About the Library
The Library of Biological Sciences (LBS) represents an information source for a wide range of biological disciplines. Its main purpose is to support the learning, teaching and research needs of the students and staff of the Section of Biology, the Faculty of Science, Charles University in Prague; however, it also serves the statewide academic community and the general public. The LBS is divided into four main units located in two buildings belonging to the Faculty at the New Town part of Prague. The Biological Library, the Anthropological Library and the Library of Philosophy and Natural History are located at Viničná 7 building while the Botanical Library can be found at Benátská 2. In addition, another small library which is a part of the Department of Teaching and Didactics of Biology is under the LBS administration as well. Viničná 7 building houses also the Library of the Czech Entomological Society; however, this library is a separate institution and is not a part of the LBS.
Currently, the LBS collection contains approximately 250,000 monograph titles, periodicals, course materials, manuscripts (including theses and dissertations) and printed or photocopied articles published both in the Czech Republic and abroad. The LBS also offers to its users an access to various electronic information resources, databases and e-books. The smallest unit of the LBS holds approximately 10,000 items, the largest unit approximately 125,000 items. Recent monographs and the latest issues of scientific journals are freely accessible to readers in these parts of the libraries, that are open to general public. Older publications are stored in the depositaries and are available only by request made (either personally, by phone or by e-mail) to any member of the library staff. Dissertation and other theses, as well as the majority of journals, cannot be borrowed outside of the libraries and are for room use only. Other items from the LBS collection are subject to the circulation rules which can be found here.
The origins of all libraries that constitute the LBS date back to the end of the 19th century and are linked to the collections of books and journals existing at various institutes of natural sciences, which were part of both Czech and German Prague Universities. After the foundation of the Faculty of Science in 1920, these books, journals and manuscripts passed over to individual departments of the Faculty and later made the basis for its library collections. The oldest part of the LBS collection was formed by private donations and estates of important scientists from that period, particularly the professors of botany (V.F. Kosteletzky, M.H. Willkom, J. Velenovský, V.F. Schiffner, J. Vilhelm, K. Cejp, V. Krajina), zoology (F. Vejdovský, A. Mrázek), anthropology (J. Matiegka, J. Malý and V. Fetter), plant anatomy and physiology (B. Němec), natural history (E. Rádl), as well as others. Due to these donations, current LBS collection contains many historical books (for their loans, special regulations apply) including rare prints from the 16th, 17th or 18th centuries. However, as the collection is continually upgraded and added to, it well illustrates the gradual development of our knowledge in various biological disciplines.
Despite their age, the current units of the LBS are not historical archives but modern working places equipped with all essentials required for an effective learning and research. Library users can search various electronic information resources using PCs with internet access that are part of each individual library unit, or avail themselves of a wireless connection to their personal notebooks. They can also utilize photocopiers, scanners and printers (either self-servicing or operated by specific staff provided by the Section of Biology). The LBS librarians also provide all kinds of interlibrary loan and reprographic services (both statewide and international). The LBS employs an automated librarian system ALEPH which includes online catalogue OPAC accessible to general public. This catalogue enables its users not only to search for and locate various documents they are looking for, but to request a loan of a library item, to renew their loans with expired time, etc.