PART I - BACKGROUND
CHAPTER 1 :
1.1 The need for legislation for national library services
1.2 Origins of the study
1.4 Scope and emphasis
1.5 Aims and objectives of the project
CHAPTER 2 : National
library needs and functions
2.2 From national library and information needs to national library functions
2.3 Five clusters of functions
2.4 Needs and functions in developing and emerging countries
CHAPTER 3 The
environment of national libraries and national library services
3.2 The social, economic and cultural environment
3.3 The political and administrative environment
3.4 The legal environment
3.5 The technological environment
3.6 The library and information services environment
CHAPTER 4 Developing
and implementing legislation
4.2 Drafting, promoting and passing NL/NLS legislation
4.3 Steps following the enactment of legislation
PART II - GUIDELINES
SECTION 0 PREAMBLE
SECTION 1 DEFINITIONS
S1.2 Categories of terms to be defined
S1.3 Definition of terms relating to library material
S1.4 Collaboration with legal draftspersons
SECTION 2 COMPLIANCE WITH CONSTITUTIONAL REQUIREMENTS
SECTION 3DESIGNATION OF THE NL/NLS
SECTION 4 AIMS OF THE NL/NLS
SECTION 5 STATEMENT
S5.2 Functions relating to heritage
S5.3 Functions relating to infrastructure
S5.4 Functions relating to a comprehensive national service
SECTION 6 STATUS AND POWERS
SECTION 7 GOVERNANCE
S7.2 Supervising ministry
S7.3 The NL/NLS board
SECTION 8 PERSONNEL
S8.3 Other personnel matters
SECTION 9 COLLECTIONS
AND OTHER ASSETS
S9.1 Introduction :
S9.2 Transfer of collections or assets
S9.3 Permanent loans
SECTION 10 SERVICES
S11.1Sources of funds
SECTION 12 ORGANISATION
SECTION 13 REGULATIONS
SECTION 14 MISCELLANEOUS
S14.1 Transition measures
S14.2 Statutes repealed or amended
S14.3 Short title and commencement
ANNEX A : SAMPLE STATEMENTS OF NL/NLS FUNCTIONS
ANNEX B : CHECKLIST OF DERIVED LEGISLATION
This document has been prepared by Peter J. Lor under contract with
the International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions (IFLA).
It follows three previous UNESCO documents dealing with national libraries:
Guy Sylvestre's Guidelines for national libraries (PGI87/WS/17),
Maurice Line's National library and information needs: alternative means
of fulfilment, with special reference to the role of national libraries
(PGI89/WS/9), and Graham P. Cornish's The role of national libraries
in the new information environment (PGI91/WS/4). This document
is intended to build upon the foundations laid by these documents by providing
concrete guidelines for those engaged in the drafting or revision of legislation
for national library services.
In the author's discussions and correspondence with colleagues from national libraries, and in comments received on drafts of this document, two somewhat divergent expectations emerged. Some colleagues, mainly from developed countries, expressed the wish that the document should deal with broad principles and not be prescriptive. They also asked for more emphasis on the implications of information technology, and especially electronic publications and media, for modern national libraries. Other colleagues, mainly from developing countries, expressed a wish for more specific guidelines with examples of legislation which could be used as models for their own drafts and as a means of persuading their authorities to enact more enlightening and empowering legislation for their institutions.
In response to these needs an attempt has been made to strike a balance. However, where choices have had to be made, greater emphasis has been placed on meeting the needs of national library services in developing countries.
The designations employed and presentation of the material throughout this document do not imply the expression of any opinion whatsoever on the part of UNESCO.
Readers are invited to send comments, suggestions or requests for additional copies to the Information and Informatics Division, UNESCO, 7 Place de Fontenoy, 75700, Paris, France.
Peter Johan Lor
The author wishes to express his thanks to the directors of national
libraries and national library services, members of the IFLA Section of
National Libraries and members of the Conference of Directors of National
Libraries (CDNL), who commented on drafts of these guidelines; Mr Abdelaziz
Abid of UNESCO's General Information Programme for his constructive criticism
and Mr Winston Roberts of IFLA for his support and patience; Mrs E.A.S.
Sonnekus for her conscientious assistance in all phases of this project;
Professor J C Sonnekus for advice on legal aspects; and to the author's
deputy, Mrs Joan de Beer and her colleagues at the State Library for their
willing support and assistance.
This document consists of three main parts. Part I presents background
material to the Guidelines for Legislation (Part II), which form the centre
of gravity of the document. Parts I and II are supplemented by the annexes
that make up Part III.
Part I consists of four chapters. Chapter 1 deals with some terminological issues as well as with the origins, scope and aims of the guidelines and the methodology employed to compile them. Chapter 2 deals with the functions of national libraries and national library services, relating these to the national library and information needs identified by Line. Chapter 3 is concerned with five dimensions of the environment of national library services: social, economic and cultural; political and administrative; legal; technological; and that of library and information services. Chapter 4 outlines the main steps in the development and implementation of legislation.
1.1 The need for legislation for national library services
As a cultural institution which is shaped by the society which needs
and nurtures it, the library assumes many forms in different countries.
In response to the different needs of various client groups, various types
of libraries have evolved. Many of them, for example university, school
and public libraries, are universally recognisable in spite of different
national traditions. National libraries too occur almost universally (Goodrum
1986). However, while national libraries can be distinguished as a particular
type of library, they differ greatly from one another in respect of their
origins, functions and status in their respective countries (Tyilina 1976;
Line & Line 1979b). This diversity is underlined by the emergence of
the term “national library service”, the implications of which are discussed
in par. 1.3.2 below. Provisionally, the term “national library” is used
here to cover both national libraries and national library services.
The difficulty in determining the common elements which make a library a national library is reflected in the numerous attempts that have been made to determine and categorise national library functions (Humphreys 1966; Burston 1973; Wilson 1987; Line 1993b). More seriously, in recent times doubts have been expressed concerning the future role of national libraries (Mchombu 1983, Line 1990). Can a country do without a national library? The majority of countries have national libraries and it is quite generally assumed that each country should have one. Unfortunately, in many of the countries which do have a national library, it is prevented by a variety of factors (chief among them lack of funds and effective powers) from performing the national functions which are assumed to be its raison d'être. Many national librarians believe that this situation can be remedied, at least in part, by appropriate legislation.
Three underlying concerns are reflected in the various arguments that have been advanced for national library legislation:
Relationship with the state: The first concern is to clarify the aims and functions of the national library visàvis the state. A national library is too important an organ for its aims, functions and survival to be dependent on mere administrative decisions. It should be established by the legislature. If this is done, the legislature can hold the management of the national library accountable for the manner in which it pursues its enacted aim and carries out its statutory functions, while the management of the national library has a firm basis on which it can approach the legislature for the funding it needs to carry out its functions. Thus the legislation provides a more stable basis for the library's relationship with the state, and particularly for an adequate and reliable flow of funding.
Authority: The second concern is to provide a basis for the national library's relationships with other libraries and institutions. To carry out key national functions which entail, for example, cooperation with other institutions, initiating and coordinating national library and information programmes, encouraging standardisation, and carrying out national and international liaison tasks, the national library needs statutory recognition which gives it the necessary authority visàvis other libraries.
Autonomy: The third concern is to gain a greater degree of autonomy for the national library, with particular emphasis on the competence of its management to determine priorities and to allocate resources in a flexible way in response to changes taking place in the library's environment (Lor 1987).
No amount of legislation can make up for a lack of the political will to adequately support and empower a country's national library. However, a sound legislative framework for a country's national library, which gives expression to the legislators' commitment to the institution, would appear to be a prerequisite for the allocation of the resources and powers such an institution needs to carry out national functions in a reliable and effective way.
The origins of the guidelines presented here can be traced to the IFLA/UNESCO
Presession Seminar on the Role and Objectives of National Libraries
in the New Information Environment, which was held in Moscow in August
1991. At the Seminar a proposal was made by Ms Irina Bagrova that guidelines
be prepared for developing and improving the legal basis for the activities
of the national library. Such guidelines, she suggested, would “help individual
national libraries to work out their models relating to conditions in their
countries” (Bagrova 1992:278).
Participants in the Seminar concluded that each country should have a law on the national library, in which particular attention should be given to “the legal provision of the role of the national library in preserving the cultural heritage, the function of collecting the stock of national documents and foreign publications about the country, the function of the national bibliographic record, the leading position of the national library amidst the country's libraries, and its role in international cooperation between libraries” (Bagrova 1992:278). This conclusion is reflected in two of the ten resolutions passed at the conclusion of the Seminar:
1. It is desirable that every country should have a national library. Further, all national libraries that have no legislative base for their activities or that have outdated legislation must urge their governments to adopt laws ensuring efficient fulfilment of national library functions.
10. IFLA's Section of National Libraries, in collaboration with its regional sections, is urged to undertake the preparation of guidelines for establishing and improving a legislative base for national library activities. This work should take into account:
a) the changing information environment;
c) the international library and information community; and
d) work already done by UNESCO, IFLA, and international standards organizations.
The expression “national library services” is ambiguous. It could refer
the services of national libraries;
library services (by any institutions) which are national in scope; or
institutions that in certain countries are designated the “National Library Service”.
In several countries ambivalence has occurred in national library legislation as a result of confusion between these meanings. It is therefore important to distinguish between them explicitly.
1.3.1 National libraries
Line and Line (1979a:317) stated that national libraries:
may be national in the sense that they contain the literary production of the nation; or in the sense that they are the nation's main book museum, containing a high concentration of the nation's treasures; or in the sense that they are leaders, perhaps coordinators, of the nation's libraries; or in the sense that they offer a national service (to the nation's libraries or population).
Three dimensions of the concept “national library” are discernible here:
Heritage (emphasis on the nation's literary production, treasures). The national library which emphasises this dimension corresponds most closely to the older, “classic” national libraries. Care of collections is the central concern.
Infrastructure (emphasis on national coordination, facilitation, leadership, and services). The national library which emphasises this is a more modern development. Service to the country's libraries is the central concern.
Comprehensive national service (delivery of services to endusers, not merely in a reading room in the capital city, but throughout the country). The national libraries which emphasise this are mainly found in developing countries. Service to the people is the central concern.
The three dimensions amount to three basic orientations of national libraries. They are summarised in Table 1.
TABLE 1: NATIONAL LIBRARY ORIENTATIONS
|Dimensions of the “national library” concept||Developmental stage or context||Primary clients||Strategic emphasis||Type of national library|
|Heritage||Classic (developed countries)||Learned scholars, researchers||Collections||Conventional or traditional national library|
|Infrastructure||Modern (developed countries)||Libraries||National leadership||Modern national library|
|Comprehensive national service||Developing countries||The people||Service delivery (to end-users)||National library service|
1.3.2 National library services
The final part of the definition by Line and Line (1979a:317), cited
above, referred to national libraries as libraries that “offer a national
service (to the nation's libraries or population)”.
The provision of a national service to the nation's population is somewhat further removed from traditional conceptions of national library functions. In these cases, the national library, then often called the “national library service” takes on for the country the role that a metropolitan, county, provincial or state library service performs for its city, county, province or federal state. This could involve the erection, equipping, stocking, servicing and staffing of branch or affiliated libraries serving communities throughout the country, including one or more of the following: public, school, hospital and prison libraries, and the special libraries serving the legislature and government departments and agencies. In this context the word “service” could be replaced with “authority”, “administration” or “organisation”.
The term “branch libraries” (also called “constituent libraries”) implies that these are fully funded and controlled by the national library service. The term “affiliated libraries” implies that these may be operated in partnership with other authorities. For example, public or community libraries might be operated in partnership with local authorities or community structures, school libraries in partnership with the ministry of education, and government department libraries in partnership with the relevant ministries. In its fully developed form, the national library service would, alone or in partnership with other bodies, fund and control most of the libraries in the country, leaving only a few, such as university libraries and non-governmental special libraries, outside its sphere of direct influence.
A “national library service” can therefore be defined as follows:
National library service: an institution, primarily funded (directly or indirectly) by the state, which is responsible for providing library services of one or more kinds to communities of defined types throughout the country through a network of branch (constituent) or affiliated libraries and service points. A national library service can include a national library (as defined in par. 1.3.1) as one of its constituent libraries or divisions.
In this document the term “national library/national library service” (abbreviated as NL/NLS) is used as a generic term to refer to the entities discussed in this and the previous paragraph. Where the term “national library” is used by itself, it refers mainly to those national libraries emphasising heritage and/or infrastructure as described in par. 1.3.1. Where the term “national library service” is used by itself, it refers mainly to those national libraries emphasising nationwide service to the people.
1.3.3 National services
In many countries, services that are national in scope (e.g. serving
the nation at large) are rendered by institutions that are not national
libraries. Such services could be primarily targeted at libraries, for
example a bibliographic utility, or at particular groups in the population
at large, for example books for the blind or the provision of multiple
copies of plays for playreading and drama groups. Maurice Line (pers.
comm.) has used the term “paranational library” to refer to “a library
other than the national library that serves, as a deliberate aim
or otherwise, a significant national function, usually in its coverage
of a particular, generally rather broad, subject area”. (See also Tyilina
1988:176.) In many cases, the institutions delivering such services stake
no claim to being recognised as national libraries. However, they would
gain by the recognition and subvention of the national functions they perform,
and the country as a whole would probably benefit if their activities were
coordinated with those of the national library.
Which of the three meanings of the expression “national library services”
as discussed in par. 1.3 is most appropriate here? The national services
described in par. 1.3.3 cannot be totally excluded, since legislation for
national library services should also make provision for the funding and
coordination of such national services which are provided by institutions
other than the national library service or national library. Nevertheless
they do not constitute the main focus of this document and can be dealt
with only incidentally.
This leaves the “national library” as defined in par. 1.3.1 and the “national library service” as defined in par. 1.3.2 to be considered. In practice it is not always a simple matter to draw the dividing line between these two types of institution. As indicated above, the traditional national library may sometimes be included as a division of a national library service; alternatively, the national library may have a division responsible for the services discussed in par. 1.3.2. In developing countries in particular, institutions of both types need to be taken into account when legislation is drafted. Therefore this document deals with both national libraries and national library services. This is reflected by the use of the expression “national library/national library service” and the abbreviation “NL/NLS”. However, the emphasis is on the NL/NLS in developing and emerging countries and the assumption is that in most cases the NL/NLS will combine most of the functions of both types of institution.
