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The tradition of libraries in Tetovo has deep roots in the history of this region. The exact date of the library’s establishment is unknown, but it is assumed that 1945 is the year when the library began operating within the Commissariat for National Education. It was first housed in a confiscated newly built house of the well-known Tetovo merchant Mato Simoski-Çenka.

The initial collection of books consisted of about 2,000 titles inherited from the “Reading Room of Young Tetovians”, which was founded on July 23, 1922. It was enriched with Marxist-Leninist literature, but also had a large number of books by classical authors. All the books were in Serbo-Croatian, except for a number of political brochures that were published in Macedonian. In the first few years, the library had 500 members, most of whom were high school students, and the library operated with two shifts. To meet the needs of the readers, the library was supplied daily with newspapers such as “Nova Makedonija”, “Borba”, “Politika”, “Naroden front” and others.

Immediately after the liberation, at the same time as the start of work in the city library, a library in the Albanian language was also opened in Tetovo. It initially operated separately from the Macedonian one. It was housed in an old house in the center of Tetovo. The Albanian library had about 2,000 books, and the librarian was the teacher Isa Sabajdini from the village of Poroj.

In 1948 or 1949, by order of the city political structures and the Commissariat for Education, the Albanian library was integrated into the city library. In 1952, a decision was made to separate the library from the Commissariat of Education and it continued to operate as an independent cultural and educational institution. From May/June 1953, it continued to operate on the ground floor of the house of Dr. Gligur Efçeski.

During its work, immediately after its foundation, the library underwent several relocations. The library was located in the ground floor space near the former restaurant “Lovec”, more precisely at the corner of “Ilindenska” and Todor Cipovski-Merxhan” streets, respectively in the premises of the restaurant “Nov zhivot”. A year later, in 1954, the library was relocated again. At that time, separate sectors were formed: for children and adults, and the children’s sector was moved to the premises of Dr. Efçeski’s house, while the adult sector was moved to the house of the Avramoski family, known by the nickname Rudiçevci, on “Strasho Pinxhur” street.

After two decades, in 1967, the “Koço Racin” Mother Library – Tetovo returned to the premises where it had previously operated, but this time it had the entire building-house of the owner Mato Çenka at its disposal. The book depository and the Adult Sector were located on the ground floor, while the Sector for Professional Processing of Library Material, the Children’s Sector and the administration were located on the first floor. In this building, the “Koço Racin” Mother Library operated for three and a half decades, until September 2002, when, based on the Denationalization Law passed by the Government of the Republic of Macedonia in 2000, the building in which the library was located was returned to its owners. On this occasion, the city library underwent another relocation. In the same year, the competent bodies, by a relevant decision, designated 200 square meters from the ground floor of the City Palace of Culture for use. The children’s sector, the adult sector and the sector for professional processing of library material were located in this space. Due to the lack of necessary space, a large number of books were placed in unsuitable spaces, which are not accessible to readers. In these spaces, the “Koço Racin” Library continued to operate until November 2023, when, based on the Decision of the Government of the Republic of North Macedonia, the Library was relocated to other premises of the Cultural Center, which were previously used by the Faculty of Arts at the University of Ss. Cyril and Methodius.

Based on the Decision of the Government of the Republic of Macedonia dated December 22, 2003, on July 22, 2004, the “Koço Racin” Mother Library – Tetovo, with legal intervention and an adequate decision, changed its statute and as a result of the mentioned interventions, the institution was named the National Institution