The history of the Library began in December 1993, when Konstantinos Laskaridis founded the Kaiti Laskaridou Library in memory of his late wife. The Library was, at that time, located in a building of YWCA, Neo Phaliro Chapter, of which Kaiti Laskaridou had been a founding member.
The initial collection included 3,000 titles, most of which were donated by its founder. It operated as a lending library, while at the same time organizing various functions, seminars, educational programs–including the Creative Saturday Mornings program–and also started running the Short Story Contest.
During the Neo Phaliro period, the Library opened its doors and advertised its work to the public. Its growth and the positive reactions of the public led Panos and Marilena Laskaridis to the decision to relocate the Library to a new building in Piraeus, where Kaiti Laskaridou had been born.
In 2006 the Library relocated to the neoclassical building on 169, Praxitelous & Mpoumpoulinas Street. There, for many years, the growing library collection and the increase in all related activities, led to the acquisition, in 2008, of the neoclassical building on 36, 2nd Merarchias Street (formerly the French Institute of Piraeus). In 2013 the Lending library was relocated again, this time to the modern, autonomous building on 173, Kountouriotou Street.
Today the Library is in full bloom. It has been divided into the Lending and the Historical Library.
The Lending Libary includes books covering every important subject of knowledge. Emphasis is placed on the literature section, containing both classic and modern, as well as greek and foreign literature. Also, the Library hosts journals and periodicals, audiovisual material and reference books; moreover, it boasts a very rich and diverse Children and Young People’s section, with books for preschoolers and young children, and of course middle grade and young adult literature. In addition to those, the Library has developed a foreign-languages (non-greek) section, with books on many subjects in various languages. The catalogue of the collection is fully automated and electronically classified in the Hellenic National Documentation Centre’s library software program ABEKT, while books are shelved in accordance with the Dewey Decimal Classification system. The Lending Library offers to the public several comfortable rooms, including a Reading room, a Conference room and a Computer room. There is a free wi-fi network available to all members and online access to the Library catalog is provided by our website’s search engine.
A distinct and very important part of our collection is the Maritime section. It includes material covering the subjects of maritime history, maritime professions, maritime technology and ship-building, as well as those of fishing and lighthouses.
The book collections are continuously enriched, something achieved by donations of important members and friends of the Library, as well as with purchases of both modern and earlier editions. This way, the public can access not only old and rare books, but also the latest publications, exhibited in a special stand at the Lending Library reception.
The Historical Library which collects individual book collections previously owned by important personalities of arts and letters. The main corpus of the Historical Library is housed in the 2nd Merarxias building. These collections maintain their thematic unity according to each collector’s interests, with the rationale that this is what interests visitors and scholars.
The treasures of knowledge included in the Foudnation’s Historical Library are live tools of learning and information, inseparable from the most recent developments in culture and education, as confirmed by the interplay between these collections and our educational programs.
The Foundation’s library is continuously expanded and enriched. This is achieved by donations of members and friends, as well as purchases of modern and older books. Thus, the public can find old and rare books as well as new releases, which are exhibited in a special area at the entrance of the lending library building. Particular added value in the Lending and the Historical Library, is added by very significant donations of collections of books by personalities of letters, arts and sciences.
For more information on our Libraries, please visit our respective web pages.