Two considerations led to the decision that the emphasis of these guidelines should fall firmly on national library services as they are typically found in developing and emerging countries.
Firstly, the PreSession Seminar that gave rise to this project was targeted at national librarians of developing countries. Although the PreSession Seminar was not limited to this, there was a clear emphasis on national libraries in the developing countries. The project arose from the second resolution adopted there, which gave expression to the needs of national libraries in developing countries:
2. Although the importance of traditional national library functions is recognized in developing countries, it is recommended that emphasis should be placed on the following:
a) services to other libraries;
b) leadership in developing, coordinating, and maintaining an integrated national information system;
c) legal depository and national bibliographic centre roles; and
d) responsibility for the promotion of training and continuing education programmes.
Secondly, there is already an extensive literature on traditional national libraries and, as the IFLA Section of National Libraries pointed out in 1992, various fairly recent guidelines are already in existence for national libraries (Sylvestre 1987; Line 1989a; Cornish 1991).
The scope of this document is restricted to legislation that deals with the establishment, responsibilities and control of national libraries and national library services. It was not possible to extend the scope to cover the total legal framework of library services, for example legislation regulating legal deposit, copyright, censorship and other matters impinging on libraries.
The objective of the project is thus to develop a set of guidelines
for legislation for national libraries/national library services as delimited
above, for use by professional colleagues in countries which lack such
legislation or need to evaluate or revise it. It is hoped that it will
give these colleagues a tool that they will be able to use to educate their
authorities about the role and value of the NL/NLS and to persuade them
to enact appropriate legislation. It adopts a practical approach, outlining
steps to be followed, and listing elements, considerations, criteria, etc.
While the study emphasises the conditions and needs typical of developing
and emerging countries, it is hoped that national librarians in developed
countries will also be able to make use of this document.
A literature study was undertaken for the project by Mrs E.A.S. Sonnekus,
with the aim of:
identifying earlier reports, monographs and reviews of the literature and supplementing these sources with more recent literature;
identifying existing legislation (including legislation collected by the Russian State Library) that is suitable as a model of good practice, with emphasis on more recent and innovative legislation; and
distilling essential contents elements from the identified literature and legislation.
The literature study was supplemented by interviews and correspondence with colleagues in selected national libraries of various types. During June and July 1995 interviews were conducted by the author with national librarians and other interested parties in Botswana, Namibia and Zimbabwe, the aim being to determine:
the current status of national library legislation in each of these countries;
deficiencies that have become apparent since the legislation was implemented;
the impact of such deficiencies on the functioning of the national library service;
current plans for amending or replacing present legislation;
factors influencing the nature and content of the legislation; and
constraints on the development of legislation that may be inherent in the professional and political environment or in the legislative process.
Information collected in this way was supplemented by the author's own experience as a member of the team which drafted the South African National Libraries Act in 19831985, and as a participant in several recent national policy development exercises aimed at the reconstruction and development of library and information services for postapartheid South Africa.
In the following phase of the project inputs were solicited from colleagues and interested parties beyond the confines of Southern Africa. During the first half of 1995 the first chapter and an outline of the document were disseminated for comment to colleagues in national libraries and other interested parties that had been identified by IFLA and UNESCO. The first chapter and the outline were then discussed at a meeting of the Standing Committee of the IFLA Section of National Libraries during the IFLA Conference in Istanbul in August 1995. The provisional version was completed and submitted to UNESCO and IFLA in December 1995. During the first half of 1996 the provisional draft was “field tested” in Namibia, when the author served as a consultant to the Namibian Ministry of Basic Education and Culture, assisting the Ministry in drafting national library legislation. During the same period, the provisional version of the document was widely disseminated in printed form as well as by means of the IFLANET site on the World-Wide Web. An in-depth discussion of this version took place during a meeting of the Standing Committee of the IFLA Section of National Libraries during the IFLA Conference in Beijing in August 1996. The document was also briefly discussed by the CDNL's meeting in Beijing. Comments received at these meetings and by correspondence have as far as possible been taken into account in preparing this first definitive edition.
The purpose of this chapter is to identify the information needs and
functions that are appropriate to national libraries generally and more
specifically to national libraries and national library services in developing
and emerging countries. The basis for this chapter has been laid in a report
by Line (1989a). His work is not repeated here. Rather, an attempt is made
to develop, on the basis of his findings, an understanding of the functions
which should be reflected in legislation for a national library or national
2.2.1 National library and information needs
In his study, National library and information needs: alternative means of fulfilment, with special reference to the role of national libraries (PGI89/WS/9), Maurice B. Line took national library and information needs (library needs to be met at a national rather than the local level) as the point of departure and identified the following types of library and information need:
(1) Collection and preservation of documents of national interest and importance. These documents comprise (a) publications, not only conventional printed publications but also grey literature and audiovisual materials, and (b) unpublished documents such as manuscripts and audio and visual recordings.
(2) Bibliographic needs: creation of and access to records of publications. This comprises (a) the creation of records of the nation's publications, and (b) access for users in the country to bibliographic records describing the publications of other countries. In terms of IFLA's programme of Universal Bibliographic Control (UBC) every country is responsible for creating records describing its own publications and for disseminating them internationally, ideally in an internationally compatible machinereadable format.
(3) Document provision: the national resource. The term “national resource” refers to “the total collection of publications in a country available for use - in effect, the sum of the nation's library holdings” (Line 1989a:9). Provision should not be confused with supply or delivery. It concerns the acquisition and retention, by the libraries of the country as a whole, of those publications (from anywhere in the world) needed to meet the information needs of the country's population. This implies that there should be national planning for acquisitions and retention in order to ensure a stated level of availability.
(4) Access to publications. The principle is that “people should be able both to consult material in collections and to obtain specific items however distant they may be” (Line 1989a:10). Therefore this function comprises (a) access for reference and consultation (on site or possibly electronically), and (b) remote supply by means of photocopies or loans. In terms of IFLA's programme of Universal Availability of Publications (UAP) every country has a responsibility to make copies of its own publications available within and without its borders.
(5) Exchange of publications. This refers to the disposal of surplus material through its redistribution among the country's libraries.
(6) Access to information. This refers to the supply of information as distinct from documents (cf. 4). The information provided can be of three kinds: (a) primary information (raw, unprocessed information, e.g. in response to reference questions); (b) processed information (which calls for information analysis and processing on behalf of users); and (c) preparation of information guides (such as registers of research).
(7) Services to libraries and information units. The most prominent of these is cataloguing (through the provision of cataloguing records, formerly on catalogue cards and currently in machinereadable form). Other services may include preservation and conservation.
(8) Leadership and advice to libraries and information units to help them carry out their functions more effectively.
(9) Planning and coordination. Line (1989a:16) makes a distinction between “leading and advising free agencies and telling them what to do”. Planning and coordination imply a greater degree of directiveness and organisation than the provision of leadership and advice. Some degree of official policy making and coordination is considered necessary in most countries to ensure “greater overall effectiveness by using the resources available to better effect”.
(10) Education and training for library and information work. Suitably educated persons are needed to ensure that the nation's libraries function adequately. Training can take many forms, but there is “a clear national need to ensure that adequate education and training exist” (Line 1989a:16).
(11) Research and development. Research can range from fact finding for planning purposes to in-depth practical and theoretical investigations. Development is linked to research. There is a national need for “the organisation, conduct and funding of research and, where appropriate, development” (Line 1989a:17).
2.2.2 Functions related to needs
The needs identified by Line are readily matched with national functions;
however, these are not all necessarily functions of national libraries.
Some, or all, of them could be performed by other libraries or agencies.
Line divided the functions into three categories: (a) those that might
be centralised on the national library; (b) those that might be centralised
but not carried out by the national library; (c) those that might be decentralised.
He also pointed out that the institution that controls or coordinates does
not necessarily have to execute the function itself. In fact it is doubtful
whether there is any country in which the national library fulfils all
the national needs listed above.
The classic national library functions, as exercised by the longestablished national libraries of developed countries, are well known. They were authoritatively stated by Humphreys (1966) and reassessed and prioritised by Line (1980). PGI documents by Sylvestre (1987) and Cornish (1991) have also dealt with national library functions. Since national libraries are so diverse, discussion of their functions is likely to continue as long as they exist. There is little to be gained here by yet another attempt to classify them. However, for the purpose of these guidelines it is necessary to identify national library functions for the purposes of including them in legislation. The functions should also be considered from the point of view of how appropriate they are in developing countries. For convenience the functions are grouped in three primary clusters that correspond to the three dimensions of the concept of a national library as distinguished in par. 1.3.1 and Table 1:
(a) functions concerned with heritage;
(b) functions concerned with infrastructure (or building national capacity for library and information services); and
(c) functions concerned with a comprehensive national service.
In addition, two secondary clusters have also been identified: services to end-users and functions concerned with international cooperation. They are dealt with later.
The three primary clusters of national library functions are set out in Table 2. The national library and information needs identified by Line are listed in the first column, and in the remaining three columns the functions are grouped into three clusters corresponding to the dimensions of the national library concept as set out in Table 1 above. The table shows that certain functions occur in two or more clusters, but mostly they are manifested somewhat differently in each one.
Two national needs not mentioned by Line have been added to Table 2, namely heritage promotion and information awareness. Heritage promotion comprises raising awareness of the nation's documentary heritage as reflected in the library's own collection by means of exhibitions, publications, newspaper and magazine articles, radio and television programmes, and electronic media, and assisting other libraries in promoting awareness of the national documentary heritage as reflected in their collections. Relevant activities could include oral history projects and other means of repackaging heritage materials, and the promotion of indigenous authorship, with an emphasis on writing and publishing in indigenous languages. More generally conceived, this function implies promoting books and reading.
Promotion of information awareness comprises participation not only in print literacy campaigns, but also the promotion of numeracy, visual literacy, media literacy and computer literacy. By this is meant an enhanced awareness of information and the ability to find and harness it using various media and modern information technology. Relevant activities range from the publication of bibliographies of materials suitable for newly literate readers to the digitisation of parts of the national library's collections to make this material accessible on the Internet. More generally this function implies helping to promote a culture of learning and information use within the country.
TABLE 2: NATIONAL LIBRARY/NATIONAL LIBRARY SERVICES: NEEDS AND FUNCTIONS
|National library and information needs (Line)||National library functions|
|Heritage orientation||Infrastructure orientation||Comprehensive national service orientation|
|1. Collection and preservation of documents
of national interest and importance.
||A1 Acquisition of a complete collection
of material emanating from and relating to the country.
B1 Preservation of the complete collection of material emanating from and relating to the country.
B2 Serving as a national preservation library: planning and coordinating preservation activities in the country's libraries; rendering a restoration service on a country-wide basis.
|A3 Acquisition of library material
for constituent and affiliated libraries of the service.
B3 Recycling and disposing of material acquired for constituent and affiliated libraries.
|2. Bibliographic needs: creation of and access
to records of publications:
(a) Creation of records of country
(b) Access to records of other countries
|C1 Comprehensive bibliographic recording of the material emanating from and relating to the country: current and retrospective.||C2 Serving as the national bibliographic agency: making available bibliographic records describing the material emanating from and relating to the country; exchanging such records internationally; compiling statistics of the national production of books and other information materials; coordinating bibliographic work and promoting standardisation of bibliographic organisation in the country's libraries; providing or facilitating nation-wide access to bibliographic databases and tools describing the output of other countries.||C3 Processing (cataloguing, classification, shelfmarking etc.) of material acquired for constituent and affiliated libraries.|
|3. Document provision: the national resource.||
||D2 National collection management: planning and coordination of the acquisition and retention of materials held by the country's libraries; building up collections of foreign publications to supplement holdings of individual libraries; operating a repository for little-used material and/or a centre for redistribution of material disposed of by the country's libraries; coordinating national and international exchanges of publications.|
|4. Access to publications:
(a) Access for reference and consultation;
(b) Remote supply: loans or copies.
|E1 Document access: Direct services to in-house and remote users based on own collections (access provided as original materials, conventional copies or digitised and electronically transmitted texts).||E2 National availability of publications: planning, coordinating and operating systems for national availability, including national and international interlending systems. (Includes compilation of union catalogues, standardisation activities, cost recovery systems, etc.)||E3 Central support of reference, consultation, loan and document delivery services by constituent and affiliated libraries, including intra-system reference and request services.|
|National library and information needs (Line)||National library functions|
|Heritage orientation||Infrastructure orientation||Comprehensive national service orientation|
|5. Exchange of publications||See D2 above.|
|6. Access to information:
(a) primary information
(b) processed information
(c) preparation of information guides.
|F1 Reference and information service (primarily relating to the library's collections of materials emanating from and relating to the country). Includes compilation of guides to heritage collections.||F2 National reference and information service: Serving as a reference library of last resort in the country; compiling directories and information guides relating to resources in the country generally.||See E3 above.|
|7. Services to libraries and other information
(b) Other services
|See B2, C2, D2, E2 and F2 above.||See A3, B3, C3 and E3 above.|
|8. Leadership and advice to libraries and
|G2 Professional and technological
leadership (through expert participation in national and international
forums and projects).
H2 Consultancy service to individual libraries and other institutions.
|G3 System-wide professional and technological
leadership (as part of the management of the service as a whole).
H3 Advice to individual constituent and affiliated libraries.
|9. Planning and coordination||I2 National planning and coordination, with emphasis on resource sharing, standardisation and international liaison.||I3 System-wide planning and coordination,
Setting of standards for provision and services; Determination of funding criteria; Budgeting and resource allocation; Operating regional offices; Inspection of constituent and affiliated libraries; Control of constituent libraries.
|10. Education and training||J1 In-service training of own staff.||J2 Formal and informal education and training (depending on educational facilities available in the country, these could range from short courses on national systems, to in-service programmes and formal professional training courses, with emphasis on areas of special expertise, e.g. standardisation, preservation).||J3 In-service training of staff at headquarters, regional offices, and constituent and affiliated libraries.|
|11. Research and development||K1 Research and development relating to own collections, systems etc.||K2 Commissioned and sponsored research and development on matters of national importance, affecting groups of libraries or the national library and information system as a whole.||K3 Research and development relating to the development of the service.|
|National library and information needs (Line)||National library functions|
|Heritage orientation||Infrastructure orientation||Comprehensive national service orientation|
|[Heritage promotion]||L1 Heritage promotion: raising awareness of the library's collection of materials emanating from or relating to the country; includes exhibitions, conferences, publications.||L2 Assisting other libraries in the country in heritage promotion. Could include coordination of and participation in oral history projects, promotion of indigenous authorship and publishing in vernacular languages.|
|[Information awareness]||M2 Promotion of information awareness among the broad population: literacy promotion, information literacy, etc.||M3 Literacy programmes: using the constituent and affiliated libraries as centres for literacy promotion.|
Functions A1, B1, C1, E1, F1, J1, K1 and
L1 are concerned with collecting, preserving and describing the national
heritage for use, both now and in the future. The component of the national
heritage with which national libraries are primarily concerned is the nation's
documentary heritage, which comprises the full range of informationbearing
materials and media, both published and unpublished, but with the emphasis
of published documents.
