The Library of the University of £ód¼ was one of the first scientific libraries to be opened in postwar Poland founded by the Organizational Committee of the University of £ód¼. At first the Library was located in what was once a factory building, later it occupied a few rooms on the premises of a secondary school. In 1955-1960 a new purpose designed library building was erected. The author of the architectural design was Edmund Orlik. At first books were collected from abandoned book collection from the territory of £ód¼ and its surroundings. Since 1946 The University Library has been receiving a deposit copy of all publications printed in Poland and till now this has been the main source of the Library's publication supplies. The book collection has been enlarged systematically through purchases made in Poland and abroad. The Library collection is also enriched by gifts from both private donors and institutions.
An additional source of supplementing the collection is an exchange of books among different libraries in Poland and abroad. From the very beginning the policy of enlarging the collection has been adjusted to the needs of the University and is mostly focused on such study areas as: humanities, economics, social sciences, mathematics and natural sciences.
The Library of the University of £ód¼ is the largest public scientific library in £ód¼. It fulfils three main functions: acquisition, arrangement (organization of the collection) and circulation. The library also conducts research and didactic studies.
The main part of the book collection is situated in Library store-rooms. The remaining books and journals are placed in the reference sections: the Main Reading Room and Study Rooms. Apart from the Main University Library there are 106 branch libraries and their collections are adjusted to the different scientific and didactic activities of the institutions. Together with these subsidiary libraries, the collections at the Library of the £ód¼ University amount to about two and half million volumes and the number of registered library card holders is now over 20.000. Access to the collection is much easier due to broad computerization of data. Computer equipment and the HORIZON computer system for processing library data were purchased in 1997 thanks to the Melon Foundation. Since the nineties the Library has possessed data bases on CD-ROM, access to the Internet, and has been creating a data base of its own.
Due to a study growth of the number of volumes in the collection and growing numbers of library users, the University Library is enlarging the existing building - new premises have been rebuilt for the alphabet catalogue and the boiler-room has been rebuilt to fulfill the function of a store-room.
In October 2006 the new building of the Library of the University of £ód¼ was opened for readers.
The Information Section (0 level) - you can get some information about the whole Library, its collections, the on-line catalogue's usage rules and on-line databases with full-text journals. Here you can receive different guides, that make using the Library holdings easier.
There is On-Line Catalogue (0 level) that contains records of books published after 1996 and also Polish journals published after 2000. This catalogue allows to search by author, title, subject, keyword or classification number.
The Lending Department - readers may receive an electronic card (17 z³) or a valid library card here. It is a necessary condition to use the Library collections.
Textbook Collection "W" (0 level) - lends handbooks, reading list items to the students of the University of £ód¼. Other readers can use them only within the Library.
The Scientific Information Department (1 floor) - one can use the reference collection: encyclopedias, dictionaries and lexicons.
Open Access Area - all users have free access to books located in open stacks. It means that one may take a book from the shelf by oneself. The holdings are divided by subject, according to the Library of Congress Classification schedule (KBK). The collections from open stacks marked with a red spine, may be used within the Library public area. The items marked with blue spine may be borrowed and carried outside the Library area.
The Main Reading Room (2 floor) - one can use the reference collection and books and periodicals from the past years from the Closed Stacks, but not from Open Stacks.
There are also: American Corner, Digital-Center and Microfilm-Center, Inter Library Lending Department (2 floor).
The items marked by CIM. and REZ. (2 floor)
In the old part of building are: The Card Catalogues : Alphabetical, Periodicals' and Subject (0 level), The Bibliological Reading Room (1 floor), The Current Periodical Department (2 floor), The Special Collections and The Reprographic Room.