Scientific libraries available in each research organization of the RAS play the leading role in informational support of research work carries out by the Academy.
Centralization approach constitutes the basis of library system of the RAS, i.e. library of each RAS research institute is included into one of centralized library networks (CLN) organized by field or regional principle.
At present, there are six CLN in the RAS – two field ones and four regional ones. Siberian RAS region library network led by the State Public Scientific and Technical Library of Siberian Branch of the RAS (RAS SB SPSTL), St.-Petersburg region library network led by the Library of Academy of Sciences (LAS), library networks of Ural and Far East Branches of the RAS led by corresponding Central Libraries are among regional CLNs. Field CLN which combines libraries of humanitarian and social institutions of the RAS is led by the Institute of Scientific Information for Social Sciences (INION). The largest CLN serving more than 150 academic institutes is led by the Library for Natural Sciences (BEN) of the RAS.
Centralized subsystems serving scientific centers are included into some RAS CLNs. In particular, RAS SB CLN consists of local library subsystems if the RAS SB: Novosibirsk, Buryat, Irkutsk, Krasnoyarsk, Omsk, Tomsk, and Yakutsk scientific centers. Each of mentioned library subsystem is led by corresponding central scientific library which has status of independent structural subdivision of corresponding scientific center. SB CLN also includes informational and library centers and libraries of research institutes (NIU). Only NIU libraries operate in those cities such Kemerovo, Barnaul, Chita, Kysyl, Tyumen where central scientific libraries are absent.
RAS BEN CLN also includes library subsystems led by central libraries of scientific centers. Such organizational structures exist in Pushchino, Noginsk, Kola, Karelia, and Komi scientific centers.
Functions provided by central libraries of the RAS today are drastically extended as compared with traditional ones. In point of fact they are informational centers purchasing not so much traditional literature as access rights to electronic publications and databases on modern data medium. Central libraries maintain their own servers with catalogues, databases, full-text materials, and links to Internet resources of interest for their users.