The History of the Library of the “Gh. Asachi” Technical University of Iasi
By the Government Decree No. 205660 from the 3rd of December, 1937, “Gh. Asachi” Polytechnic School has been established as a standalone institution, apart from the University, with electrotechnic, organic chemistry and industrial chemistry sections, as well as libraries commanded by certain laboratories and departments: organic chemistry department library, physics department library, etc.
The mechanic and mathematics departments, by inheriting the documentary patrimony of University’s libraries and laboratories, as well as part of ”M. Eminescu” Central Academic Library, have established the Library of the Iasi Polytechnic Institute Mathematic Seminary.
At the beginning of 1948, in the library hall of the University’s Palace, the Central Library of the “Gh. Asachi” Polytechnic Institute of Iasi was established, by merging the organic chemistry, physics departments, as well as their specialty laboratories with the Mathematics Seminary Library, holding a meager patrimony of 12000 library entries, books and magazines, and a single study hall of 10 places.
During 1948-1968, there was a perpetual concern to develop the library’s publication patrimony, materializing in several strategies. One of those was taking over other libraries’ patrimony. Thus, in 1955 the collections of the former libraries of the Light Industry Institute of Bucharest, moved at Iasi – approximately 22000 volumes were added, as well as those of the Economical Sciences and Planning Institute – approximately 6000 volumes, and in 1962 those of the library of the Faculty of Land Reclamation – 7500 volumes, amounting a total of 74500 volumes.
Furthermore, a substantial increase in library’s documentary patrimony was recorded, by the year 1968, a total of 300000 volumes was reached, out of which 180466 book titles and 2900 Romanian and foreign periodicals, as well as national standards, mostly covering technical fields. As result of Institute’s development, whereof an initial number of 3 faculties, reached 6 faculties by 1968, lecture halls and reading places have increased respectively: 4 lecture halls of 600 places were operational, as well as 144 places in the lecture halls of the Institute’s campus hostels, today demolished.
In the same year, 1968, the Library held locations in three buildings (Wings A, B, C) of the Institute: the lecture hall from wing A, with 250 places; the lecture hall from wing B, with 350 places; the lecture hall from wing C, with 24 places; the lecture hall in the “Codrescu” academic campus. Library points, 62 in number, were opened near the Institutes’ departments and laboratories. In the following ten years, 1968-1978, the library expands and holds 8 units, 3 warehouses and 45 library points, amounting 1050 places. During 1984-1986, were established 6 library branches, out of which 5 are operating still today near the assigned faculties (on Splai Bahlui Street). In the same period the library points were put out of service, their patrimony being distributed to the newly founded branches. In November 1998, a new library is established, The Library of the Faculty of Automated Control and Computer Science, inaugurated on the occasion of celebrating half a century of the Central Academic Library of Iasi activity. In 1998, the lecture hall "Architecture" was also founded, belonging to the Library of Civil Engineering and Building Services.
The library was permanently evolved according to the university's structure, which in turn improved from 10 faculties and 2 colleges in 1990 to 11 faculties in 2009. Its entire patrimony was dedicated to study, addressing all user's categories, being administrated throughout the years to meet the information and documentation requirements of student, teaching stuff, researchers, doctoral students, master students, as well as of the external beneficiaries. The library was generously funded, by valuable publication donations or by fructuous international exchange relationships, supported by the professors Cezar Antoni-Parteni, Th. Câmpan, C. Ciobanu, D. Mangeron, A. Şesan, and academician C. Simionescu.
In the first 50 years of activity of TUI Library, an important role in adding to the documentation patrimony was held by the international exchange supported by the magazines of the " Polytechnic Institute of Iasi Bulletin" - 10 sections (published since 1946) and "Iasi Polytechnic Magazine" (published since 1989). We would like to underline the outstanding contribution of the university's professors: D. Mangeron, H. Rosman, A. Braier, academician M. Voicu, by bolstering the scientific prestige of the "PII Bulletin", and by attracting numerous collaborators and partners. Moreover, by soliciting books for reviews through "PII Bulletin", the collaborators number reached 1662, from 47 countries. With the support of the "Iasi Polytechnic Magazine" - publisher Ph.D. lecturer Adrian Adăscăliței and Ph.D. prof. eng. Horia N. Teodorescu (visiting member of The Romanian Academy), the library was able to complete its patrimony with valuable foreign high specialty publications.
