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Medical libraries are a part of the Soviet library system. The total number of medical libraries in the country is more than 4,000, with a collection of over 42,000,000 volumes that are used by over a million readers. The State Central Medical Library occupies a special place among these libraries. It carries out the functions of a methodological, bibliographic, and coordinating center. It has a collection of over 1,000,000 units of books and periodicals.
All the bibliographic work of medical libraries as well as any other work is provided to help medical institutions. Libraries prepare special bibliographies of medical literature for publication according to a plan. The libraries also conduct reference and information work.
The methodological work helps to solve the most important problems that arise in libraries with reference to the specific character of their work and tasks. The chief means of rendering methodological guidance are to analyze the work of various libraries, to hold conferences, to exchange visits with libraries, to give both field and correspondence consultations, and to organize qualification courses for librarians and bibliographers.