In this article, dedicated to the holiday date, it will also focus on libraries. But about the unusual libraries - the military. Yes, in the military stories there is a place for such a peace-loving phenomenon as a library. Moreover, in many respects it is from military libraries that the moral, cultural and educational education of servicemen and, accordingly, the formation in them of those qualities that an ordinary person with weapons turn into a defender of his country and its civilians.
Rulers and military leaders took large enough libraries with them to military campaigns during the times of antiquity and the Middle Ages. But the full development of military libraries as a special branch began in modern times. The most important reason for the emergence of mass military libraries was the complication of military affairs, requiring constant improvement of knowledge about armaments, tactics and strategy, and military history. No less important was the general increase in the level of culture and literacy of the nobility, and then the "third class". In Russia, the first military libraries are formed during military units from the XVII - XVIII centuries. After the creation of the General Staff in 1763, the archives of military literature were formed under it.
HE. Komarova, who defended her thesis on the organization of librarianship in military educational institutions, identifies at least five stages in the development of the national military library system in military colleges: the birth of the military library system in the XVII-XIX centuries; the formation of the Soviet military library system in the period between the 1917 revolution and the beginning of the Great Patriotic War; the development of military librarianship in the 1941-1945 war period; the existence of the Soviet military library system in the post-war period 1945-1991; the modern stage of existence of the military library system.
The idea of creating a scientific library for the Russian officers belongs to the emperor Alexander I himself and his associate Prince Peter Volkonsky, who after the French-Russian war 1805-1807. realized the need to improve the theoretical knowledge of military personnel, first of all - quartermaster officers. In 1811, permission was given to establish a library at the General Staff Building of the Russian army.
Following the creation of the central military library by the efforts of individual officers and enthusiasts, libraries were also being created at the time of military units. So, in 1816, the first officers' library appeared in the Separate Guards Corps. Officers' libraries appeared in the Semenov and Preobrazhensky regiments. For obvious reasons, only the officers used the libraries, therefore they were called “officers”. Moreover, a certain amount was calculated from the officers' annual salary, which was directed to the regular replenishment of libraries with new literature.
The soldiers, by virtue of not only a low status, but also mass illiteracy, had no relation to the libraries of the regiments and units at that time. In turn, for officers, the presence of libraries in the army was, in fact, a vital necessity. After all, most of the officer corps received an excellent education both at home and in military schools, and reading constantly and a lot was the rule for her.
By the second half of the 19th century, the development of a network of military libraries from the work of enthusiasts became official, the military budget allocated funds to replenish the collections of officers' libraries. In 1869, a Commission is being created on the organization of military libraries and military assemblies, the competence of which is to regulate issues related to the creation and management of the military library system. At the same time, the rules for replenishing funds, using literature, and withholding certain amounts from the officer's salary to replenish libraries are ordered. With 1874, official funding begins from the military budget of libraries in the army's land units. Of course, the funds allocated from the budget to support the activities of libraries have always remained scarce and the officers, willy-nilly, had to continue to donate money from their own pocket for the replenishment of funds.
It is worth saying a few words about military librarians of that time. Then it was not a separate specialty, but rather an honorable duty. The librarian of the regimental library was chosen for a period of two years, at the same time freeing him from afternoon classes in companies. As for professional tasks, they were similar to the duties of a modern librarian - checking funds, compiling bibliography lists for the library, controlling fees and fines.
As a result of the temporary pooling of the funds of several subunit libraries, prototypes of modern garrison libraries appear. The development of military-librarianship is also facilitated by the emergence of specialized military journals, which, on the one hand, regularly went to the libraries of subdivisions, and on the other hand, constantly published information about the state of librarianship in garrisons and subdivisions.
Begin to form the soldiers and sailors' libraries. The military command is aware of the important role in raising the fighting and morale of the troops, not only of the regimental clergy, but also of propaganda literature. In addition, the requirements for the knowledge and skills of military personnel are increasing, and consequently there is a need for their training with the help of special literature. By the year 1917 in the Russian army there were up to 600 libraries.
But the real flourishing of the military library system begins after the October Revolution. The Soviet government paid great attention not only to the military-scientific education of the officer corps, but also to the military and political training of the rank and file and junior command personnel, as a result of which the centralized formation of the library network in the army and naval divisions. Already in the 1920s, the number of military libraries fluctuated within a few thousand, being optimized in the early 1930s. at the level of 2000 library institutions.
