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Lenin Library Expansion Delayed Until After 2015

Library management has long planned to build a new wing for storing books and housing additional reading rooms. Vladimir Filonov

Authorities have delayed expansion plans for Russia's main state library due to a lack of funding, the library's director said.

Alexander Visly, general director of Moscow's Lenin Library, told RIA-Novosti that construction work would only start after 2015.

"It looks as if there's money [for the project], the plans are ready, it's just that the start has been put back," Visly said.

Library management has long planned to build a new wing for storing books and housing additional reading rooms. Now plans to build a separate building located between Starovagankovsky and Krestovozdvizhensky pereuloks have been laid, with a tunnel linking the building to the main structure.

The government originally allocated funding for the construction project in 2007, promising to build the new wing by 2011. Afterward plans changed, and the Lenin Library is now set to receive the first installment of federal funds in 2015.

In total, authorities have set aside 20 billion rubles for the library's building work, RIA-Novosti reported.

Visly also talked up the difficulty of bringing the expansion project to fruition, discussing the narrow temperature and humidity ranges in which the library's precious tomes can be kept.

"It only seems like a library is a simple building. It's necessary, for instance, to keep the temperature inside between 18 degrees and 20 degrees Celsius, and if the stacks are sufficient to hold 20 million copies, like ours, try doing that independent of the street temperature," he said.

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