Ukrainian Library Day is celebrated September 30 according to the Presidential Decree number 471/98 from 14 May in 1998.
The first libraries in Kievan Rus' were opened at churches and monasteries after the adoption of Christianity in 988. The largest and richest in the time was the library of St. Sophia, founded in 1037 by Yaroslav the Wise. In general, the library had up to 900 volumes of manuscripts — a big number for the Middle Ages.
The books that came out of the workshops of the St. Sophia Cathedral became the basis of other libraries, including a huge library Caves Monastery, which since the late 11th century has become the largest cultural center of Kyiv Rus.
During the Mongol-Tatar invasion of the book died in wars and fires. Since then survived a few copies of the library Sofia. The most famous are: The Rhine gospel (which is a daughter of Yaroslav the Wise, Anna exported to France from Kiev. This book makes an oath of the kings of France, and is now an oath presidents of France), Ostrom Gospel (1056-1057), two Izbornik 1073 and 1076's, Mstislav Gospel of the 12th century.
In Western Ukraine, an active library movement begins with the creation of Galicia-Volyn principality (around the 13th century). In the court of Prince Vladimir Vasilkovich — scribe and philosopher — there was a great book shop.
With the advent of printing in the middle of the 15th century, there are big changes in the overall European book publishing and, of course, librarianship. A significant development of the library acquired in the 16th century, there were large stacks in schools in jail and Lviv. In the 17th century, was organized by the Library of the Kiev Academy. In the 18th century, the library had a significant wealthy noble birth, Cossack elders, bishops, monasteries and various schools.
In the second half of the 19th — early 20th century in Western Ukraine, which at the time was part of the Austro-Hungarian , operated a network of cultural and educational cells "Prosvita". It is a society already in 1914 had around the edge of the 78 branches, 2,944 reading rooms. In 1914, its own reading acted in 75% of Ukrainian localities of Galicia, in 1939, a network of branches and reading rooms "Prosvita" involved 85% of the Western lands.
In Soviet times, librarianship has become part of public policy.
Today in Ukraine there are about 40,000 libraries. Among the leading — National Library of Ukraine , National Parliamentary Library of Ukraine, State Library of Ukraine for Children, the State Historical Library of Ukraine and others.
Number of Library employees is more than 53 thousand people. Services depositories used by more than 17.5 million readers.