According to the Great Soviet Encyclopedia, by the 1970 in the USSR there were three military library centers - the Military Department of the USSR State Library. IN AND. Lenin, Library of the Central House of the Soviet Army. Mv Frunze and the Central Naval Library. In addition to them, their own libraries existed at the district level - at the houses of district officers and fleets, at military schools, and also - in subdivisions. In total, more than 90 million pieces of literature were in use by the Soviet military libraries.
Of course, the Soviet military libraries were to a greater degree the instrument of the party-political education of the Soviet servicemen. In addition to special military literature, political and politicized literature prevailed, the task of which was to transform a military recruit into a devoted supporter of the Soviet government and the Communist Party over the years of military service. Naturally, the activity of military libraries was in the competence of the political departments of subunits and formations, at the macro level - in the competence of the Main Political Directorate of the Soviet Army and Navy.
The collapse of the Soviet Union and the crisis of the armed forces that followed in parallel with it, accompanied by their reduction and weakening, entailed negative consequences for the military library system. Depoliticization of the Armed Forces, undertaken after the country's abandonment of communist ideology, was expressed not only in the elimination of political departments and military-political schools, positions of deputy commanders for political work in the army and the navy, but also in weakening attention to cultural and educational work.
Cultural and educational work was seen as part of political work and, accordingly, fell into disgrace with the new government. For some time the military library system still existed by inertia, but decades of post-Soviet chaos did their job. Given the closeness of the Russian military system, information about the real situation with the military library system in the Russian Federation is fragmentary. Naturally, in the context of all the ups and downs that the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation had to experience in the post-Soviet period, the development of military library business leaves much to be desired.
Thus, according to the newspaper Izvestia, which published an article two years ago on the situation in the military library system, purchases of books for military libraries were stopped in 2010 year. The number of military libraries in subunits is also decreasing. It is understandable - the position of a military librarian has been transferred to the category of civil servants, which implies a negligible salary and the absence of numerous preferences assigned to military personnel.
Of course, no one wants to go to work in military structures with their strict schedule in the absence of a normal salary or, at least, compensating benefits. Those military libraries that still retain the same face are in many respects obliged to these directly to the commanders of the units and their deputies, who, on their own initiative, are looking for opportunities to replenish funds and keep libraries in working order.
On the other hand, the decline of the military library system is a reflection of the general decline of librarianship in modern Russia. Traditionally, the list of state priority spending needs of cultural institutions were in the last places, and libraries among them were the most "poor relatives", because, unlike the same museums or theaters, most of them are deprived of the opportunity to pay for their activities. Since libraries are free, revenue from visiting them is excluded, only minor payments for additional services remain, which cannot be considered as defining sources of funding.
The general cooling of interest of the Russian society to the printed literature also affects. The age of the Internet discourages many young people not only from using libraries, but also from reading printed books. Indeed, does it make sense to go to the library if the information of interest can be found on the Internet? It would seem that in the current situation, the state should ponder over the modernization of the library system, perhaps over a partial reorientation of library activities towards the provision of electronic library services.
In modern librarianship, according to the national library scientist S.A. Basova, in fact, faces two main paradigms - technocratic and humanistic. The first involves an emphasis on the information needs of the reader, improving service, that is, what is called, "keeps pace with the times." The second is more oriented towards understanding the library not as an information service, but as one of the components of the educational system. And if with regard to civil society, the development of the information and service component seems to be expedient - students, scientists, engineers, writers themselves can understand books and the task of a librarian in working with them mostly comes down only to consulting and technical assistance, then in relation to the army The situation looks completely different.
In the Armed Forces, a library is not an information service, but an element of education. Accordingly, the librarian is not the attendants, but one of the educators. It is quite possible that this understanding of the military librarian as a participant in the process of educating military personnel will help to take a fresh look at the specialty. It is possible that it can somewhat expand its responsibilities and, at the same time, increase the status of the military librarian.
It is impossible not to understand that the existence of "on the verge" kills the already lame cultural and educational work. It is known that the problems of moral and ethical education, education and culture in the modern Russian army, due to its predominantly worker-peasant character, are very acute. Therefore, the reduction of military libraries, inattention to the issues of their provision, social support of employees is an unforgivable oversight, if not outright harm.