Whereas in the past preservation (B1) and access (E1) presented conflicting demands, modern technology (specifically digitisation and the Internet) makes it possible for the national library to provide wide access to rare and fragile heritage documents without endangering them. Electronic access can be provided not only to users living within or near the city in which the national library is located, but also to more distant users. Thus providing wide access to documents “of national interest and importance” and promoting an awareness and appreciation of such heritage materials should also be counted among the heritage-related functions of a modern national library.
Functions concerned with infrastructure (B2, C2, D2, E2, F2, G2, H2, I2, J2, K2, L2, M2) are those aiming to build the national capacity for library and information services. They are concerned with activities taking place in or through the country's libraries and not merely with those relating to the national library's own collections. These functions comprise various forms of support and assistance, as well as products and services, that will enable the country's libraries and information centres to develop and to improve the services they deliver to their users.
The creation of bibliographic records describing documents of national interest and importance (C1) is also relevant here as it contributes to the national bibliographic infrastructure. However, if national production of documents is small, the impact of this function on the national bibliographic infrastructure will be small too.
The development through national acquisitions plans of an appropriate and constantly updated selection from the world's output of documents (D2) implies that the national library should plan and coordinate collection development and retention by the nation's libraries. However, in certain countries a convincing case can be made for the national library itself to build up a strong collection of foreign literature.
A function not mentioned by Line is the coordination of the exchange of (new) publications with libraries in other countries (cf. D2). This is not the same as the redistribution Line refers to as a national need (5).
2.3.3 Comprehensive national service
Functions A3, B3, C3, E3, G3, H3, I3, J3, K3, M3 are appropriate in countries in which the NLS is responsible for delivering services to endusers throughout the country through a network of provincial or district offices and branch (constituent) libraries, affiliated libraries, travelling libraries, depots etc. A national library service which strives to play a role in national development is likely in addition to be involved in activities such as:
the publication of materials in the vernacular and materials suitable for neoliterates;
providing audiovisual materials to reach illiterate community members;
national information campaigns such as AIDS awareness;
community information services;
oral history programmes; and
travelling libraries and book box schemes.
To complete the picture, two secondary clusters of functions are briefly dealt with here:
2.3.4 Services to endusers
Whether or not the NL/NLS is a traditional national library or the headquarters of a national library service, it is likely to have to provide direct services to end-users (E1, F1, F2). Access to bibliographic tools acquired by the national library (cf. C2) is also relevant here. All functions that are mainly performed in support of the country's libraries will obviously benefit endusers too, albeit indirectly through services rendered by other libraries. In developing countries the national library may serve as the capital city's main public library, which will draw users from other parts of the country as well. If local university libraries are inadequate, the national library may be so heavily used by students that special study facilities may be necessary. In developed countries the national library may use modern information technology to bring digitised images of heritage materials directly to the workstations of end-users anywhere in the country.
2.3.5 International cooperation
Most of the functions concerned with the national documentary heritage and the provision of national infrastructure imply some degree of international cooperation. For example, the collection of documents produced in the country (A1) and its bibliographic recording (C1) form the basis of the country's contribution to Universal Bibliographic Control (UBC) and Universal Availability of Publications (UAP).
Also relevant here are:
collaboration in international research and development activities;
serving as a national centre for the collection and reporting of library and informationrelated statistics;
serving as a national centre for the dissemination and promotion of international standards relating to libraries and information;
managing technical and financial assistance provided by development agencies such as UNESCO and UNDP; and
managing twinning agreements.
Referring to developing countries Mchombu (1983) stated that, although
the concept of a national library may be relevant, and a national library
can play a useful role, particularly in providing leadership in the development
of library and information services, not all developing countries can afford
to have a fully fledged national library in its traditional form.
Nevertheless, most countries have national libraries and where they exist they should perform appropriate functions optimally. The point of departure of these guidelines, which are intended primarily for the use of national librarians, is that NL/NLS have a useful role to play in developing countries. Hence measures (including the enactment of appropriate legislation) should be taken to ensure that they carry out appropriate functions and do so optimally. In determining which functions are appropriate, cognizance should be taken of other institutions in the country, such as a university library, the documentation centre of a national research organisation or the national archives. One or more of these may be capable of performing functions arising from the national needs identified by Line, and may already be doing so.
The relative importance of the needs described in par. 2.2.1 above depends on various factors. Prominent among these is the general level of development of a country's library services and its information sector, including the infrastructure for the domestic generation and dissemination of information and for the acquisition of information from other countries.
Various characteristics of developing communities that affect the establishment and maintenance of library services are described in the literature. They include low average standards of education, widespread illiteracy, the absence of a reading culture and the prevalence of an oral tradition, language barriers, a poorly developed book trade, an educational system that emphasises rote learning, intense competition for scarce development funds, difficulties in obtaining foreign exchange, lack of skilled technical and professional staff, poor communications (roads, post and telecommunications), difficulties in obtaining supplies and maintenance services needed to keep equipment operating, and unreliable electricity supplies (Briquet de Lemos 1986; Mabomba, 1990; Sturges & Neill 1990; Zell 1992; Zulu 1994).
Descriptions of extreme conditions in very poor countries should not, however, mislead us into accepting a simplistic dichotomy of developed and developing countries. Within both categories there are degrees of general and library development. During the last decade the picture has been made more complex by the emerging of newly independent countries in eastern Europe and elsewhere. Some of these countries had well-developed library and information systems which have subsequently been disrupted by sweeping political and economic changes (Cornish 1994). Thus the categories of “developing” and “emerging” countries - or for that matter the category of “developed” countries - are by no means homogeneous.
The national needs identified by Line and the corresponding national library functions are now briefly assessed from the point of view of developing and emerging countries. (Figures in parentheses refer to the needs as numbered in par. 2.2.1; those in boldface refer to the functions listed in Table 2.)
In a developing country where book production is small, certain needs and functions may appear to be of minor scope. Examples of such needs and functions are:
the comprehensive collection and preservation of the nation's publications (1; A1, B1, B2);
bibliographic records of these materials for the purposes of UBC (2; C1); and
access to the nation's publications within the library or through interlending (4; E1 - the domestically published materials only).
However, a low publishing output may be offset by the work involved in tracing and obtaining what is published and by a greater emphasis on collecting and bibliographically organising grey literature and unpublished material. The library may have to become involved in the recording of oral traditions and in publishing indigenous material, especially in the vernacular.
The role that a national library can play in celebrating a nation's cultural diversity and in promoting the appreciation of a shared national experience should not be overlooked, particularly in culturally heterogeneous countries. Thus traditional national library functions such as the holding of exhibitions and conferences as well as the publication of books and catalogues relating to the nation's heritage (L1), are also relevant in developing countries.
On the other hand, in developing and emerging countries certain needs and functions may take on a greater importance than they would in a highly developed country with a rich panoply of libraries of diverse types. Examples of such needs are:
an adequate national provision of foreign publications (3; D2);
access to the country's stock of (indigenous and imported) information resources (4b), for example by means of a national interlending and document delivery service (E2); and
information provision (6; F1, F2), including the preparation of information guides (6c).
In countries where libraries are few and poorly developed, the last five national needs identified by Line are likely to be particularly important:
services to libraries (7; B2, C2, D2, E2, F2);
leadership and advice (8; G2, H2);
planning and coordination (9; I2);
education and training (10; J2); and
research and development (11; K2).
In developing countries the leadership role (G2) and that of coordinating the nation's libraries (I2) is one that has frequently been emphasised, as at the landmark Meeting of Experts on National Planning of Documentation and Library Services, held in Kampala in 1970, where it was emphasised that the national library had in the first place to serve as the primary instrument for the achievement of coordinated library development (Zaaiman 1987). This is also reflected in the definition of a national library in the Encyclopedia of library and information science (Tyilina 1976:107) where it is stated as one of the four characteristics of a national library that it serves as “a center of coordination, planning and stimulation of the entire library system of the nation”. Leadership is also repeatedly referred to in Sylvestre's (1987) guidelines, while the leading and coordinating role of the national library features prominently in a recent account of library development in the Cook Islands (Temata 1996:4).
In fact, the provision of centralised services to, and the coordination or control of, a network of constituent or affiliated libraries (typically the responsibility of a national library service) may well constitute the most important national library need in such countries. In some developing countries, especially in Africa, the national library is “the organizational centre of the nation's library system, often the centre of public library services...” (Line 1993a: 605). In such cases the leadership and services of the national library may extend to tasks foreign to older national libraries, such as literacy work.
A NL/NLS in a developing country is likely to have to deal with a spectrum
of functions, which can be grouped into three major clusters: (a) heritage,
(b) infrastructure, (c) comprehensive national service; and two secondary
clusters: (d) services to endusers, and (e) international cooperation.
Of these, clusters (b) and (c) are strategically the most significant in
that they concern the sphere in which the NL/NLS can make its greatest
contribution to national development. Cluster (a) may be of limited scope
as a result of a small national publishing output. However, if heritage
is seen as important for nationbuilding, cluster (a) may be significant
from the point of view of competing for resources. Cluster (d) is likely
to impose itself on the library due to demand unmet by other institutions.
Although service to endusers (in lieu of services provided by local
public, school and university libraries) is not a primary national library
role, cluster (d) may also be of importance in influencing how current
and potential decision-makers perceive the NL/NLS and libraries generally.
Last but not least, cluster (e) is significant from the point of view of
a developing country which is reliant on foreign expertise and assistance.
NL/NLS are not immune to the influence of environmental factors affecting
all libraries in many countries of the world. Guidelines which do not take
into account the environment in which libraries function are unlikely to
be of much practical use. Various highlevel factors influence the
development of library services and other similar institutions in a country
as a whole. They include geographical and demographic factors such as climate,
topography, distances, population density and composition; economic factors
such as the distribution of economic resources and their utilisation; cultures
In this chapter five groups of factors which can have a direct impact on NL/NLS are briefly discussed, namely those operating in the social, economic and cultural environment, the political and administrative environment, the legal environment, the technological environment, and the national infrastructure for library and information services. These factors provide broad parameters for determining which is the most appropriate model for the provision of library and information services nationally, and how the national system of library and information services should be structured.
Under this heading basic characteristics of a country's population and
its social and cultural life need to be considered, for example:
demographic features such as population size, life expectancy, birth rate and age structure, migration, ethnic or cultural diversity;
education levels: percentage of children of school age receiving schooling, percentage of school entrants reaching given exit levels, percentage of population receiving tertiary education;
languages spoken and extent of literacy and publishing in these languages;
basic economic circumstances: per capita income, percentage of population below poverty data line, disparities in income between rich and poor;
social conditions and problems: urbanisation, unemployment, crime; and
cultural institutions and their status.
These factors are likely to affect the development of libraries and information services in the country in general, and to determine whether the country needs a national library or a national library service as defined in Chapter 1. These factors will further determine who the potential clients of this institution are likely to be, the size and diversity of the national documentary heritage and the nature of the services that need to be provided. For example, the size of the country's published output and its linguistic diversity will affect the role of the NL/NLS as the national bibliographic agency, while a high percentage of illiteracy and a dearth of books in vernacular languages may prompt involvement by the NL/NLS in literacy programmes and the publishing of books in these languages.
Under this heading the political and administrative institutions of
the country need to be considered, for example:
the form of government and degree of centralisation of legislative and executive authority;
the levels of government (e.g. central or federal; provincial or state; region, district or metropolitan; and local);
the powers and relative strengths and capacities of the respective levels of government;
the financial relationships between the central government and other tiers of government;
policies and practices in respect of institutional autonomy (e.g. legal provisions for parastatal or semistate institutions);
policies, practices and traditions in state sectors closely related to, or traditionally responsible for, libraries (e.g. the ministries of education, culture or information); and
policies and practices in respect of privatisation of government functions.
This background is needed to permit wellconsidered decisions on issues that must be dealt with when drafting legislation for NL/NLS. One such issue is the degree of institutional autonomy that the NL/NLS can exercise while at the same time remaining assured of a reliable flow of government funding. In a country which does not have a tradition of institutional autonomy, a NL/NLS which succeeds in escaping from the restrictive confines of its ministry may find that the price of autonomy is penury.
Another example of an issue which is influenced by the political and administrative environment is that of the governance and funding of public or community libraries affiliated to a national library service. Theoretically, it is desirable that community libraries be established and maintained through a partnership between the national library service and the local community, with the latter playing a significant role in the governance of their library and helping to fund, staff and house it. However, in countries where the local government structures are nonexistent or poorly developed, this model could be doomed to failure.
Under this heading the legal framework of public administration in the
country must be considered, for example:
the respective powers of the central, provincial and local legislative bodies;
legislation governing financial relationships between central, provincial and local authorities;
legislation governing sources of income and the authorisation of expenditure by government departments and statutory bodies; and
the powers that may be given to statutory bodies.
This legal framework will largely determine which provisions of legislation for NL/NLS are feasible and which are not. For example, in a country with a federal constitution, is the federal legislature empowered to enact legislation in respect of libraries, or is this a matter in which the states have exclusive competence? If it is proposed to establish a statutory board to control the NL/NLS, is it possible, in terms of the constitution, to give such a board executive powers? Will the legislation governing the financial relationships between the central government and other agencies allow the board to raise or dispose of funds or must all income generated by the NL/NLS be deposited in the coffers of the supervising ministry or the treasury?
