The Library of the Parliament of Albania - Biblioteka e Kuvendit të Shqipërisë
By Mary Elizabeth Walters
University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill
The Library of Parliament’s primary function is to support the research needs of the Parliament of Albania and members of Parliament. It holds publications of the debates of Parliament from 1923 to the present, publications of key speeches and works of Parliamentary leaders, as well as copies of laws and declarations passed by Parliament.
The Library of Parliament consists of two rooms within the offices of the Kuvend i Shqipërisë. These rooms also serve as the offices of the fine women who work as the librarians and researchers of Parliament.
Conducting research at the Library of Parliament requires an application to the Director of the Library and to the Secretary of Parliament. The application should include information about the researcher, the research project, and what types of materials you hope to consult. While there is an email address available, the best way to submit this application is in person. You should allow as least a week or two for your request to be processed and approved.
Once you have obtained an official letter of permission, research is straightforward. The collections are in the same room as the research area. Outside researchers are rare, especially foreign researchers, and the librarians are very responsive to any needs or requests. Photographs are allowed and there is a photocopier available. Depending on the librarian, there is sometimes a small fee for its use. It is usually open from about 8:30/9am until 4pm during the week.
There are numerous coffee shops, fast food eateries, and restaurants nearby. Byrek, a savory pastry common in Albania, generally costs about $.50. If you want a fuller meal, nearby restaurants serve meals for about $6.
Hostels are beginning to emerge in Albania and there are a few in Tirana that are very nice. There are also hotels near the center, such as Hotel Livia, that are between $35-45 a night. While Tirana does have a bus network, there are no posted maps or schedules. Also, when riding the buses there are no announcements for different stops. You’ll have a much easier time if you simply stay within walking distance of the Library.
Finally, avoid scheduling research trips for late July and all of August. Most of Albania goes on vacation during that time. Obtaining research permission from the Director of the Library and the Secretary of Parliament will be very difficult during this time.
The website for the Library of Parliament is: https://www.parlament.al/per-qytetaret/biblioteka/.