The brief history of the City Library of Győr
Year of foundation: 1898.
As consequence of the proposal of Ferenc Sefcsik, Chief Archivist, the archives and records were separated from the books in 1898. As many as 1500 books were stored in three rooms of the basement at the offices of the municipal government. This amount was continuously expanded. The experts of the national inspectorate many times criticized that only civil servants could have access to them, thus the situation changed in 1908: citizens were allowed to use the books. As many as eighteen readers had enough space in the reading room, and book use and lending were free. The opening hours were 8.00 am to 12.00 am and 2.00 pm to 5.00 pm daily, and "decently dressed citizens over 18 years of age" could visit it.
World War I turned everything upside down: public taste, human intellect, and beauty. The reading room was again opened to the public in 1924. The charge of book lending was 10 fillér per each book. The economical crisis of the 1930s did not indulge the citizens’ thirst for sciences and arts either. The fourteen libraries of the city cooperated during Dr. Ferenc Bay’s activity: the City Public Library of Győr became a public collection in 1936, a printed catalogue titled "Entertaining and Information Dissemination Literature" was published a year later, exhibitions were held, new books were displayed to the public eye, the so-called "printed delicacies" were presented at public shows, and a collection about the city of Győr was installed. And then the next World War started roaring! Library works faltered, a certain part of the civil servants rendered military service, the most precious pieces of the collection were delivered to the basement of the Carmelite order, and what was left at the offices of the municipal government, e.g.: books, equipment and furniture, finished disastrously. The library and the archives were separated in 1951, the Győr branch of the technological library assimilated into the city library, another library was connected to the city institution the following year, and thence the libraries unified this way were metamorphosed into a county library on 21 December 1952.
The year of recommencement, as a city public collection with four branch libraries, occurred in 1961. After twelve years, the City Library Centre had thirteen branch libraries, it was relocated to its new building at Hermann Ottó Street in 1981, and it was expanded with a Children’s Library in 1986 and with further club rooms and exhibition halls – for the benefit of the citizens and the future, if you like.