The National Children’s Library after Khnko Aper is a librarianship, informational- bibliographic, methodic, cultural and educational organization. It was established in 1933. In 1935 it was named after children’s writer Khnko Aper. In the 8th of December 1962 the library gets republican status by The Armenian Soviet Socialist Republic’s council of ministers’ decision and it becomes a methodic centre for the children and school libraries serving children and young adults of the Republic. Since 1980 the library has been doing its activity in a new-planned building in Teryan 42/1 (architects: Levon Ghalumyan, Ruzan Alaverdyan). In 2003 it was transformed to a national children’s library (by the decision of the government of The Republic of Armenia). For more than 85 years the National Children’s Library after Khnko Aper has been pursuing policy of reading for children and young adults in the Republic of Armenia. The library conducts its activities in accordance with the basic functions: as a national scientific library it promotes the development of library activities, the progress of library science, always refines work methods to comply with international standards. It organizes scientific conferences, meetings, seminars, qualification courses. As a national library of young adult’s books it gathers, maintains and provides readers with the complete collection of the printed material in Armenian. The reading in the library takes place through service halls (by ages and sections) and scientific departments. It has a collection of 529638 library units: books, magazines, audiovisual materials, modern electronic information resources (in Armenian, Russian and 50 other languages). It serves children and young adults from 3 to 18, students, organizers of reading for young adults (librarians, pedagogues) and parents. The service is differentiated by age groups, through the funds of the service halls. The reading hall has 100 places for readers and serves readers of different ages. Here one can use the daily press, the rich collection of reference books and encyclopedias, multi-genre literature in arts and science, magazines, albums. In the audio section groups or individuals can listen to different genres of music. The little readers are hosted in the fairy-tale’s hall. There are groups and studios: the art studio, the poetry and theatre studio of “Arpi”, “Patil” puppet club… Over 20.000 readers use the library collection per annum, more than 400.000-500.000 literature units are served. Since 1963 the library has been implementing publishing activity: a comprehensive specialized literature has been published: manuals, information and instruction lists, bibliographies, “Memorable Dates” calendar, albums, magazines. In 1991 the library’s computer section was the first in Armenia to organize computer trainings. Since 2004 the library has joined the Armenian libraries’ automation works: with the help of “Aleph” program it is possible to input literature data in Armenian and Russian, and in 2014 an electronic database was created to support more effective work for the readers. In the library automation and electronic resources’ department one can search the needed information and get some advice. Since 2000 the library has been the coordinator of the international telecommunication cultural program “IEARN”, within this and also within the international children’s civic education program “DEEP”, the library undertakes a lot of projects: seminars, conferences, electronic forums, meetings with teachers and pupils. The library organizes various public events like meetings, parties, book presentations, discussions, major events and celebrations, book fairs, the art festival “Return to Book”. Traditionally, the library celebrates “The Children’s Book and Music Week”, “The National Library Week”, “The Librarian’s Day”, ‘The International Children’s Book Day”, “The Day of Knowledge”, “The International Children’s Day”, it also organizes weeks and months devoted to foreign languages and cultures. Since 2006 the library has an “Iranian reading hall” on the joint initiative of The Embassy of the Islamic Republic of Iran and the Children’s Center of Iran’s Cultural Development. The children studying Persian make use of the reading hall. From 1997 to 2011 in cooperation with The German Goethe Institute the library had a “German reading hall” with rich German collection of books. Since 1991 the library has cooperated with US Congress, National Libraries of Iran, Russia’s Children’s Library, Poland, Stuttgart Town, Great Britain, Italy, Estonia, Sweden, Belarus, Krasnodar’s Young Adults’ Library and a lot of other libraries, it practices book exchanges with them. The library cooperates with the embassies, many local and international young adult’s organizations and libraries, implementing collective projects. It has close ties with the Diaspora intellectuals. The library is a member of several international organizations: the International Board on Books for Young Adults (IBBY), the International Association of Libraries (IFLA). The library has been awarded with diplomas, certificates and medals.
Since 1963 the library has implemented publication activities.
For years the library has created and published multifaceted professional literature: methodological manuals, informative catalogs, bibliographies, biobibliographies, calendars, memorial dates, albums, magazines and other professional materials. Till now the library has realized the creation of bibliogarphy of children’s literature: Bibliography of Armenian children’s literature in 9 volumes (1920-1945; 1946-1972; 1973-1982; 1983-1987; 1988-1992, 1993-1997, 1998-2002), Translation of children’s literature in 2 volumes /1920-1972; 1973-1982/. Bibliographies of children’s periodical press are shown by bibliographies of such children’s parties as “Hasker” /”Spikes”/, “Garun” /”Spring”/, “Pioneer”, “Tsitsernak” /”Swallow”/.
The books such as “The research of the readers in the children’s library”, “Exponential activities in the children’s library”, “The issues of children’s reading process” “The organization of activities with children carried out in National Children’s Library after Khnko Aper”, show the problems of the reading process.
The library has compiled biobibliographies of such Armenian classical and modern children’s writers and composers as: Atabek Khnkoyan, Hayrapet Hayrapetyan, Ghazaros Aghayan, Viktor Vardanyan, Vazgen Talyan, Suren Muradyan, Gurgen Gabrielyan, Eduard Avagyan, Geghuni Chtchyan, Ashot Ter-Grigoryan, Mkrtich Koryun, Silva Kaputikyan, Henrik Sevan, Khajak Gyulnazaryan, Liparit Sargsyan, Areg Lusinyan, Araks, Kamsar Avetisyan, Matevos Darbinyan, Anahit Sekoyan, Lusik Barnakyan, Soghomon Mkrtchyan, Hakob Aghabab, Yuri Sahakyan and others.
The library has published informative bibliographic catalogues “Writers to children” and “Travelling in the world of beauty”. The library has also periodically compiled and published the collection “Garnan Shogher” /”Rays of spring”/in 3 volumes: 1986; 1990; 2002/, where the works of the talented readers of the library are included: poems, short stories, pictures.