AI Repository Project
WSIS Prizes Contest 2019 Nominee

United libraries portal - free knowledge for all


Books are a source of knowledge and wisdom. Libraries provide free access to books, knowledge and experience of generations. However, commercial market and its advertising industry moved library work to the back. People start to find alternative sources of information, digital inequality and social exclusion of certain groups of the population aggravate.
A rapid decline in library attendance, low demand for library services among the population, and their inconsistency with the modern needs of society is a problem everywhere. Libraries suffer from informational fragmentation, poor resource sharing. Aging of middle-aged staff and readers becomes a trend. The capacity of libraries to participate in the information support of education and production is reduced.

St. Petersburg responded to this by launching a project aimed to provide a qualitatively new level of civil service, increasing the demand, availability and comfort of the libraries services. 198 city public libraries united into a single digital space with a single library card and new forms of services through the portal: reading online, searching through a single directory with viewing information about the publications availability, online ordering and reservation and delivery services automation, online consultations, electronic form, event poster.

Library services demand among the population significantly increased due to the project. The involvement of the younger generation (the proportion of the age group 18-34 years - 47%). The continuous increase in the number of remote calls to the Portal (up to 9 thousand per day). The multiple increase in the services orders (up to 10 times in 2018) and the reduction of failures. Single demanded book fund of the city. Saving financial citizens costs to purchase expensive literature. Improving of the budget spending efficiency for the literature purchase, due to the equal distribution of funds between the city libraries.

Project website

Action lines related to this project
  • AL C3. Access to information and knowledge 2019
Sustainable development goals related to this project
  • Goal 4: Quality education

  • Russian Federation



Start date


End date


Target beneficiary group(s)
  • Youth
  • Older persons
  • Women
  • Indigenous and nomadic peoples
  • People with disabilities
  • The unemployed
  • The poor
  • Migrants
  • Refugees and internally displaced people
  • Remote and rural communities


The project can be replicated in any country and city. It is necessary to have/to build a stable network connection between the libraries, a well-equiped technical infrastructure. Also the project requires to organize a good community of the libraries to maintain shared resources.
The system development is based on the world standards with the use of open-source software. It can be integrated – partly or completely – in any region of the country and the world.
Our organization is always open for cooperation, we are eager to share our experience and practices, participate in the profile conferences, organize seminars and discussions with regional representatives.


Project sustainability is confirmed by the statistic of usage, 2 years of stable work and positive results of the surveys among the system users.

WSIS values promotion

The project promotes WSIS values by providing and promoting wide access to developed digital services for citizens via the Internet. The developed system introduction has expanded the number of possibilities and provided new range of options for different social groups and communities, including: • new work places in the field of library digitalization, in particular for disabled people; • fast and easy remote access to the books and services; • opportunity to obtain necessary information and other documents for citizens both living in Russia and foreigners – without substantial time costs; • opportunity to participate in crowdsourcing projects; • efficient work instruments for research community.

Entity name

St. Petersburg State Unitary Enterprise "St. Petersburg Information and Analytical Centre" (IAC)

Entity country—type

Russian Federation Government

Entity website


Central City Public Library V. Mayakovsky; Committee on Culture of St. Petersburg; Committee on IT and Communications of St. Petersburg;