A special book in a special place

The People’s Bookshelf in the atrium of the National Library of Latvia (NLL) is one of the central design elements of the building. The Bookshelf stores books donated to the Library and currently is home to almost 7 000 books in 50 languages from all over the world.
Everyone is asked to donate a book – of special importance to themselves – to the NLL, also writing a message or personal story relating to the book on its title page.
Your donated book, together with books donated by residents of or visitors to Latvia, will reside in the People’s Bookshelf, supplementing those relayed here in 2014, when Riga’s year as a European Capital of Culture was launched with a wonderful and unifying people’s action.
On a sunny but freezing January morning, thousands participated in the Chain of Book Lovers passing books from hand to hand, from the old Library building to the Castle of Light.

Why donate?

We want the library to have a special place, created by people themselves. Consequently, it is important that each book tells its own story about the history of an individual – a story whose like can’t be found in an encyclopaedia or novel. About the everyday, fortune, feelings or beliefs. About what would otherwise be lost in the passage of time.
Your participation is important to us! You will be warmly welcomed at the Castle of Light on any day, bringing along your special book, or you can mail it to us:
National Library of Latvia
Mūkusala iela 3
Rīga, LV-1423

Taking part

How do I participate?

  1. Choose one special book in your preferred language to give to the People’s Bookshelf;
  2. Write a message in your preferred language on the title page, explaining why you are giving this particular book;
  3. Come to the NLL or mail the book;
  4. Don’t forget to add the donation form;
  5. Leve your book at the Welcome desk;
  6. Receive an acknowledgment of your gift;
  7. Thank you! That’s all!



How many books can I bring?

Only one in your preferred language.

Will I be able to access my and other donated books?

Anybody can order donated books in www.plaukts.lv section Currently on the Shelf

Where should my dedication be written?

On the title page.

Can I submit a book without a dedication or a story?


Can I only bring a new book?

The age of the book does not matter.

What if the title page already has another note (by the author or similar)?

Write your dedication or story on the next free page.

What if I have any specific questions?

Write to: plaukts@lnb.lv or call +371 67 716235