Tomasz Makowski


For a magazine to be a success, two conditions must be met. There must be a mature milieu that is ready to present their reflections regularly on the issues that are addressed in the periodical. There must also be a number of loyal readers, interested in the subject and trusting that the journal will provide the content they desire.

Conscious of the above prerequisites and hopeful that both are met, the National Library of Poland decided in 2013 to commence the annual publication of "Polish Libraries," through which we would like to introduce to the scientific and librarianship community abroad a discussion taking place in libraries and library science community in Poland.

In the annual preparation of each volume, we wish to include the work of representatives of the various groups of librarians, theoreticians and practitioners, librarians working in the different types of libraries (public, academic, school, pedagogical, prison, hospital, church and others), as well as librarians working in academic institutes of library science. We extend the invitation not only to Polish but to foreign authors as well, believing that the Polish experience could be of interest to representatives of other countries, not simply for the knowledge but also to be independently examined and compared with their own.

I am particularly pleased that the invitation to join the Advisory Board of “Polish Libraries” has been accepted by such  prominent theorists and practitioners of library science in Poland as its chairman, Prof. Elżbieta Barbara Zybert, Dean of the Faculty of History and Head of the Department of Library Science at the University of Warsaw; Prof. Jan Malicki, Director of the Silesian Library in Katowice and Head of the Department of the History of Medieval and Renaissance Literature at the University of Silesia; Prof. Zdzisław Pietrzyk, Director of the Jagiellonian Library and Professor at the Institute of Information and Library Science at the Jagiellonian University in Kraków; Teresa Szymorowska, Director of the Copernicus Library in Toruń; and Katarzyna Ślaska, the National Library of Poland’s Deputy Director in charge of international cooperation.

The first issue of "Polish Libraries " contains the most recent detailed study of readership in Poland, presented in two articles by Dr. Olga Dawidowicz - Chymkowską and Isabella Koryś . It is worth noting that the National Library has been conducting  these studies in two-year cycles since 1992, allowing us to view the changes in reading habits. Also presented are three different articles concerning the Middle Ages. Professor Krzysztof Ożóg discusses the formation of the Sankt Florian Psalter, the oldest fully-preserved text in the Polish language, viewed against the backdrop of the intellectual environment in Kraków, at that time the capital of the Kingdom of Poland. Dr. Anna Adamska also discusses psalters, and Michał Spandowski describes an  incunable from the National Library’s collections, which most likely belonged to Girolamo Savonarola. Bożena Sajna, in turn, presents two unique editions of dictionaries from the sixteenth century, while Dr. Tomasz Makowski discusses one of the most important private libraries during the period of Poland's lost statehood in the nineteenth century.

"Polish Libraries," a periodical to be published annually, refers back to a previous publication by the National Library of Poland, eight volumes of which appeared irregularly during the years 1991-2011 under the name Polish Libraries Today. It is my hope that the time has come to issue one volume each year.

Dr. Tomasz Makowski

Chairman of the National Council for Libraries and Director of the National Library of Poland

Editor in Chief