This section deals briefly with legislation which is directly related to information and libraries. Here the most prominent legal topics are legal deposit and copyright.
3.4.1 Legal deposit
Legal deposit is defined by Lunn (1981:1) as “the requirement, enforceable by law, to deposit with one or more specified agencies copies of publications of all kinds reproduced in any medium or with any process for public distribution, lease or sale”. Legal deposit legislation is important to national libraries because legal deposit can provide the basis for the collection and conservation of information materials published in the country, and further, for their bibliographic description and physical availability. It is therefore very relevant to the exercise of heritagerelated functions. In addition, legal deposit may assist the national library in compiling national publishing statistics. In cases where the national library is also the national agency administering international standard numbers such as ISBN (international standard book number) and ISSN (international standard serial number), the legal deposit and publication numbering activities usefully complement each other.
The question therefore arises whether legal deposit and the establishment of the NL/NLS should be dealt with in the same legislation. In some countries this is the case; in others the two matters are dealt with separately. In a few cases their complexity has been taken as grounds for dealing with them one at a time, in separate laws. It has also been pointed out that legal deposit frequently benefits other libraries as well as the NL/NLS. On the other hand, in most cases the passing of legislation establishing the NL/NLS, or the amendment of such legislation to change its role and structure, will necessitate an amendment of existing legal deposit legislation.
Legal deposit legislation has been dealt with in a separate set of PGI guidelines: the Guidelines for legal deposit legislation (PGI81/WS/23) prepared by J. Lunn (1981). These guidelines are now due for revision. One reason for this is the advent of electronic publishing. The legal deposit of electronic publications has been studied by a working group of the Conference of Directors of National Libraries. Its report (Legal deposit of electronic publications, in press) is to be published by UNESCO. New legal deposit legislation providing for the deposit of electronic publications has been enacted in a number of countries, including Norway and France. In revising existing legal deposit legislation, many countries are extending its scope to media other than print: audiovisual, broadcast and electronic media. Legal deposit of such media raises complex problems of acquisition, preservation, bibliographic control and access. Therefore it is not possible to deal with legal deposit here in any detail. However, it is stressed that the national library should be one of the libraries (if not the sole library) with which legal deposit copies are deposited, and some linkages between legal deposit and NL/NLS legislation are indicated:
Type of material subjected to legal deposit: only printed material? government publications? audiovisual materials? electronic materials? material published abroad but produced or distributed in the country? These decisions have implications for the scope of the national library's role in the collection of the national heritage, a concept that needs to be reviewed from time to time in the light of the emergence of new media. In principle, all types of material published in the country, regardless of format, should be subject to legal deposit if the national library is to fulfil its role as the custodian of the national documentary heritage. Thus the legal deposit legislation should cover all media. If there are difficulties in dealing with all these media, their delivery can be phased in over a period of time by means of regulations.
Institutions with which material should be deposited: in many countries several institutions receive such material; in some countries audiovisual materials are deposited with institutions other than the national library, such as a national film and sound archive. These decisions have implications for the role of the national library in the collection of the national heritage.
Number of copies deposited with each institution: if the national library has conservation as well as document supply functions, it would be appropriate for it to receive at least two copies - one for conservation and one for availability to users.
Obligations of the recipient libraries in respect of the deposited materials: is the national library legally obliged to list every item received in the national bibliography? must all items received be made freely available to the public? free of charge? must all items received be retained in perpetuity? Such conditions, if enshrined in the legal deposit law, could hamper the work of the national library.
3.4.2 Intellectual property rights
In some countries legal deposit is dealt with in copyright legislation. There are historical links between the two topics, but nowadays they are mostly dealt with in separate laws. Copyright has been defined as “the exclusive right to reproduce and 'disseminate' a literary, dramatic, musical, or artistic work in any material form and to perform the work in public” (Wersig & Neveling 1976:80). Copyright and a country's adherence to relevant international conventions affects NL/NLS in the same way that it affects other libraries in the sense that restrictions are placed on copies that may be made for library users (inhouse, or at a distance). Copyright may also place restrictions on copies that may be made for purposes of preservation or conservation (e.g. photocopying of missing issues of a periodical in order to complete a set, photocopying or microfilming of fragile items to protect the original from excessive use). However, according to Giavarra (1996:3) most national legislation provides for the copying of library materials for purely internal purposes such as the preservation of fragile material.
Material received on legal deposit remains subject to copyright; this becomes a more acute and complex question when the material in question is audiovisual or electronic. Librarians have tended to assume that the principle of “fair dealing” which is applied in libraries to permit the copying of printed documents for educational and research purposes, can equally be applied to electronic documents. This position has been challenged by publishers of electronic documents, who are in addition turning to licensing agreements to protect their interests.
Another complex issue is that of moral rights to intellectual and artistic creations. The term “moral right” refers to the author's nonpecuniary interest in his work - the right of “paternity” (to claim ownership and recognition), to withhold it from the public, and the right to its integrity and inviolability (Giavarra 1996:1; The ABC of copyright 1981:22). Such rights may be infringed by popularisations of such works, the rearrangement or transfer thereof to other media (for example a classic children's book turned into a cartoon series), or abuse of excerpts thereof (for example the use of quotations taken out of context to prove points contrary to an author's beliefs, or the use of themes from classic musical compositions in radio advertisements). As custodians of manuscripts or early editions of such works, national libraries can expect to be confronted with moral dilemmas.
Regardless of whether copyright still subsists in the documents comprising collections being converted to electronic formats, the largescale digitisation of the national heritage, in which private sector companies may assist, will raise the question of how to prevent the abuse of national treasures. For example, referring to UNESCO's Memory of the World programme, Abid (1996:71) has stated:
It is essential that the rights of the owners of the collections and holdings in a project are respected and that the relationship between the owners and the technical and commercial users is clearly defined, particularly with regard to the division of rights among the various parties, the allocation of rights of ownership to the images produced and the sharing of the profits from the sales of products made from the images.
3.4.3 Related legal questions
Other legislation relating to the library and information sector in
the broadest sense may impinge on, or be affected by legislation for NL/NLS.
Some examples are legislation concerning:
other libraries, statutory bodies, and parastatals (semi-state institutions) with responsibilities relating to information;
research, higher education and cultural institutions, archives, museums, heritage and monuments;
telecommunications and broadcasting;
postal services (e.g. special tariffs for books generally; interlibrary loans or materials for the blind);
registration of newspapers and other publications;
taxation (e.g. concessions in respect of taxes on books and information materials; zero-rating of books etc. for purposes of value-added tax; tax incentives to encourage individuals and companies to make donations to libraries);
customs and excise (e.g. concessions in respect of import duties on books and other information materials);
freedom of information (access to government information);
government publications depositories;
electronic data interchange.
Other legislation affecting employers, parastatal or government agencies, factories etc. (for example legislation concerning training and certification, labour relations, occupational health and safety, public safety, accounting and auditing) will of course affect the NL/NLS as well. Cognizance must also be taken of international conventions and international treaties in the abovementioned fields.
Current developments in computing, telecommunications and optical storage technologies are radically affecting the nature of publishing, library collections, access to information, networking and resource sharing. These developments do not leave NL/NLS untouched (Welsh 1988; Cornish 1991; Line 1995).
3.5.1 The technologies
Technological developments which affect libraries include CDROM,
online databases, fax, LANs, WANs, the Internet, low earth orbit satellites,
packet radio, electronic mail, optical character recognition, digitisation,
hypertext, multimedia, OPACs, scholarly workstations, advanced programming
languages and sophisticated retrieval algorithms. The technologies affect
libraries in various ways, some more directly than others. Often it is
not so much the basic technologies that impact on libraries as the bundling
of technologies in new applications. Important examples are:
bibliographic network utilities;
electronic document supply;
electronic table of contents (ETOC) databases;
CASIAS (current awareness serviceindividual article supply);
Worldwide Web (WWW) home pages;
the Global Digital Library; and
3.5.2 Changing expectations, attitudes and values
The changes are not merely technological. Describing the “new information environment” in which national libraries have to operate, and its impact on the roles of national libraries, Cornish (1992:125) characterises it as “a combination of technical advancement and cultural attitudes”: technology is changing economic and social attitudes to information, the emphasis is shifting from documents to information, and there is a climate of expectation that information can be delivered. Telecommunications technology (networking, email etc.) has created expectations of more rapid delivery of more current information. The growth of audiovisual publishing and the increasing use of such materials in education creates an expectation among users that these materials will be available. Growth of intellectual activity and changes in economic patterns have increased awareness of the importance of intellectual property. Cornish also remarks on an increase in resistance among publishers to legal deposit. Increasingly, commercialisation is making itself felt within national libraries as funding declines and pressure for income generation grows. The attitudes and expectations of the general public in respect of intellectual property, copyright, freedom of information, and charging for library and information services are also evolving and need to be taken into account.
3.5.3 Some implications for NL/NLS
New information technologies are significantly affecting the role and functions of NL/NLS in many ways. Here only a few examples can be given.
220.127.116.11 Bibliographic utilities and networks
National (and increasingly, international) bibliographic network utilities
with their evergrowing databases of bibliographic records and holdings,
provide online the sort of information for which union catalogues used
to be the sole source. In addition, the shared bibliographic databases
of regional library networks and library consortia serve as union catalogues
for their members. The question arises whether in such a situation it is
still necessary for NL/NLS to compile union catalogues. The answer to this
question will differ from country to country. In general the role of the
NL/NLS is “to ensure, either through maintaining, coordinating or providing
access to union catalogues, access to required information”(M. Scott, pers.
comm.). A key role for the NL/NLS would be to provide technological support
and play a coordinating role in the linking its country's various bibliographic
databases, while in developing countries it may still play a useful role
by adding records and holdings to the database and performing searches
on it on behalf of libraries which do not yet have access to an electronic
Since network utilities, even those which started out as agencies controlled by NL/NLS, tend to evolve into notforprofit and ultimately forprofit companies, questions arise as to the ownership of network databases and payment for their use. In this context the NL/NLS can play a watchdog role in ensuring that all the country's libraries, including those serving less affluent institutions and communities, have affordable access to the nation's information resources.
The role of the NL/NLS in interlending (international as well as national) may shrink as an increasing proportion of the interlending traffic is conducted over electronic networks. Similarly, since the networks provide online access to various large databases, the role of the NL/NLS in providing access to bibliographic tools, may also diminish. The question arises whether these functions still need to be listed among the functions of the NL/NLS. The answer will depend on the situation of each country. In some, the NL/NLS will be primarily responsible for running the interlending system and providing access to bibliographic databases. In others, its role may be more that of a coordinating and facilitating agency.
18.104.22.168 Private sector involvement
The new information technologies have created opportunities for the
private sector in markets traditionally dominated by libraries. An important
question arising from this is how legislation for NL/NLS should be formulated
to give the NL/NLS enough freedom of movement to privatise its networking
activities, and to develop partnerships and other contractual relationships
with private sector companies. A NL/NLS which, due to restrictive legislation,
lacks sufficient autonomy to respond rapidly and imaginatively to the initiatives
of players in its sector, is at a grave disadvantage in the increasingly
competitive information market.
The entry into the field of private companies which compile international CDROM and online databases of books in print may constitute significant competition for the national bibliographies of smaller countries which publish mainly in major languages such as English. In a sense, these firms may “cream off” that part of the country's book production which is of sufficient interest nationally and internationally to ensure an adequate subscription base for the national bibliography. If subscriptions are cancelled, the commercial viability of the national bibliography (which in most cases is not published on a full costrecovery basis anyway) is reduced.
22.214.171.124 Desktop publishing
The growth of desktop publishing raises problems concerning the acquisition of materials published not in predetermined print runs but on demand. Are they publications in terms of the legal deposit legislation? How can legal deposit be enforced? If deposited, should they be listed in the national bibliography, preserved, and made available for use by clients?
126.96.36.199 Electronic publishing
Electronic publishing gives rise to difficult questions concerning the
acquisition and treatment of electronic publications. If such materials
are not collected, a significant part of the national scholarly and scientific
output may be lost. But the collection of electronic publications presents
problems relating to the status, integrity and permanence of their texts.
Such publications can be of two broad types: static electronic publications,
for example CDROMs, are distributed as discrete entities and generally
speaking their contents can no longer be altered by their producers once
they have left their premises. On the other hand, dynamic electronic publications,
such as online databases or electronic journals, are not distributed as
discrete entities. Here distribution takes the form of a subscription or
contractual arrangement permitting access, and the producer or publisher
can at any time change the contents of the database by updating, adding
or deleting records. Should such publications be “collected” by downloading
the entire database at regular intervals, thereby in effect taking crosssectional
samples? Or are the requirements of legal deposit satisfied by the provision
of access to the database? What happens then if the publisher goes out
of business or the database is discontinued? A further problem is that
electronic publishing is blurring the distinction between publications,
traditionally the domain of libraries, and records, traditionally the domain
The temptation is great to postpone consideration of the legal implications of electronic publishing, especially in developing countries where electronic publishing has not yet taken off. However, electronic publishing is difficult to monitor and its volume may be greater than estimated. A national library which ignores audiovisual and electronic publications is neglecting its responsibility for the collection and preservation of the national heritage of information materials. With the passing of time this omission will become increasingly serious and difficult to remedy. Therefore the NL/NLS has a responsibility, in consultation with creators, publishers and other collectors of such materials, to develop strategies and implement procedures to capture, store, preserve and provide access to the electronic publications of its country, whether these be databases, electronic journals, newspapers or books, or new electronic formats such as homepages. At the same time, the NL/NLS will have to dampen down unrealistic expectations that electronic publishing will speedily replace print on paper, and the premature assumption that electronic access can serve as a substitute for the acquisition of information materials by the NL/NLS and other libraries in the country.
The digitisation of information materials has become a major activity in research libraries, although due to copyright constraints digitisation projects have concentrated on public domain materials. National libraries have been quick to embark on projects to digitise parts of their collections, recognising that the conversion of text, images and sound to digital format is not only a means of preserving library materials for the future, but also makes possible much wider access to them. Thus fragile heritage materials that cannot be subjected to handling by users can, once digitised, be made widely available using static electronic media such as CD-ROM and dynamic electronic media such as the Internet. These media can democratise access to materials which would otherwise be inaccessible to the general public. Such access is an important aspect of UNESCO's Memory of the World programme (Abid 1996). It has been proposed that if the world's national libraries together with other institutions such as national archives and major museums provide access to their digitised treasures via their WWW homepages, a Global Digital Library can be created by linking the homepages of all these institutions (Chen 1996). The statute of the NL/NLS should permit it to participate in such undertakings.
