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General Reading Room Regulations

  1. In order to implement the rights and obligations of the users of the National Library of the Czech Republic (hereinafter referred to as the “National Library”) set forth in the Library Rules of the National Library (hereinafter referred to as the “Library Rules”) when using the General Reading Room (hereinafter referred to as the “Reading Room”), the following General Reading Room Regulations (hereinafter referred to as the “Regulations”) are issued. In cases not covered by these Regulations, the Library Rules shall apply.
  2. The user is obliged to follow the Library Rules and to respect the instructions set out in the Regulations or communicated by the National Library staff regarding the situation in question.
  3. The user is obliged to behave respectfully towards other users and the staff of the National Library, in particular, they must not threaten, harass others or restrict their use of the services provided by the National Library. In the event of a violation of these Regulations, the staff is entitled to expel the user from the premises.
  4. Voice communication via mobile phones and other brought-in devices is prohibited in the Reading Room. The use of loudspeakers and sound signalling is not allowed.
  5. Bringing food and beverages into the Reading Room is not allowed, and consumption of food and beverages in the Reading Room is prohibited. The user may store them in a locker in the ante-room of the General Reading Room during one operating day (see Section 18 of these Regulations).
  6. The user may use only one vacant seat at the desk for their work. In some cases, the seat may be assigned by the library staff. Users working with items from the National Library collection have priority.
  7. If a user leaves their seat for more than 30 minutes, the library staff is entitled to make the seat available for another user when the Reading Room is full. Items removed from the vacated space shall be deposited with the library staff.
  8. The Reading Room is used primarily to study items issued by the library staff to the user at the desk upon presentation of a valid library card. The user is responsible for the borrowed items for the whole period of time when their library card is deposited with the library staff. The borrowed items may be also studied in the Social and Natural Sciences Reading Room, adjacent to the Reading Room. However, it is not permitted to take the items out of either reading room.
  9. The user is obliged to handle borrowed library items with care. A trolley is available for their handling. Mandatory use thereof may be established by the staff. It is not permissible to use library items as writing pads. Any tampering with library items – underlining, highlighting, writing notes, pasting slips, etc. – is also not permitted. No ink, scissors, glue or sharp objects may be brought into the Reading Room. If necessary, they may be requested from the library staff. No luggage larger than a small handbag is allowed on the desks.
  10. The number of items the user can order for on-site loan is limited to 10. Users may place order for new items up to this limit; items kept on hold are included in the limit. In the case of newspapers (or any large-size volumes), the limit amounts to a maximum of 6 volumes (i.e., in principle, one year-volume of a newspaper). In specific cases, the library staff may grant exceptions. The hold period is 14 calendar days; if no other user is interested in the library item, this period can be extended via the online catalogue or on request to the library staff, even repeatedly (except during the review period, usually in the summer, when all items kept on hold are returned to the stacks).
  11. Upon leaving the Reading Room, the user is obliged to return all the items that were issued to them at the desk; the staff will then return their library card. If the user is leaving their workplace only for a short period of time and has their library card on deposit with the library staff, they may use a so-called “pass card” available at the desk, to pass the check point at the National Library entrance; in that case, however, the user remains fully responsible for the items on loan.
  12. A reference collection is available to all users in the Reading Room. Its items are recorded in the online catalogue, in the database NKC. Items of the Reading Room reference collection can also be studied in the Social and Natural Sciences Reading Room (and vice versa). From computers located in the Reading Room, users can access selected online licensed databases and other resources of the National Library. Users can print from selected resources, from the Internet and from their own files by arrangement with the library staff. The prices are subject to the current Fees and Services Price List of the National Library (hereinafter referred to as the “Price List”).
  13. Except from the brought in materials, it is only permitted to take out information and promotional materials etc. without the stamp of the National Library.
  14. If the user wishes to have the items on hold transferred to the Scholars’ Reading Room, they need hand them to the staff 30 minutes before the closing of the Reading Room at the latest.
  15. If the user wishes to make a copy of any printed item from the National Library collection, they shall contact the library staff, even if they intend to use a brought-in equipment. The users are provided the self-service copying services in the neighbouring Social and Natural Sciences Reading Room. With regard to the protection of the collections, there are certain restrictions on making copies in self-service mode (see Library Rules). If copies cannot be made in self-service mode, it is possible to contact the library staff and place an order. If the user wishes to use a tripod and scanner, including a handheld one, to make a copy, they should discuss their intention with the library staff. In such case they shall submit a written declaration of use of the copy for research or private study purposes to the library staff; the form is available on request from the staff. Under no circumstances may intense light be used in the Reading Room. The price of copies is subject to the current Price List.
  16. Users may use a laptop computer in the Reading Room. The National Library provides access to the electricity network within the available capacity. Users are not allowed to connect to the communication network of the National Library under any circumstances.
  17. Internet access is available in the Reading Room on the library devices and via the wireless internet connection. The use of (i) computers and computer connections, (ii) the Internet and electronic information resources, and (iii) the provision of wireless Internet access (Wi-Fi) services is subject to the National Library rules and regulations currently in force.
  18. The National Library assumes no responsibility for items brought in by users. Users may deposit them in the cloakroom or in a locker in the foyer of the cloakroom or in the ante-room of the Reading Room for the duration of one operating day. Use of the lockers must be in accordance with the Locker Use Regulations of the National Library of the CR. The area of the Reading Room ante-room outside the locked lockers is not a particular place designated for leaving things brought in or a place typically used to leave such things, within the meaning of the relevant provisions of the Civil Code.


Prague, 29 May 2023

Mgr. Lenka Maixnerová
Deputy Director for Library Collections and Services
National Library of the Czech Republic

May 29, 2023
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