The National library of the Republic of Kazakhstan was organized by the Decree of the Presidium of the Central Executive Committee of Soviets of the KazASSR dated March 12, 1931 named “On the establishment of the State Public library of the KazASSR”. Beginning May 5, 1931 it started the servicing of its first readers.
The National library is the biggest scientific-methodological center for the libraries of Kazakhstan; the legal depositary of all printed production of Kazakhstan; the depositary of the Committee for the control in the sphere of education and science of the Ministry of Education and Science of the RK for candidate and doctoral dissertations in all branches of science defended in Kazakhstan; depositary of the abstracts of theses of the CIS countries; from 1993 the depositary of scientific dissertations and publications of UNESCO, from 2005 – the depositary of literature published by the “Cultural heritage” state programme; from 2012 – the depositary of publications of the Assembly of the people of Kazakhstan of Almaty city.
The first director of the library was Oraz Djandosov, the prominent public figure of Kazakhstan. The main task in the activity of the library he deemed “the accumulation of all printed production in the Kazakh language and all literature about Kazakhstan”. From this time on the library functions as the state national book depositary which collects and keeps the documentary written heritage of the Kazakhs and the other peoples of Kazakhstan.
In 1991 the chief library of the country received the status of “the National” thus acquiring the state and public significance as a specially valuable object of culture (the Decree of the Cabinet of Ministers of the Kazakh SSR №775 “About the National library of the Kazakh SSR” dated December 9, 1991).
The book fond numbers more than 6,3 mln. storage units. Annually more than 1 mln.readers visit the library, the book issuance constitutes about 2 mln. The readers are serviced by the 14 specialized halls with the capacity of 1500 places.
The visit card of the library is the site www.nlrk.kz, whose purpose is the organization of a single informational exit point to the electronic catalogues and informational resources of the library. The annual virtual number of visits of the web-site is more than 1,5 mln.
The National library of the RK from 1992 is a member of the International federation of library associations and institutions (IFLA), the Conference of directors of National libraries (CDNL), from 1993 – the Non-commercial partnership “The Library Assembly of Eurasia” (LAE). From 2002 it heads the Kazakhstani national committee of “The memory of the world” UNESCO programme, from 2008 it heads the Regional Center of the IFLA/PAC Core Programme for Preservation and Conservation.
The strategic priorities of the National library of the RK are:
• the acquisition for the fonds and their preservation;
• the quality library-informational servicing;
• the development and inculcation of modern informational technologies;
• the initiation of republican and international informational-library projects.
The building of the library was built by a special project in 1970 and was included in
the State List of Historical and Cultural Monuments of national significance, approved by the Decree of the Government of the Republic of Kazakhstan dated March 21, 2008 № 279.