188.8.131.52 Ethical and legal issues
With the advent of electronic publishing and large-scale digitisation
of collections, various ethical and legal issues arise. Copyright holders
do not relinquish their rights when materials are deposited in terms of
legal deposit legislation. When books or other printed materials are deposited,
there are few if any restrictions on the inhouse use and lending of
the materials. Even the copying thereof is difficult to monitor. This situation
becomes more difficult in the case of audiovisual materials, and more complex
still in the case of electronic publications: under what conditions and
by whom can electronic publications delivered to the national library under
legal deposit be accessed without infringing copyright laws and the legitimate
rights of authors and publishers? These questions are reflected in some
of the themes dealt with at the International Congress on Ethical, Legal
and Societal Aspects of Digital Information, held in France in March 1997:
universal access to information highways; including access in remote areas and developing countries;
copyright, intellectual property rights and fair use in the context of electronic document delivery services and inter-operable information systems;
multilingualism and cultural diversity, including the moral obligation of providers of digital information to preserve and promote diversity;
security, privacy and freedom of information on the information highway;
archiving of digital information: ensuring long-term retention of digital intellectual records and information, especially after their commercial value is exhausted;
reliability and authenticity of information transmitted electronically;
digital literacy (“mediacy”): acquisition of new knowledge and skills by all sections of society; and
responsibilities in the Global Information Infrastructure: self-regulation or legal frameworks guiding the rights and responsibilities of those who produce, distribute and use electronic information.
This group of factors is concerned with the country's existing library and information services: the distribution and characteristics of existing institutions, resources (including collections, technology and human resources), tradition and systems of library cooperation, infrastructure for library services, policymaking bodies (if any) and their functions, and existing (implicit or explicit) policies.
3.6.1 The national infrastructure for library and information services
Under this heading it is necessary to consider the resources and roleplayers,
as well as the relationships between institutions and agencies within the
country. Where does the NL/NLS feature? Is it a major player in fact, only
in name, or not at all? An institution neglected for decades, perhaps since
its inception, cannot suddenly be transformed into the “apex of the national
library system” by a new piece of legislation. There are unfortunately
examples of national libraries in developing countries which, underfunded
and understaffed, stagnate in the shadow of better resourced university
libraries and scientific documentation centres, with little hope of exercising
the impressive functions listed in their legislation.
When legislation is drafted for a NL/NLS, an inventory should be drawn up of the national infrastructure for library and information services, which could include the following components:
the national library;
other libraries designated as national and/or legal deposit libraries;
other major libraries (e.g. university libraries and libraries of research councils);
provincial/regional public library services;
national library services for the visually handicapped;
special libraries and documentation centres of ministries, government agencies, research institutes and private sector organisations;
information dissemination agencies (e.g. agricultural extension agencies and agencies promoting small business development and health information);
the national archives;
the national documentation centre;
specialised information/documentation centres;
library consortia or cooperatives;
other information networks;
the national council for library and information services;
establishments engaged in training library and information workers;
professional associations of library and information workers;
national literacy promotion bodies;
the book development council;
national cultural and community development bodies;
major commercial organisations with interests in the information market; and
book trade associations (e.g. associations of publishers and booksellers).
For a checklist of information institutions, categories of resources and categories of users, see Montviloff (1990:141142).
The NL/NLS should be positioned in relation to these players and play a role which is complementary to theirs. It is better for a NL/NLS to have a limited but realistic set of functions than have an impressive set of functions which it cannot exercise. The resources and expertise of the NL/NLS itself should be an important factor in determining its role in the country's library and information sector.
3.6.2 Relationship between legislation and national library and information policy
An important question that arises in this context is whether the formulation
of a national information policy should not precede the drafting of legislation
for NL/NLS. In his National information policies: a handbook on the
formulation, approval, implementation and operation of a national policy
on information (PGI90/WS/11), Montviloff (1990) has stated that:
A national policy [on information] is required to ensure the harmonious implementation and operation of information resources, services and systems e.g. timely access to relevant information to varying needs of users throughout the society, coordination and compatibility of the overall national information system, better complementarity and compatibility between the various legislations concerning the provision of information, better responsiveness to the implications of new information developments and more effective participation in regional information systems and networks. (p.11)
Clearly, therefore, a national information policy should form the basis for all library and information development planning. Since legislation is intended to provide a legal basis for planned structures, legislation for NL/NLS should follow from a national policy.
However, in some countries at least it has proved difficult to establish a national information policy without there being some formal structure, such as a national library and information services council, to formulate, promote and coordinate the implementation of the policy. Such a structure of course requires legislation. In addition, there are countries which lack national information policies but do have NL/NLS with or without the concomitant legislation. Such legislation is essential, and while the national information policy should not be overlooked, the absence of one should not be seen as an absolute impediment to legislation for NL/NLS.
3.6.3 The international dimension
The global economy is characterised by the flow of information between
nations. However, internationalisation of the information sector is not
an unmixed blessing, since it is accompanied by commercialisation and commodification
of information, which may lead to an ever greater division between information
rich and information poor countries.
Much attention is focussed on the NorthSouth flow of information (i.e. from developed to developing countries). It is known that such information is often expensive, and that individuals and institutions in developing countries may lack funds to acquire it or may be unable to install the technology that is needed to gain access to it. Development aid that helps to overcome these barriers is useful, but developing countries also need to optimise the use of information they generate themselves and they need to share their information resources with their neighbours (SouthSouth information flow). Furthermore, to counteract a onesided world view, they need to promote the SouthNorth flow of information.
Ideally the NL/NLS, as the centre or focal point of a country's library and information services, should also serve as a national node in international networks. It should play a leading role in regional (supranational) and international cooperative schemes. This should be recognised in the legislation which establishes the NL/NLS. To facilitate this role the legislation should empower the NL/NLS to conduct relations with foreign and international bodies without having to channel all communication through its supervising ministry or through the ministry of foreign affairs.
This chapter outlines the process of drafting, promoting and passing
NL/NLS legislation as well as the steps to be taken following the enactment
of legislation. Since these processes differ from country to country, only
a generic process can be outlined.
4.2.1 Developing proposals
Who is responsible for initiating the process that leads to the passing
of legislation for a NL/NLS? Depending on the situation (for example, whether
there is an existing institution functioning as a national library or whether
the NL/NLS is to be created de novo) the initiative may be taken
by various parties such as the board or management of an existing institution,
a professional organisation or a pressure group concerned with heritage,
books and reading or literacy, or even the government. If the NL/NLS already
exists, it is crucial that it should play a central role in developing
the proposals and in the steps that follow. Not only its governing body
and management should be involved. Its staff at all levels should also
participate in the process, which should be managed in a democratic and
The development of proposals for new or amended legislation should take into account the environmental factors described in Chapter 3. In particular it will be necessary to draw up an inventory of existing legislation affecting library and information services as indicated in par. 3.4. If legislation governing the NL/NLS already exists, a decision must be made whether the proposal should aim at amending the existing legislation or replacing it with a new statute. If substantial change is needed, the latter option is to be preferred.
4.2.2 Consultation and lobbying
The making of laws is a political process. In passing a bill to create
or strengthen a NL/NLS, the government by implication commits itself to
future expenditure. Such a step therefore needs political support.
Furthermore, if the NL/NLS, once established, is to achieve its aims, it will need wide acceptance among the intended users and the institutions and groups constituting the country's library and information sector. The process of drafting the legislation should therefore be transparent and open to participation by all stakeholders. Identifying stakeholders, enlisting their support and consulting them in the drafting of the bill are therefore important preliminary steps.
Who are the stakeholders? Components of the national infrastructure for library and information service are listed in par.
3.6.1. They constitute the most important stakeholder groups. Various other groups should also be considered, e.g. the press and media. In the case of a NLS intended to provide a comprehensive service to the population, inputs must be obtained from the general public; not only from urban residents but also from members of smaller communities, for example rural communities and informal settlements around the urban centres. Insights gained by local communities which have started their own community libraries or resource centres through grassroots initiatives can be invaluable for such a service. Foreign aid organisations may be able to make useful contributions. In some cases they may be able to sponsor a visit by one or more foreign experts. However, local expertise and insights should not be undervalued.
Inputs can be solicited by distributing copies of a draft of the proposed legislation for comment to identified stakeholders. However, it is better to convene meetings in various parts of the country where the proposals can be thoroughly discussed (“workshopped”) by participants.
Lobbying of decision-makers will be needed throughout the various phases of the legislative process:
to align major stakeholders behind the process;
to persuade a minister and his/her ministry to accept ownership of the proposal; and
to persuade members of the legislature to support it.
4.2.3 Stages of drafting and passing a bill
The stages of legal drafting, tabling of a bill in the legislature and
the passage of the bill differ from country to country. Usually the proposed
legislation is dealt with successively in several or all of the following
The protagonists or champions of the legislation produce a proposal, organise consultation and discussion, and build up support.
The ministry which is or will be responsible for the NL/NLS develops the proposals in consultation with the champions and submits them to its minister.
The minister approves the proposal and requests the cabinet to approve of the drafting of the legislation.
The cabinet grants the request.
The request is now referred to the government agency or office entrusted with reviewing and drafting legislation (the “legal draftspersons”).
The legal draftspersons consult with the ministry and the champions of the legislation on what is required.
The legal draftspersons produce a draft bill which is submitted to interested parties for comments.
The draft bill is revised by the legal draftspersons, who produce a bill.
The bill is submitted to the minister for approval.
The minister submits the bill for approval to the cabinet.
The cabinet approves the bill.
The bill is published in the official gazette. The general public may be invited to comment on it at this stage.
The bill is submitted to the legislature.
Depending on the legislative process as determined in the country's constitution, the bill may now be presented to the legislative assembly or first referred to one of its committees for detailed scrutiny. During this period hearings may be held at which interested parties are given an opportunity to comment on the bill.
The bill is presented to the legislative assembly, which debates and then approves it.
The bill as passed is assented to and signed into law by the head of state, who may specify a date on which it is to come into effect.
Now known as a law, act or statute, it is published in the official gazette.
Depending on whether this date is specified in the statute or not, the
newly published statute comes into effect either as soon as it is assented
to or at a later date as specified by the head of state. In the latter
case the interim period is used for preparing the delegated legislation
and for doing any other preparatory work which may be necessary before
the statute comes into effect. This may include:
drafting of delegated legislation (regulations) which the minister is empowered to promulgate (see Part II, Section 13);
preparations for the implementation of transition measures (see Part II, section 14);
preparations for the transfer of personnel, assets, etc.; and
arrangements for the funding of the NL/NLS by the ministry, for example agreement on a funding or subsidy formula.
A National Library or National Library Service is a key national institution,
an expression of national identity and a repository of national heritage.
It should therefore be an enduring institution which should not be subject
to short term political expediency. Therefore it is stated here as a matter
of principle that the NL/NLS should be established not by presidential
or ministerial decree or by administrative fiat, but in terms of a statute
enacted by the country's highest legislative body.
This part forms the centre of gravity of these guidelines. It consists of sections dealing briefly with various issues and topics that should be addressed in the legislation or that may arise during the drafting and discussion of legislation, grouped broadly in the order in which they can be expected to occur in a statute. For each topic relevant considerations or issues are outlined, and where appropriate examples of relevant legal texts are given in italics.
As far as possible the legal texts used as examples have been taken unchanged from existing legislation, with minor changes to omit irrelevant aspects, abridge the examples or enhance their intelligibility. In a few cases the examples have been edited more substantially, for example by conflating sections from more than one statute. They generally represent good or interesting practice worth considering, but are not intended for uncritical adoption.
Therefore what follows is intended to be illustrative rather than prescriptive. The presence or absence of various sections, the order in which they appear, and the language used in them will vary from country to country in accordance with its legal system and legislative tradition. It must be borne in mind that the language used reflects decisions that have to be taken following judicious consideration of the needs of the country concerned.
According to a country's tradition, a statute may commence with a preamble
stating the motivations or considerations of the lawmaker, often in the
form of one or more statements commencing with the word “Whereas” or “Considering”.
If this practice is followed, which considerations should be listed? The following are some examples:
Whereas it is desirable that all the people of ... shall have access to facilities for the dissemination of knowledge and for research, study and recreation;
And whereas it is expedient to establish a National Library Service for that purpose:
Now, therefore, be it enacted by ... as follows:
A similar purpose is served by the “fundamental provisions” which are contained in the first articles of some statutes, for example:
Article 1. It is the responsibility of the State to preserve the bibliographical resources and documentary patrimony related to the history of the nation.
Article 2. The State shall facilitate the access of all citizens to the documentary resources, bibliographical and otherwise, as a guaranty of the exercise of the human right to culture and education, and to humanistic, scientific and technical information.
Article 3. The State shall coordinate, nationwide, the most advantageous public use of the bibliographical and non-bibliographical resources, in order to ensure the participation of all citizens in the cultural, political and social life of the community.
In some countries the statute may have a “long title” which fulfils an analogous purpose, for example:
National Library Act
To establish a National library; to collect, preserve, make available and promote awareness of the national documentary heritage; to promote information awareness and information literacy; to facilitate access to the world's information resources; and for matters connected therewith.
Usually one of the first sections of a statute (often entitled “Interpretation”)
gives a number of definitions that are needed for the correct interpretation
of its remaining sections. In the absence of a definition or other indications
to the contrary in other sections of the statute, a term found in a statute
will probably be interpreted in its everyday sense, as one would find it
in a nontechnical dictionary.
The definitions may be of various kinds:
(a) An explanation of an abridged form of a proper name that is established
elsewhere in the statute. For example:
“Board” means the National Library Service Board intended in section ...
This would refer to the section of the statute in which the National Library Service Board is established. Other examples of proper names that would be used in the statute in abridged form are:
the names of bodies such as councils, advisory committees or panels;
the designations of certain categories of functionaries (e.g. Director, Minister);
the names of components of the NL/NLS if it is composed of preexisting institutions; and
the names of its divisions.
