|Items collected||Books, journals, newspapers, magazines, sound and music recordings, databases, drawings, manuscripts and media|
|Access and use|
|Access requirements||Tel-Aviv Citizens - free|
Beit Ariela Shaar Zion Library is the central public library in Tel Aviv.
The library was founded in 1886 in Jaffa at the initiative of the "Ezrat Israel" society ("Assistance to Israel") - the organization that helped to establish the first Jewish hospital in Jaffa and also initiated the construction of Neve Tzedek neighborhood. The Library was named then "A book collection".
In 1891 some other communities, such as "Ohavey Zion" ("Lovers of Zion"), "B'nei Brith" ("Sons of the Covenant") and "B'nei Moshe" ("Sons of Moses") associated in their support for the library, and since then the Library changed its name to "Shaar Zion" ("The Gate of Zion").
In 1922 the Library gained the status of the Municipal Library. In the period from 1921 to 1936 the library occupied the Polac building at the intersection of Herzl and Ahad Ha'am streets, and later moved to Ze'ev Gloskin building on Montefiore Street. In the early 60s when the Herzliya Gymnasium building was torn down for the construction of the Shalom Meir Tower, the library building was also demolished and the library was temporarily moved to premises on Shaul HaMelech Boulevard, not far from the place dedicated for the construction of a new Library Building.
In 1977 the Library was finally housed in its new building on Shaul HaMelech Boulevard. This new building was named Beit Ariela (Ariela's House) in honor of Ariela Giter, the daughter of a businessman, who donated a large sum of money for its construction.
The Beit Ariela Library includes a reading hall, a lending department, and several special libraries. The Library includes more than half a million books in different languages (Hebrew, English, French, German, Russian, Spanish, and Yiddish). The Library provides its visitors access to databases in various fields of knowledge (in Hebrew and in English); registered borrowers may use this service from their homes. Besides the collections of books the Library possesses journals, newspapers, video recordings, photographs; the collection of musical CDs accounts about 8000. The Library subscribes to 180 different periodicals; there are about 9 thousand registered borrowers. The Library network throughout the City contains more than 20 branches and has around 36,374 active members.
Special departments of Beit Ariela
The Periodicals Library – is a collection of Hebrew press from the end of the 19th century and up to the present day. Most of the periodicals is also available on microfilm.
The Ahad Ha'am Library – holds rare and unique publications on education, the history of Israel, Diaspora communities, as well as Hebrew literature, books on arts, Passover Hagadas and a collection of publications with dedications.
The Rambam (Maimonides) library – is a religious scientific library that provides about 100 thousand books and different computer databases for the use of its readers.
A Design and Visual Information Library – is a large collection of visual information on different subjects. The Collection contains more than half a million photos, pictures, postcards, reproductions, caricatures, leaflets, brochures, catalogs – which are subdivided into three categories: Personalities, Countries, and Themes.
The Dance Archive of Israel and the Library – is the central library in Israel for storage of information on Dance history. The collection contains more than 2000 folders with archive documents, over 8000 books, as well as journals, video recordings and other media on the subject: "The history of Israeli and Foreign Dance" - from the beginning of the 20th century and up to today.
The Theatre Library – alongside a large number of plays, the Library contains the Theatre Archive, bearing the name of Yehuda Gabai. The archive is a large collection of documentary materials on the history of Israeli and Hebrew theatre. The archive comprises posters, programs from performances, mock-ups of scenery, and personal archives of outstanding theatre figures.
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