Library And Information Center


The Library: Concept, Purpose, And Function

The Library has always been the mediator between man and the book. The term “library” was originally used for private collections, although later it primarily referred to “closed access” (monastic or university) collections. In modern times, the role of the library is now multi-dimensional. In addition to constituting and storing collections of books and magazines, it is the guardian of intellectual production aimed at promoting and disseminating knowledge.

The modern university library is a knowledge management hub that not only provides access to book and journal collections, but also collects, manages, and disseminates information and knowledge. Technological evolution obliges libraries not to limit themselves to their traditional role, but to take advantage of new technologies, which emerge as essential pillars of knowledge, research, and teaching in the university context. After all, thanks to technological advances, services are developing, and now a significant part of the material is also in electronic form, while the number of resources that can only be accessed via the Internet is constantly growing.

The University Of Athens And Its Libraries

The University of Athens is the oldest higher education institution in the country. On April 14, 1837, with the decree “establishing the university”, the idea of establishing the first university in the Greek state, but also in the wider region of the Balkans and the eastern Mediterranean, was implemented.

In its original form, it was called the “Ottoman University” and consisted of just four faculties: philosophy, law, theology, and medicine. It was housed in a neoclassical building on the northeast side of the Acropolis, which was later renovated and serves today as the Museum of the University of Athens. In 1841, the departments of administrative and educational services were transferred to the central building on Panepistemi Street, which remains the headquarters of the institution. While work on rebuilding the Propylaea area was still ongoing, there was also interest in establishing a library and special collections needed for science education and student training. In 1862, with the removal of Otto, the name of the institution was changed to “National University”. In 1866, the university and public libraries merged to form the National Library, which operated on the upper floor of the university until 1903, when it was moved to the adjacent neoclassical building.

In 1932, the university was officially named the “National and Kapodistrian University of Athens”, in honor of the first ruler of Greece, Ioannis Kapodistrias. In the 21st century, EKPA is the largest academic institution in the country, with eight faculties and thirty-three departments, while its student population exceeds 40,000.

The EKPA Library And Information Center Aim To:

  • In developing and maintaining collections of books, scholarly journals, and any other information material,
  • When developing and maintaining collections of materials of archival or historical value,
  • In the provision of library user services to the academic community (members of the Faculty of Education, researchers, students, disabled people, and others),
  • By ensuring access to a wide range of electronic resources, such as journals, books, bibliographic bases, digital collections, and thematic portals, with the aim of facilitating teaching and research,
  • In the effective promotion and dissemination of cultural heritage.

It should also be noted that the University of Athens actively participates in the horizontal work of the Greek Academic Libraries (HealLink), which consists of all A.E.I. and T.E.I.E.L.D. The country aims at more efficient cooperation of institutions through electronic access to the information resources of academic libraries. After negotiations with the Ministry of Education and publishers, it was agreed that the magazines would be uniformly purchased by institutions participating in HealLink.


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