(b) An explanation of a common term (word or expression) that is used
in the statute with a restricted or expanded meaning. The following is
an example of a term used with a restricted meaning:
“Officer” means any person who is in the fulltime employ of the Board on a permanent basis.
The following is an example of a term used with an expanded meaning:
“Library building” means any building or premises forming part of or used by the Library and any building or premises leased or let temporarily or otherwise by the Federal Government or Government of a State for the purposes of the Library and includes any vehicle or vessel used in any mobile library, forming part of the Library.
(c) An explanation of a technical term that would not necessarily be
understood by lay persons, for example:
“Bibliographic services” includes
(a) the creation of bibliographic records and the compilation of bibliographies, catalogues, indexes or any other form of bibliographic database;
(b) the compilation and dissemination of relevant statistics;
(c) the exchange, sale or making available of the records and compilations intended in (a)
“Microforms” includes microfilm, microcard and microfiche.
Terms should not be defined unnecessarily as this can add to problems of interpretation. Many terms are used just once and can be defined or delimited (implicitly or explicitly) in the section in which they are introduced. If a term is used a few times, a reference can be made to the article in which it is defined or delimited. If it used more often, it would be more economical to include it among the terms defined in the interpretation section of the statute.
Technical terms commonly used in the language of public administration need not be defined, unless they are to be used in the statute in a restricted or unusual meaning.
In a NL/NLS statute one would also find terms relating to information
materials and media, their formats, reproduction and dissemination. This
is particularly important if legal deposit is also dealt with in the statute.
If it is not, the definitions in the two statutes should as far as possible
be harmonised. Examples of relevant terms would be printed, publish,
reproduce, copy, book, periodical, newspaper, audiovisual, machinereadable,
microfilm, edition, reprint. Generally speaking, there should not be
an excessive number of defined terms; rather, generic terms should be chosen
in order to make provision for future species (types of material) that
are not yet relevant or have not even been invented, for example:
“Document” means any object which is intended to store or convey information in textual, graphic, visual, auditory or other intelligible format through any medium.
The procedure of defining a genus (category) by listing all its component species should for the same reason be avoided; if species have to be listed, it is important to add a generalising phrase to make the term more inclusive. For example: or other intelligible format through any medium. This is highly relevant today to leave scope for the inclusion of new audiovisual, optical and electronic media.
In recent legislation from various countries there is much variation in the choice of a generic term, but in each statute an attempt is made to ensure that the definition will be sufficiently inclusive of newer formats and media. A limitation common to the definitions is that they tend to restrict material to what has been recorded in some physical form. Traditionally libraries collect physical entities. However, modern information technology forces libraries also to provide access to information that is published by being transmitted or broadcast (cf. Rugaas 1990). Note that definitions formulated for legal deposit legislation usually aim to pinpoint categories of materials that are to be deposited. Hence they emphasise the intent to distribute or disseminate, while excluding material (such as manuscripts) that are not subject to legal deposit because they are not produced for general dissemination. In a NL/NLS statute a broader definition of the material the NL/NLS collects is required, since it does not limit itself to published material.
For the purposes of examples used in the rest of these Guidelines, the generic term chosen is “material”, which is defined as follows:
“material” any medium in which information is recorded or disseminated in written, visual, aural, machinereadable or other intelligible form
This should not necessarily be regarded as a model to be followed.
The legal draftspersons whose job it is to edit and prepare a bill for
submission to the legislative process will usually have a good understanding
of which terms should be defined. However, they should be alerted to the
specialised use of terms which they normally use in other contexts and
with different meanings. And no matter how skilled the legal draftspersons
are, the definitions should be considered extremely carefully and critically,
as they are likely to determine the interpretation of key sections of the
statute such as the statements of purpose and functions.
In some countries it is the practice to state that the new statute complies
with certain requirements of the Constitution, for example:
This Act, to the extent that it regulates or restricts a right or freedom referred to in Sections ... of the Chapter on Fundamental Rights in the Constitution, namely
(a) the right to freedom of expression conferred by Section ... of the Constitution; and
(b) the right to academic autonomy conferred by Section ... of the Constitution; and
(c) the right to freedom of information conferred by Section ...
of the Constitution,
is a law that is made for the purpose of giving effect to the public interest in public order and public welfare.
This might be particularly relevant in the case of a statute which also deals with legal deposit, in which case a protection of property clause in the bill of rights may have to be taken into account, for example by stating that the deposit of publications without compensation to the publisher is in the public interest. An example:
For the purpose of Section ... [Protection from unjust deprivation of property] of the Constitution, it is hereby declared that the deposit of publications in accordance with Section ... is a public purpose.
In this section the institution to be established or, in the case of
an existing institution, an institution to be designated as the NL/NLS,
is named. For example:
There is hereby established the National Library Service of ...
In some cases two or more existing institution may be amalgamated to form the NL/NLS, in which case their future status and designations would have to be specified, for example:
There shall be constituted a National Library which shall consist of -
In some countries this section also names the city in which the NL/NLS is to be located and identifies the government department or ministry which is made responsible for it (cf. Section 7 below).
In certain countries the NL/NLS statute empowers a cabinet minister or other executive official to establish the NL/NLS. However, in principle it is preferable that the NL/NLS be established by a decision of the legislature than that this be left to the discretion of a minister or official.
Not every NL/NLS statute has a statement of aims. Many proceed directly
to the statement of functions. In other cases the aims may be part of the
section dealing with the establishment of the NL/NLS, for example:
There is hereby established the National Library of [country] with the following purposes and objectives:
(a) to make available for the use of present and future generations a national collection of library resources;
(b) to facilitate nationwide access to library resources available within the country and abroad; and
(c) to provide leadership on matters pertaining to libraries.
In this particular statute, the functions of the National Library are spelt out in detail in a later section. Nevertheless, the section cited here already tends toward a statement of functions. The following is an example of a more abstract statement of aims:
The National Library is a national information and library centre that aims, adhering to the principles of an information society, to collect, store and disseminate the national cultural heritage and information resources thus contributing to the development of the Republic of ... as well as each inhabitant.
The statement of aims states the purpose, goal or mission of the NL/NLS: for what reason it is established, what it is intended to strive for and achieve. The aims should be very carefully formulated. They are usually referred to elsewhere in the statute, for example in the statement of functions. Decision-makers concerned with the allocation of resources may well refer to this statement as a source of authority when deciding whether a programme or activity for which funds are requested is a legitimate activity of the institution.
Therefore the statement of aims should not be too narrow or restrictive, as that could inhibit the future development of the institution. For example, if the statement of purpose refers to books, printed materials and library services, this might constitute a handicap when, in response to technological changes and the needs of the population it serves, the institution wishes to extend its collections to audiovisual and electronic media, or to render information services other than those conventionally associated with libraries.
On the other hand, the statement of aims should not be unrealistically broad. Such a statement, if taken seriously could lead to futile efforts to spread limited resources over too many activities. It could also lead to frustration and discouragement. More seriously, it could lead to the bill being challenged in the legislative process by other stakeholders who may see the statement of purpose as posing a threat of future competition. Nevertheless, the statement of aims should take a very long view. Particular political ideologies or programmes, no matter how influential when the statute is drafted, should not be enshrined in it. The NL/NLS is intended to outlive them all.
The statement of functions indicates, in broad outline, the tasks or
activities the NL/NLS is to undertake in pursuit of its purpose as stated
in the previous section. The functions should therefore be in line with
the institution's aims.
The statement of functions should be developed in the light of an analysis of the environment of the NL/NLS as outlined in Part I, Chapter 3, with particular emphasis on the technological environment and the library and information services environment. In a country with a range of welldeveloped library and information agencies, the NL/NLS should not seek to perform functions which are already carried out successfully by other agencies or which require a technological capacity which is beyond its reach (for example establishing a national bibliographic network), even if all these functions are enshrined in the wellknown lists of national library functions. Grandiose but unrealistic projects and headon competition with established, better resourced agencies are likely to lead to failure, discouragement and a damaging loss of prestige in the library and information environment. The functions should rather be formulated to focus on areas of unmet national need in which the NL/NLS can make significant contributions.
It is suggested that the three primary clusters of functions identified in Part I, Chapter 2 can be used as a point of departure when the functions of the NL/NLS are formulated:
(b) infrastructure (national capacity for library and information services)
(c) comprehensive national service
The other two clusters, (d) services to endusers, and (e) international
cooperation are secondary in that they flow from the primary clusters.
On the basis of the environment analysis referred to above and depending
on its present and future resources, the NL/NLS should select one or more
of clusters (a), (b) or (c) on which it intends to concentrate. This point
is illustrated by the following examples:
In a developing country which has a small book production and where the national archives benefits from legal deposit and already compiles the national bibliography, it may be more appropriate for the NL/NLS to concentrate on cluster (c) or (b) rather than on cluster (a).
In a country with a developed information infrastructure including a commercial bibliographic network utility, university library cooperative, or library consortia, it may be inappropriate to put the emphasis on cluster (b). This is particularly the case in countries where the university libraries are relatively wellresourced. In such cases an emphasis on cluster (a) or (c) may be more appropriate.
If the country already has an adequate network of metropolitan and provincial public libraries, concentration by the NL/NLS on cluster (c) could lead to unnecessary duplication of effort.
If the NL/NLS is to function as a National Library Service, providing a comprehensive system of library and information services nationwide (cluster c) in addition to serving as the National Library in the more conventional sense (clusters a and b), this should be clearly set out in the statute and equal emphasis should be given to the clusters of functions. This may appear selfevident, but failure to do so in the legislation of some developing countries has proved to be a debilitating deficiency.
The statement of functions is of crucial importance. Although the functions should not be so inclusive as to generate discouragement internally and fears of competition externally, they should be stated using language that is not too limiting or restrictive. The statement of functions is in effect the mandate given by the legislature for the work of the NL/NLS and it is likely to be used as the basis for negotiations with the supervising ministry and the ministry of finance (treasury) for the allocation of resources to the NL/NLS. Hence, in countries lacking a tradition of library and information services, the functions will need to be stated in more detail than in countries with established NL/NLS.
In the examples that follow, the functions are stated in fairly generalised form. For more details, see Table 2 in Part I, Chapter 2. Illustrative examples from the legislation of several countries, are given in Annex A
The functions relating to heritage are stated in generalised form as
The functions of the National Library/National Library Service are:
(1) to build up as complete a collection of material emanating from or relating to [country] as appropriate;
(2) to analyse, describe, preserve and make available for use its collection of the material intended in subsection (1);
(3) to render bibliographic services and serve as the national bibliographic agency;
(4) to serve as the national centre for the conservation and appreciation of its collection of the material intended in subsection (1);
In these examples the expression “material” is used as defined in Section
1 to refer to as wide as possible a range of information carriers. The
expression “emanating from or relating to [country]” has been formulated
to cover information material published in the country, written or created
by the country's authors or artists but published or disseminated elsewhere,
as well as material about the country or having some other association
with the country, that is published or disseminated elsewhere. These categories
are sometimes collectively referred to as “patriotica”.
If the NL/NLS is the major library in a country, it may not be sufficient for it to limit itself to “patriotica”. In that case it will be necessary for it to build up a collection of foreign literature which, if not comprehensive, will be representative of the world's scientific, cultural and literary achievements. In this sense the national library provides the nation with a window on the world. This would require a reformulation of subsection (1) along the lines of the following example:
(1) to acquire and maintain a comprehensive national collection of library resources reflecting the intellectual, literary and cultural heritage of the nation as well as a representative national collection reflecting the accumulated knowledge and wisdom of humankind;
The functions should be formulated so as to allow the NL/NLS enough scope to undertake new tasks and offer new services in accordance with changing demand. At the same time, the formulation should not imply that the NL/NLS is compelled to carry out the relevant functions to the letter in respect of all categories of material. Two examples illustrate this point: (1) The NL/NLS should not be compelled to collect and process all broadcast and electronic media if it does not have the technological capability and resources to do so. It may be necessary to phase this in over a period of time. Even under optimal conditions a wellresourced NL/NLS may have to limit itself to collecting and preserving samples of such material. (2) The NL/NLS should not be compelled to include reprints, ephemera and other inappropriate material in the national bibliography.
The language used in formulating the functions should be chosen to empower, but not (except in carefully considered cases) to compel. Scope must be left for the exercise of discretion by the institution's board, director and professional personnel. It is for this reason that the rider “as ... appropriate” was added to the first version of subsection (1).
The functions relating to national capacity for library and information services are stated in generalised form as follows:
(5) to coordinate and supplement the acquisition, exchange, disposal and retention of material by [country's] libraries in order to ensure that an adequate representation of the world's output of such material is accessible to the people;
(6) to provide access to its collections of material and to facilitate access to the collections of other libraries in [country] and internationally through the construction and acquisition of catalogues and databases;
(7) to facilitate the delivery of material held in [country's] libraries to users and institutions throughout [country];
(8) to serve as the national centre for facilitating the international delivery of material;
(9) to provide other services, support, training, guidance and advice to libraries and to conduct research in order to promote the delivery of information services to the people of [country];
(10) to plan and coordinate the library services of [country] to
ensure that library and information resources are optimally developed and
The wording used here has been chosen to make it quite clear that the NL/NLS is concerned not only with its own collections, services and users, but that it provides services to other libraries and has a definite responsibility for optimising the organisation and utilisation of the nation's library and information resources. The international dimension of this task is also indicated. Subsection (6) refers to union catalogues and databases, while (7) and (8) refer to the role of the NL/NLS in interlending and document supply. Because national and international online services and bibliographic networks make it possible for libraries within the country and beyond to supply documents directly to one another, in most countries it is no longer feasible to channel all interlending requests through the NL/NLS and it can no longer be expected of the NL/NLS to regulate the interlending and document supply traffic. Therefore the emphasis here is on facilitating.
The functions relating to a comprehensive national library and information service are stated in generalised form as follows:
(11) to establish and maintain library and information services on a nationwide basis;
(12) subject to conditions laid down from time to time by the Minister on the recommendation of the Board, to establish, maintain and control branch libraries, depots and other service points, and if necessary to close such libraries, depots and service points;
(13) subject to conditions and criteria laid down from time to time
by the Minister on the recommendation of the Board, to enter into agreements
with bodies controlling libraries for the affiliation to the Service of
their libraries, to provide such affiliated libraries with material, consumables,
services, and personnel, to inspect them and if necessary to terminate
The functions stated above reflect certain assumptions. One of these is that there will be two categories of libraries in the system: libraries established by the NLS (referred to elsewhere as “constituent libraries”) and libraries established by other bodies which are affiliated to the NLS. Provision is made for the minister to lay down conditions and criteria on the recommendation of the board; these would be concerned with determining which category of library is appropriate for a particular user community and which resources will be provided to them.
