On May, 2019, Mashhad Central Public Library was opened in a ceremony attended by Abbas Salehi [Minister of Islamic Culture and Guidance], Alireza Mokhtarpour [Secretary General of Iran Public Libraries Foundation], Jan Richards [president of Standing Committee of IFLA], Ashraf Broujerdi [director of NLAI] and university professors of knowledge and information science. In this ceremony, an exquisite copy of Holy Quran was presented to this library by Ayatollah Khamenei [Leader of Islamic Revolution of Iran]. Referring to two important propulsions of formation of the Islamic civilization, namely mosques and libraries, Salehi said, “Libraries are not just places to keep and safeguard books, but they are the starting point towards building societies and civilizations. We need libraries wherein people not only are gathered to read books, but they go there in order to be an active and creative citizen and it is the ideal followed in the second type libraries.” Explaining about Mashhad’s central library, He said, “In this library, 43 services have been predicted for client, out which 13 services are provided as the modern library services for the first time to the users. Through such modern services, we intend to reach a book-based and knowledge- oriented society.” He also referred to Mashhad’s Imam Khomeini Library as a sample of second type libraries.
Announcing his delights for his presence in the inaugural ceremony of Mashhad Central Public Library Jan Richards, announced the greetings and best wishes of IFLA Secretary General and Glòria Pérez-Salmerón, IFLA President. “When we visit Iranian public libraries, unconsciously we would compare them with other public libraries all around the world. These libraries are completely professional and through my visits, I realized that librarians and employees of Iranian public libraries are extraordinary,” she said.
Another speaker of this ceremony was Ashraf Broujerdi who asked others to consider public libraries as the scientific reference and science database where scientists and scholars would be able to share their ideas and scientific issues with others in order to be used to promote knowledge.