than 511 thousand unified library cards have already been issued to residents of the capital. This year alone, they received over 4.3 million publications. The portal also has a new service, thanks to which readers can find and book a book on-line in the nearest convenient reading room. This has become a new stage in the development of library services, " was said in the press service of the Moscow Department of Information Technologies.

The Unified Automated Library Information System (UALIS) is a joint project of two metropolitan departments: the Department of Information Technology and the Department of Culture. First, the libraries of the Northern and Zelenograd districts of the capital were connected to the UALIS, and at the end of 2020, it united all the city's reading rooms into a single network.

Get information about all publications

The unified automated library information system made it possible to automate the work of the capital's reading rooms. It contains information about the publications that are available in the city's book stocks. Today, the system's stock includes more than 13.4 million library publications:scientific, professional, fiction, newspapers and magazines.

In order to create an electronic catalog, the staff of the capital's libraries has done a great job. On each book, they placed a barcode that contains the bibliographic data of the publication. In addition, the employee can use it to find out which reading room the publication belongs to, as well as track the availability of books in a particular library. Such marking also made it possible to significantly speed up the service of readers: the books with a barcode lending out by library card takes less than one minute.

Also, RFID marks are applied to library books - miniature radio frequency identification labels with a microchip. The label is used as the publication ID. It helps to simplify the work of librarians and eliminates errors of accepting and lending out books. In addition, thanks to the marks, readers can independently take literature at self-service stations installed in the library halls. To do this, just select the desired publication in the reading room, go to the automatic book distribution station and scan your unified library card for identification. After that, it is also necessary to scan the publication: the station reads the RFID mark and writes the book to the owner of a unified library card.

Formalize and use a unified library card

Thanks to the implementation of a unified automated library information system, it became possible to create a unified library card (ULC). It began to be issued in September 2018 in libraries under the jurisdiction of the Moscow Department of Culture. If earlier, in order to take books in different libraries, users had to be registered in each of them separately, now you can get books in any city libraries using the unified library card.

The ULC is issued free of charge and for an unlimited period of time. It is a plastic card that contains a barcode and a unique 13-digit number. When reading the barcode, the librarian sees information about the user, as well as the books that are registered in his name.

Muscovites can get a unified library card in any city library. To do this, you must present your passport. A card can also be issued for a child: to do this, the parent (or official representative) should come to the reading room with a passport, as well as a child's birth certificate or other document confirming the relationship. By the way, as a unified library card, dwellers can use the social card of Muscovite. It should be presented together with the ULC to the library employee. The card of a Muscovite will be linked by barcode to the reader's profile in the automated library information system.

Photo by Maxim Denisov,

Book books online

Since April of this year, citizens have had the possibility to book library books online on the portal For this, the Moscow Libraries service was developed. It is connected to the UALIS and unites the book stocks of all city libraries. With the help of this resource, readers can find and book the necessary publication in the library from home, extend the period of using the book, and get acquainted with the selection of literature on various topics. The service displays on an interactive map all the reading rooms where the desired book is available. Since the beginning of the work, Muscovites have booked more than 3.2 thousand books with the help of the service.

To use the service, residents will need a standard or full account on It is also necessary to have a unified library card. To find and book a book using the service, open the Services section on and select the Culture, Sports and Recreation category, and then the Moscow Libraries tab. Book search and booking service. You can search for publications by name, author, publisher, and other parameters. The service will display on an interactive map all the libraries in which they are available, indicating the address, phone number and opening hours of the reading rooms, as well as the number of books available for online booking. After selecting the library, you need to enter the recipient's data - the number of a library card, and then click on the Book button.

Information about books booked or orders that are in the process of registration is displayed in the reader's account. It also displays a notification that the publication is ready to be lent out in the library (it should be taken within three days).

To learn more about the possibilities of the capital's libraries, to choose a convenient reading room on the map, to get acquainted with the event poster, please visit the Bibliogorod portal.

The All-Russian Library Day was established in 1995. The date of the holiday - May 27 - was not chosen by chance. It was dedicated to the day of the first state public library in Russia - the Imperial Public Library in St. Petersburg (today, the Russian National Library) foundation in 1795.


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