The City Library “Ivan Goran Kovačić” was founded on March 1, 1838 as “Illyrian reading society” and became the most significant cultural institution of the city. The Illyrian Movement and the Croatian Revival, and the position of the city of Karlovac as the crossroads of the Karolina, Jozefina and Lujzanija roads and on the banks of the four rivers – Kupa, Korana, Mrežnica and Dobra – affect the overall economic and cultural development of the city. The reading room with lexical activity, also starts to collect the book materials and it soon issues it to its users. From that time, a collection of books was marked with the Illyrian coat of arms – the half-moon and the star.

The Library is a local information center that provides free access to all knowledge by providing materials in all media to meet the educational and information needs of its citizens and the wider community. It represents the place of lifelong learning, the place of development of all kinds of literacy, a cultural center and a meeting place for citizens of the local community. This significantly improves the quality of life of individuals, but also society as a whole.

The Ivan Goran Kovačić City Library is the largest and oldest institution in culture in Karlovac and Karlovac County and one of the five largest public libraries in Croatia. It was founded on March 1, 1838, at the time of the Croatian People’s Revival, with the initiative of the city’s representatives. Based on the ideas of the Illyrian movement, it operates under the name “Illyrian Reading Society”. During its 180 years of activity, it has been and continues to be the center of cultural events in the city and a place that promotes culture, history and literacy.

Its core activity is the procurement, preservation and provision of library and non-library materials. It serves to meet the cultural needs of the population, to encourage lifelong learning, professional and scientific work, information, decision-making and democratization of society in general. In addition, it is a central place for providing fast and quality information and a city meeting place that offers numerous facilities for all age groups, from babies to retirees.

The library has a rich library of useful literature for taking exams, conducting seminars, diploma works, etc. It also has a rich collection of old and rare books, a library of protected funds, a collection of periodicals and reprints, and a collection of audiovisual materials with a rich selection of music publications. More than 210,000 book volumes are available to users.

The library’s mission is:

– Provide procurement, processing, preservation and protection of library materials to all citizens

– Encourage and create the habits of reading and going to a library in children

– Implement programs and projects to encourage reading and literacy of adults through the organization of literary meetings, forums, lectures, exhibitions, etc.

– Encourage information literacy by enabling access to Internet, databases and catalogs, and their search

– Provide quality services for people with disabilities and people with disabilities

– Provide openness and accessibility to all citizens at a time appropriate to the local community

– Provide equal opportunities for all citizens in accessing knowledge and information

– Provide continuous professional training of library staff to identify user needs and assist in finding information

– achieve cooperation on an international level and become an equal and integral part of the network of Croatian and European libraries.