Distribution Center for Libraries

The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Distribution Center for Libraries


in the USSR, a specialized institution of the book trade whose functions include supplying libraries with literature and library equipment, processing books for libraries, and advising libraries on acquisitions.

Library distribution centers were established in 1920 by the decree of the Soviet of People’s Commissars On Centralizing Library Work in the RSFSR. The first network of library distribution centers, set up under Glavpolitprosvet (Central Committee of the Republic for Political Education), comprised the Central Library Distribution Center and local centers, which carried out centralized free distribution of literature among libraries according to allocation certificates. With the introduction of payment for printed works and the organization of the book trade in early 1921, most distribution centers gradually ceased to operate. Publishing houses, trade unions, and other organizations began to establish their own distribution centers. The resolution of the Central Committee of the RCP (Bolshevik) On Rural Libraries and Popular Literature for Libraries (1925) provided for the organization of wholesale bookstores to supply rural libraries with literature requiring payment.

The foundation for the development of a modern centralized network of distribution centers was laid by the resolution of the Central Committee of the ACP (Bolshevik) On Publishing (1931), which established a new procedure for book distribution through the Book Trade Association of State Publishing Houses (KOGIZ) set up under OGIZ (Association of State Publishing Houses). KOGIZ included a network of library distribution centers. The subsequent development of distribution centers occurred under the auspices of book trade agencies. Since 1964 the network of distribution centers has been supervised by Soiuzkniga, the All-Union Book Trade Association.

In 1972 there were 153 library distribution centers in the USSR. The basic type of distribution center was the oblast (krai, republic) center serving all local libraries, regardless of their type. In addition, there are distribution centers for technical, school, and children’s libraries, as well as the Central Distribution Center for Scientific Libraries (Moscow), which supplies scientific and special libraries with complete or incomplete sets of paid deposit copies. In 1971 the nation’s library distribution centers supplied books to more than 221,000 libraries; in that year alone, 150 million copies of books were distributed, worth 65 million rubles. In capitalist countries this kind of book trade enterprise does not exist.


Aizenberg, T. D. Bibliotechnyi kollektor. Moscow, 1956.
Grigor’ev, Iu. V. Sistema knigosnabzhenüa sovetskikh bibliotek. Moscow, 1956.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
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