Note that the subsections have been formulated in a neutral manner to encompass not only public or community libraries, but also other types of libraries as indicated in Part I, par. 1.3.2.
Such services are usually rendered through some or other form of partnership with the ministries responsible for the client agencies. For example, in the case of hospital libraries the ministry of health would have to provide certain of the required resources, such as accommodation and personnel. It might also have to foot the bill for the purchase and processing of information material and media purchased for the hospital libraries. There may of course be other models for the provision of library services of the abovementioned types, and provisions of the NL/NLS statute would obviously reflect the model chosen.
The status and powers of the NL/NLS should be clearly specified in the
statute. In particular, it should be stated unambiguously whether it is
an integral component of a ministry, a parastatal institution or some other
body. Failure to do so can cause much uncertainty. If there is confusion
as to who is entitled to make given decisions, the institution's operations
will be hampered by frustrating delays.
In some cases the status of the NL/NLS is indicated in the designation section of the statute (Section 3 above), for example:
There is established in the Department of Heritage a division to be known as the National Library Service.
This makes it clear that the NLS is an integral part of the government service.
It is thought in many countries that an institution entrusted with the specialised and prestigious tasks of a national library should enjoy some degree of autonomy. Although the institution is largely funded by the government and is ultimately controlled by it, the government's control should, according to this view, be exercised “at arm's length”, through a board or council. Such an arrangement, it is thought, makes it possible:
for representatives of the institution's clients to help shape its policies and programmes;
to muster support and lobbying power through the influence of respected and wellconnected board members;
to review priorities and swiftly reallocate resources in response to changes in the institution's environment;
to make optimal use of the professional expertise of the institution's director and personnel;
to engage freely in relations with a variety of domestic and foreign institutions and agencies;
to present a less bureaucratic face to the clients and the public generally; and
to enjoy a greater degree of institutional prestige domestically and internationally.
If the NL/NLS receives some degree of autonomy it is crucial that this should be precisely specified. In some countries definite types of parastatal, statutory or semigovernment institutions may be recognised in terms of existing legislation which sets out their powers and their funding, controlling and reporting relationships with the state. In such a case it is advisable to select the most appropriate status which fits into the existing pattern. For example:
The National Library Service is an autonomous cultural institution in terms of Section ... of the Parastatal Institutions Act, 19..
In the absence of such general legislation, it is helpful to select a model from the country's legislation establishing similar bodies such as national archives, museums, science councils or universities. Following an established pattern has the advantage that public servants who have to give effect to the legislation can follow established procedures and that precedents have already been set for many of the decisions that have to be taken in respect of the NL/NLS.
If it is a parastatal institution it is important for the legal and financial powers and limitations of the NL/NLS to be specified. For example:
(1) The National Library Service is a juristic person which may sue and be sued in its own right and may, subject to the provisions of subsection (2), perform any act which in the opinion of its Board is necessary for or incidental to the exercise of its powers and the performance of its functions.
(2) The National Library Service shall not without the prior approval
of the Minister granted with the concurrence of the Minister of Finance
(a) let, sell, exchange or otherwise alienate its immovable or movable property; Provided that the Minister may prescribe categories of movable property which may be alienated by the National Library at the sole discretion of its Board;
(b) mortgage or otherwise encumber its immovable property; or
(c) borrow money.
In most countries the State is understandably reluctant to give to institutions which it largely funds, powers to dispose of assets which have been acquired at the taxpayers' expense, or to run up debts the interest on which ultimately has to be paid by the taxpayers. However, it should be possible for for the NL/NLS to dispose of obsolete equipment and to discard obsolete books and journals which do not form part of the country's heritage, without timeconsuming procedures to obtain prior ministerial approval. It should also be possible, without excessive red tape, for the NL/NLS to engage in such activities as the following:
obtain risk capital in order to introduce innovative products and services;
engage in commercial operations, for example document delivery services, sale of publications, operating a bookshop, coffee shop or restaurant;
take up shares in private companies such as bibliographic utilities; and
establish commercial subsidiaries.
When a statute on the NL/NLS is drafted, the sections dealing with its powers and the limitations thereon, must be scrutinised very carefully. Whether a NL/NLS should have a degree of autonomy depends on the legal and administrative tradition and policies of its country. It has been argued that “he who pays the piper calls the tune”: ultimately the provider of funding controls the institution. The greater the proportion of funding that is derived from government, the greater its influence will be on the institution. It has also been argued that a NL/NLS which is an integral part of a ministry can be just as successful as one which enjoys a great deal of autonomy. Finally, it is said that an institution which is too far removed from the centre of power and the source of funding, may too easily be overlooked when resources are allocated.
In each country, local conditions must be taken into account when deciding on an appropriate balance between freedom of action and security of funding. However, for the purposes of the sections that follow, it is assumed that the NL/NLS is a parastatal institution which enjoys a fair degree of autonomy.
No matter how much autonomy an institution has, it cannot exist in an
administrative vacuum. It must have a formal link to the state. In most
national library statutes the implementation of the statute is entrusted
to a designated ministry or department. This is not universal. If it serves
as the library of the legislature, the national library can be a responsibility
of the legislature (parliament or congress). It is also possible for the
national library to be a direct responsibility of the Office of the President
or the Office of the Prime Minister. It may even fall under the jurisdiction
of another parastatal body such as a university or a scientific institution.
Most commonly, however, the NL/NLS has a formal link with a ministry, which
submits the library's budget requirements to the legislature and serves
as the conduit for the allocated funds. Such a ministry is referred to
here as the supervising ministry.
Which is the most appropriate ministry to serve as the supervising ministry
of the NL/NLS? The following are among the more common alternatives to
culture, arts and/or heritage;
libraries, museums and libraries, or libraries and archives;
information, or information and broadcasting (the ministry responsible for propaganda, radio, television, etc.);
communication (as for information above, but may also be responsible for telecommunications);
science and technology;
community development; or
Which is the appropriate ministry depends on various considerations. To start with, the ministry should be one that deals with matters to which libraries are very relevant. This would rule out ministries such as forestry, fisheries or prisons. Education, culture or heritage would be more appropriate. The ministry should also match the cluster of functions emphasised by the NL/NLS. If it emphasises heritage, then culture, arts and/or heritage would be appropriate. If it emphasises the country's information infrastructure, then science and technology, or planning might be appropriate. If the NL/NLS is intended as a comprehensive national service to the general public, then education, culture, community development or local government could be appropriate choices.
Some argue for a large and powerful ministry with a high priority and a large share of the national budget. Others point out that the NL/NLS is likely to be overlooked in a large department in which libraries do not enjoy a high priority (“a small fish in a big pond”). They would prefer a smaller ministry, where the NL/NLS would be “a large fish in a small pond”. The ultimate “small pond” would be a ministry of libraries, but these are not common, and one wonders how far back they are in the queue for funding. In developing countries it is thought wise to associate the NL/NLS with a major thrust in national development planning and hence to link it to a ministry with a major developmental responsibility.
Underlying all the considerations is access to decision-makers and funding. Ideally the NL/NLS should be the responsibility of a wellfunded ministry, headed by a highranking and influential cabinet minister, but the NL/NLS should not be so insignificant a part of that ministry that it is overlooked when funds are allocated.
Although the designation of a supervising ministry is an important decision, this designation often does not feature prominently on the NL/NLS statute. In some cases it is dealt with in the definitions: the statute in various sections refers to “the Minister”, but only in the definitions is it specified which minister it is. The choice must be made in the light of the country's circumstances.
S7.3.1 Purpose and duties
The purpose and duties of the board of the NL/NLS depend on the status
of the latter. If the NL/NLS is an integral part of a ministry, the board's
main purpose will be to advise the minister, as in the following example:
In order to advise the Minister on the operation of the National Library, a Board shall be constituted under the name of the National Library Board of ...
The functions of the Board are to consider and make recommendations on all matters relating to -
(a) the provision, regulation, extension and use of static and mobile library services to the public and to Government departments;
(b) the provision and operation of schemes for the exchange and lending of library materials between libraries;
(c) the compilation of bibliographical information;
(d) the financing of library services and activities;
(e) the training of librarians and other staff in library work; and
(f) all other functions of the National Library.
In this case the line of command runs from the minister to the director
of the NL/NLS. The board does not manage the NL/NLS, but advises the minister
on policy and important decisions concerning the allocation of resources
and the exercise of its functions. Such a board helps to ensure that the
NL/NLS is responsive to its environment.
If the NL/NLS is a parastatal institution with a significant degree of autonomy, its board will be responsible for ensuring that the NL/NLS is well managed and that it carries out its functions in accordance with its purpose as stated in the statute and in response to the needs of its clients. It is answerable for this to the minister, to whom it normally has to present an annual report. Such a board is not merely an advisory body. It has executive powers: it can make decisions which are carried out by the director and personnel of the institution. Although it is dependent on the amounts allocated to the NL/NLS by the legislature, it approves the institution's budget (i.e. the division of the allocated funds among the various components and activities of the NL/NLS). Specifically, the board holds the institution's funds and can authorise the director and his/her personnel to spend them in accordance with the budget; it is not necessary for such decisions to be taken or ratified by the ministry. It may seem superfluous to state this, but in fact much confusion, delay and frustration is caused if it is not clear who can make the decisions concerning expenditures.
The following example states the purpose and duties of the board of a parastatal NL/NLS:
There is hereby established a Board to manage and control the Service in accordance with its aims and functions as intended in section ... and section .... The Board shall
(a) appoint the Director and personnel of the Service;
(b) hold and dispose of the movable and immovable property of the
Service subject to the provisions of ...
[reference to limitations on the powers of the Board];
(c) take all measures necessary to safeguard the assets of the Service;
(d) ensure that the Service is organised and administered for the efficient exercise of its functions;
(e) ensure that the resources required for the effective functioning
of the Service are obtained and allocated and
to this end annually approve the budget of the Service;
(f) control the disbursement of the funds of the Service in accordance with the budget;
(g) annually present to the Minister a report on the activities of the Service;
(h) annually present to the Minister financial statements, audited by the AuditorGeneral or his representative, on the operations of the Service.
(i) advise the Minister on any matter which he may refer to the Board or on any other matter which it deems in the interest of the Service.
The last point is significant. Although this is not often formally stated,
an important task of the board is to represent the NL/NLS and lobby on
its behalf. It should promote the interests, stature and reputation of
the NL/NLS and make representations on its behalf to the Minister and other
influential persons and bodies.
Note that the above list of duties reflects certain assumptions about the powers of the board. For example it is assumed that the board approves the budget . This would work in a situation where the NL/NLS were funded by its ministry according to a subsidy formula. The ministry uses this to determine the annual grant, and the board draws up its budget based on this figure. In other cases, the board might have to draft a budget and submit it for approval to the Minister, a standing committee of the legislature, a statutory budgetary panel or a combination of these. Obviously, current practice in the country concerned would determine what is feasible there, and this would have to be reflected in this section.
It is not unusual for a NL/NLS to have both a board and an advisory council, with the former playing the role of a board of directors which is responsible for supervising the management of the institution, and the latter providing professional or technical advice and/or representing the interests of the institution's clients.
In addition to the items listed above the board may have certain powers
which it may exercise at its discretion. Although much of what follows
may be taken for granted as following logically from the purpose and functions
of the NL/NLS, in some situations it would be useful if the board were
explicitly empowered to cooperate and to undertake collaborative projects
with other libraries and institutions and to participate in networks both
nationally and internationally. Since the NL/NLS should be empowered to
consult widely with other libraries and stakeholders in the library and
information sector, provision should also be made for the board to solicit
advice from other bodies and to be represented on such bodies if invited.
Some examples of relevant text follow:
The Board may, for purposes of pursuing the purpose and exercising the functions of the Service intended in section ... and section ... [references to the statement of purpose and the statement of functions]
(a) establish advisory committees of persons representing libraries and other bodies with an interest in library and information matters to advise it on any matters;
(b) enter into agreements and contracts with other libraries and institutions including foreign libraries and institutions for the rendering of library and information services;
(c) make recommendations to bodies and institutions concerned with libraries and information services concerning any matters;
(d) at the request of other bodies, designate any of its members to serve on committees together with members of those bodies;
(e) invite representatives of any library or institution to attend its meetings as observers or serve on its subcommittees;
(f) permit the Director and personnel to visit other libraries and institutions including foreign libraries and institutions for purposes of training, sharing of information, consultation and collaboration.
The statute should make provision for delegation of powers by the board to the director and personnel of the NL/NLS. If not done in a separate section, it should be stated here:
(g) delegate any or all of its powers to the Director, who shall regularly report to the Board on the exercise thereof.
It is useful if the relationship between the board and the minister
is clarified in the statute by specifying:
a deadline for the submission of the board's minutes to the minister;
matters on which the board is competent to decide, merely reporting the decisions to the minister by means of its minutes;
matters on which the board decides but the board's decision has to be ratified by the minister, in which case the minister may overrule the board within a stated period of receiving its minutes; and
matters on which the board makes recommendations for a decision by the minister.
S7.3.3 Distinction between board and NL/NLS
It may be argued that the duties and powers of the board as set out above should be allocated to the NL/NLS as such rather than to the board. Which approach is followed will depend on the degree of autonomy granted to the NL/NLS. If the institution has a significant degree of autonomy it is appropriate to vest the abovementioned powers in the board. If they are vested in “the National Library” or “the Service” this could be construed as implying that decisions relating to it have to be made or ratified by the ministry. Legislative practice and administrative tradition in the country concerned will also influence the decision.
S7.3.4 Distinction between NL/NLS board and national advisory council
The board of the NL/NLS should not be confused with a national advisory
council on libraries and information services (referred to below as NACLIS).