Organizing the publication patrimony, processing books, periodic publications and other library input, their cataloging and classification proved to be daunting tasks. Since 1948-1949, consolidated procedures were implemented in order to gradually align the library to national and international format. The TUI Library has elaborated a consistent number of information and documentation tools, such as: library catalogues, cumulative sheets (the cumulative catalogue of Romanian and foreign chemistry books available in the libraries of Iasi (1955-1970), the cumulative catalogue of books available in the libraries of Iasi covering the following fields: automated control, cybernetic, computer science and robotics, 1st and 2nd volumes (1970-1991), the general repertoire of foreign periodic publications in Iasi (1978-1986, 1987-1990, 1991, 1992), bibliographic and documentary bulletins, alphabetic index C.Z.U. (A,B,C), the TUI Bulletin index (1946-1970, 1981-1990, 1991-2000), bibliographic research, monographies from the cycle " Great personalities of the technical and scientific education from Iasi", and other writings.
At present, the TUI Library is operating in 7 library branches (Wing A Library - its headquarters and 6 libraries of the assigned to the respective faculties), holding lecture halls, circulating library halls and warehouses. Its total publication patrimony is of 962528 volumes - at 31.03.2010 - (522187 books, 129332 magazines, 5042 special format (CD, DVD, microformat) and 305967 technical documents (patents and standards), covering a broad range of scientific, technology, economy and legislation fields. In the global information context, where information is necessary commodity in all the aspects of economic, cultural, educational and researching life, the libraries in general - and academic libraries in particular - were subject, especially in the last 15 years, to perpetual transformation, in order to fulfill their mission to find new solutions for implementation and capitalization of modern information and research systems, communication systems, and information sorting and access by users.
The computerization process of the TUI Library recorded an ascendant evolution, both capitalizing on the traditional library efforts and complying with international standard, in order to achieve compatibility. In this aspect, during 1988-1990, the following were elaborated: updating the thesaurus for Light and Textile Industry, purchasing the FOCUS documentation computerization program (with a 20000 documents data base) by the IPI Computing Centre, enhancing library's patrimony with disks, tapes, computers, in order to make use of the necessary logistics to store and access the documentation data base.
The TUI Library started its computerization process by means of funding projects (SOROS, TEMPUS, PHARE), with enabled purchasing specific library and network software licenses, as well as library’s staff training. Since 1992, the information system has been developed on the CDS/ISIS platform, thus becoming the first library in Romania to create standardized data bases, accessible by Internet since 1995. This way, computerized dialogue between libraries has been achieved. Bearing in mind the CDS/ISIS limitations, since 1999 it was simultaneously implemented the MicroVTLS library software.
In November 2007 the new ALEPH 500 v.18 (MARC 21 format)software was purchased, and the existing data base was converted from CDS/ISIS (UNIMARC format) and MicroVTLS (USMARC format). By loading our library online (http://www.tuiasi.ro/ biblioteca), since 1995, a real time documentation is possible by accessing our databases (first entry from 1993), which holds 110000 records at present. One is also able to access the data bases of other libraries, institutions, documentation centres, from our country or abroad and may also be offered additional services, such as e-mail references. As far as hardware is concerned, the TUI Library was refitted, in the nineties, through SOROS, TEMPUS and PHARE projects.
Subsequently, the equipment acquisition was funded by the Technical University, a major turning point being 2007, when our library was out fitted with last generation computing systems and peripherals, thus extending and modernizing the library’s network. At present, the library has 107computer systems, out of which 35 are available to users, thus enhancing education and scientific research processes’ quality. The “Gh. Asachi” Technical University of Iasi Library has been contributing, since its foundation in 1948, to support the research and the education process, by enabling access to its publication patrimony and data base. The library is continuously looking for new solutions to implement and capitalize on the latest information and documentation systems, as well as communication, information sorting and access systems.