The State Scientific Library in Banská Bystrica is a continuer of the Municipal Public Library established in the Municipal House on March 20, 1926. Karol Kiszely, secondary school teacher and a curator of the Municipal Museum, was approved the first librarian. The original library collection included 200 Slovak and Czech books from the Ministry of Education and The National Cultural Centre in Prague. Later on, several organizations and private persons dedicated books to the library. In 1956, the collection consisted of 37 081 volumes.

In 1969, the library was constituted as a universal state research library for the region of Central Slovakia and it started functioning as a methodical, bibliographical and interlibrary loan centre of the region. It was characterized as a cultural, research and information organization of a public interest administered directly by the Ministry of Culture of the Slovak Republic.

At present, the library collection includes almost 2 million units, with majority of specialized and research documents of the Slovak and foreign origin. The State Scientific Library has made a significant progress in computerization of its processes and the building is barrier free. It serves mostly university and secondary school students and pedagogues. Specialized study rooms serve for study of library documents, they provide consultative, information and copy services.

There is a long tradition in cooperation of the ibrary with home and foreign institutions. It has active cooperation with central, research and university libraries in the Slovak Republic as well as with the Matej Bel University in Banská Bystrica, Industrial Property Office of the Slovak Republic and the Office of the Council of Europe. Partner agreements were signed among SSL and libraries in the Czech Republic, Poland and Hungary. There is a good cooperation with the Goethe Institute in Munich, Germany.

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