The NACLIS delivers advice to the government on library and information
services generally. It is usually concerned with policy and may also have
responsibilities for overseeing the coordination of the country's library
and information services. The NL/NLS Board and the NACLIS should be separate
bodies. The NACLIS is concerned with policies at the national level and
it should be in a position to make unbiased recommendations on the allocation
of responsibilities and resources; the NL/NLS is only one of many institutions
that may be entrusted with carrying out such policy. The board of the NL/NLS,
on the other hand, has a duty to promote its institution and intervene
on its behalf. If it were also responsible for policy at the national level
there would be a conflict of interests. It might be biased in favour of
the NL/NLS and would not enjoy the trust of other stakeholders.
Having said this, it must be recognised that in some countries the board of the NL/NLS has been given extensive coordinating powers which would otherwise be allocated to the NACLIS. This is illustrated by the following sections from the national library statute of a country in which the NL/NLS delivers library services nationwide and plays a strong leadership role:
All legislative proposals, laws, acts or decrees, of a general nature and coming out of a government agency, and of direct or indirect interest to the National System of Library Services, shall be submitted for consideration to the Board of the National Library and Library Services before being submitted to the National Council of Ministers. The Board shall send its advice to the agency or institution originating the proposal in question.
All agencies and institutions that develop library service programmes shall provide the National Library and Library Service with all information concerning the programmes which the National Library and Library Service may request in application of the provisions of this Act.
These provisions give the NL/NLS the right to information on proposed legislation that may affect it, as well as the right to collect information from the country's libraries.
The composition of the board of the NL/NLS requires careful consideration.
The statute should state the number of members. In contrast with the NACLIS
referred to above, the board is primarily concerned with management. It
should therefore not be too large (a manageable size would be seven to
Should the statute specify any particular criteria that should be satisfied by appointees to the board? Members of a board concerned primarily with management should be selected on the grounds of their expertise rather than in their capacities as representatives of particular organisations or interest groups. However, such an approach may be challenged on the grounds that it is undemocratic.
Appointees are typically highly regarded persons who have made their mark in the arts, culture, scholarship, commerce, industry and the legal profession. It is not desirable to specify these categories in the statute, since they may change over time as the NL/NLS evolves. For example, in a phase of significant development of information technology it may be useful to have on the board a person with a background in computer science or information systems; if a new national library building is being planned, an architect or engineer would be useful.
It is sometimes suggested that a substantial proportion or even a majority of the members of the board should be professional librarians or information workers. This is not supported here. An effective NL/NLS needs a board that can provide a broad and multi-disciplinary understanding of the communities and user groups it must serve. Furthermore advice and representations directed to the minister by librarians may be perceived as being influenced by selfinterest and will therefore not carry as much weight as advice emanating from a group of eminent nonlibrarians. Professional inputs can be obtained through advisory committees and other bodies. On the board itself there should not be more than one or two librarians.
How should board members be appointed? In many countries the appointment of members is a prerogative of the minister to whom the board is answerable, and members are selected from what has been referred to as “a list of the great and the good” - not a democratic procedure, but acceptable if this is counterbalanced by more democratic and transparent procedures for the selection of members of the NACLIS and the NL/NLS's own advisory committees. An exception to the principle that board members do not represent constituencies could be made in the case of the NACLIS. It could be specified in the statute that a representative of the NACLIS should serve on the board. (And, for that matter, vice versa.)
In some countries a significant proportion of board members are senior public servants, for example, the permanent secretary (most senior public servant) of the ministry responsible for funding the NL/NLS, heads of departments in this ministry that are thought to be closely related to the NL/NLS, and representatives of other ministries considered to be relevant to, or clients of, the NL/NLS. Whilst it is recognised that such representatives wield influence in government and can play a useful role in advising and promoting the NL/NLS, there should not be too many public servants on the board. The government already exercises a great deal of control over the NL/NLS, if only because it has the power to grant or withhold funds. This influence has to be counterbalanced by inputs from persons outside the public service who do not take the procedures and constraints of the public service as their point of departure. The board must be able to speak out strongly on behalf of its institution. This can place public servants in a difficult position. Therefore a public servant should not serve as the board's chairperson. In particular, appointing the permanent secretary as chairperson gives rise to a problematic situation in which this person in effect has to advise and make representations to him/herself.
The director of the NL/NLS may or may not be a full member of the board ex officio. It is recommended that this be the case, as it enables the director to contribute his or her professional insights and encourages a relationship of colleagues between board and its chief executive officer.
The chairperson of the board is usually appointed by the minister rather than being elected by the board members. The vicechairperson is usually elected. In many countries it is thought that the director should not be eligible for election to either office.
The following example reflects the practices outlined above:
The Board shall consist of
(a) a Chairman appointed by the Minister;
(b) at least six members appointed by the Minister;
(c) the Director of the Service, ex officio;
(d) a representative designated by the National Advisory Council on Libraries and Information Services.
The members of the Board shall elect one of their number as viceChairman,
provided that the Director intended in section ... subsection (c) may not
be elected as vicechairman.
The above text by no means reflects current practice in all countries. The governance of NL/NLS is influenced by various national traditions, and this is reflected by the role and composition of NL/NLS boards.
S7.3.6 Respective roles of chairperson and director
Of interest in this connection is the question of the respective roles
of the chairperson of the board and the director of the NL/NLS. Broadly
speaking the following traditions or patterns occur:
The chairperson's role is largely confined to chairing the board. He/she may receive per diem compensation for attending board meetings but essentially serves in an unpaid capacity. The director, who is a full member of the board, is the chief executive officer and responsible for managing the NL/NLS within the broad policy and budgetary framework set by the board and the responsible ministry. The director reports to the board. The director may be known as the “national librarian”, “director-general” or “administrator” of the NL/NLS.
The chairperson is more involved in the day-to-day management of the NL/NLS, for example chairing senior management meetings and officiating at public occasions as the chair or “president” of the NL/NLS. He/she may serve in a part-time or even full-time capacity for which he/she receives remuneration. The director serves as the chief executive officer but concentrates more on professional and technical matters. He/she has a lower public profile and reports to the chairperson in between board meetings.
The chairperson of the board or “president” serves as a full-time paid chief executive officer who manages the NL/NLS. Usually the chairperson does not have training in librarianship or information work. The director is the most senior professional employee and serves as the second-in-command of the chairperson or president.
These patterns arise from various national traditions in the management of cultural and scholarly institutions. It would be inappropriate to express value judgments on these traditions. However, as a general principle, when the chief executive officer of a NL/NLS is appointed professional expertise and management competencies should take precedence over purely political considerations.
S7.3.7 Other matters
Other matters to be specified in the statute include:
term of office (three years is neither too short nor too long);
disqualification and dismissal of members;
frequency of meetings; and
procedures at meetings, including quorum, agendas, and minutes.
Some of the above could be set out in detail in regulations published by the minister in terms of the statute. In some countries some of the above topics may be dealt with in a statute dealing with boards and councils generally. As suggested earlier, in the absence of such general legislation, it is helpful to model the board on boards of similar bodies.
The following questions need to be answered in respect of the personnel
of the NL/NLS:
Who determines the personnel establishment?
Which categories of personnel should there be?
Who determines their conditions of service, remuneration and benefits?
Who appoints personnel?
Whose employees are they?
The board of the NL/NLS should, within the parameters of the funding made available to it by the state, be empowered to determine the size and composition of its own personnel establishment. This is desirable because it would give the NL/NLS freedom of movement to respond rapidly to changing needs and new challenges and opportunities in its environment. For example, the NL/NLS should be able to abolish two lower paid positions in order to create a senior position (or vice versa), or to divert funds from personnel to collections or technology as the situation may demand. If these decisions have to be made or ratified in the ministry, much time may be lost before they can be implemented.
Various categories of personnel may be distinguished in the public service of a country. It may be necessary to use the same categories for the personnel of the NL/NLS. For example, there may be distinctions between professional and other personnel, between permanent and temporary, and fulltime and parttime personnel. However, generally speaking, the fewer categories there are the better, as this makes for greater flexibility in appointments and is also more democratic.
In an ideal situation the conditions of service, remuneration and benefits paid to personnel should be determined by the board as well. It has been argued that the NL/NLS, in order to fulfil its role in caring for the national heritage, providing infrastructural services, and developing library and information services to the country as a whole, requires a more highly skilled and experienced personnel than is commonly found in the public service and that it should therefore be in a position to compete with institutions such as universities and science councils which offer better remuneration than the public service. However, the public service authorities of a country generally do not look kindly on competition for personnel, particularly if the competing agency is itself funded by the state. Hence it is to be expected that some discipline will be imposed on the NL/NLS by its ministry. This may take two forms: (a) the discipline of limited funding, which may involve the use of formulae and mechanisms to prevent the NL/NLS from paying remuneration exceeding formulabased limits; and (b) limitations on specific categories of personnel benefits such as housing and travel allowances. This will be a matter for negotiation and compromise when the statute is drafted, but an attempt should be made to gain as great a degree of autonomy as possible in respect of personnel.
In countries in which much emphasis is placed on the autonomy of the NL/NLS, it is often held that the personnel of the NL/NLS should be appointed by the board and should be considered to be its employees and not employees of the supervising ministry. Thus, although they may be appointed on conditions of service identical or similar to those of the public service, the employees should not be public servants (appointees of the public service authority). In a developing country with a scarcity of qualified personnel, this may have the benefit of enabling the NL/NLS to appoint expatriate employees when necessary.
The following example reflects the pattern sketched above:
(1) The Board shall appoint as the Director of the Service a suitably
experienced person with appropriate
educational qualifications in library or information science or in such other field as the Board may consider appropriate.
(2) The Board may appoint such other employees as it may deem necessary to perform the functions of the Service.
(3) The salaries, allowances, conditions of service and other benefits
of the employees are determined by the Board with the approval of the Minister
granted with the concurrence of the Minister of Finance.
However, in many countries the personnel of the NL/NLS are public servants and employees of the country's public service authority.
In developing countries the problem may arise that qualifications in library and/or information science are not recognised for purposes of grading and remuneration. For example, national librarians from certain developing countries in which the NL/NLS is a division of the Ministry of Education have reported that their personnel are graded as clerks (with disastrous consequences for the recruitment and retention of qualified staff) because they do not have formal educational qualifications as teachers. If this problem is likely to arise, appropriate text should be added to the section on personnel to ensure the recognition of qualified library staff as professionals.
The director of the NL/NLS may also be designated DirectorGeneral,
Administrator, or National Librarian, depending on national tradition,
the powers and composition of the board, and the status of the institution.
Here “director” is used as a generic term. The appointment of the director
is an important issue. As indicated in the previous chapter, the director
should serve as a member of the board and is responsible for executing
its decisions, serving as its chief executive officer and its accounting
officer for purposes of public audit.
It is recommended that, especially in the case of developing countries, this person should be a professional librarian or information worker. If this is not a requirement, the door is opened to political appointments which could put unqualified persons in control. Although there are many examples in developed countries where persons without professional qualifications or experience in librarianship or information work have served with great distinction as heads of national libraries, the establishment and development of a NL/NLS in a country without a longestablished national library calls for professional skills and expertise.
In some countries the appointment of the director may require the consent of the minister. This makes it clear that the director or national librarian is a senior functionary, although it does carry some risk of political interference. It is in the interests of the NL/NLS that its director should have a high status, so that he/she will be able to communicate with members of the government and with the most senior public servants and participate in national discourse concerning policies on information, education, the arts, scholarship, science, culture and the national heritage. Remuneration is one form of recognition. In this connection the following section from a statute passed by a newly independent country is of interest:
The salary of the General Director of the National Library equals the highest monthly salary of a university rector.
To prevent future conflict it is sound practice to set out the duties and powers of the director, for example:
The administrator-general of the National Library is responsible for the management of the institution:
* he prepares and executes the decision of the Board and reports to it on his administration;
* he has authority over the entire personnel;
* he controls the income and expenditure of the institution;
* he institutes and answers to legal actions on behalf of the National Library and represents it in civic affairs;
* to those officers on the establishment who have been so designated by the Minister he may delegate authority to take and execute decisions relating to their duties;
* he chairs designated committees.
Other matters which need to be set out in the statute include:
disciplinary code and procedure;
discharge of employees;
transfer of employees (particularly if personnel are to be transferred from one or more existing institutions);
pension fund (which could be the public service pension fund, a pension fund for parastatals, or a commercial fund); and
any other benefits that may be customary.
However, these matters may best be dealt with in regulations promulgated in terms of the statute. (Cf. section 13 below.)
S9.1 Introduction :
The nature, management and utilisation of the collection of the NL/NLS
are largely dealt with in the statement of functions. It is not wise to
specify the types of information material and media to be collected, as
such stipulations could later be construed restrictively, causing later
problems when new audiovisual and electronic media are not covered. (The
definition of materials in the definitions section should suffice.) The
following are some additional aspects that may need to be dealt with in
Transfer of collections or other assets from other institutions to the
NL/NLS may be necessary if the NL/NLS comes into being through the amalgamation
or incorporation of existing institutions or through a process of rationalisation
of existing institutions; it may also constitute a means of enriching its
collections, as intended in the following example:
The Minister may in such manner and on such conditions as he thinks fit entrust any movable property or part thereof which has been given or bequeathed to [country] or its inhabitants to the care of the National Library, unless the donor or testator has made any other provision for the care thereof.
The transfer of collections and assets from the NL/NLS to other institutions may be necessary in the circumstances referred to above, or may be necessary for purposes of future reorganisation or rationalisation. For example, it might be decided that certain categories of audiovisual media are to be collected and preserved by an institution other than the NL/NLS.
The NL/NLS should be empowered to make parts of its collections available
to other institutions on permanent loan. (Cf. section 6 above.)
The NL/NLS should be empowered to dispose of surplus material from its
collections, or to dispose of original materials after their contents have
been transcribed or copied to other media. Examples would be disposing
of original copies of newspapers (or certain categories of newspapers)
after they have been microfilmed, or disposing of original sound recordings
after they have been transcribed from obsolete to current media or formats.
(Cf. section 6 above.)
In the case of a national library which emphasises the heritagerelated functions and in the case of heritage materials generally, it may be advisable to set certain conditions to be met before the originals of heritage materials are disposed of, for example:
The minister may have to be satisfied that interested parties have been consulted.
A schedule of the relevant categories of materials may have to be drawn up for the minister's prior approval.
The original material may have to be offered to specified institutions.
There may be special conditions relating to material received in terms of legal deposit legislation. The provisions made concerning this in the NL/NLS statute would have to be harmonised with the relevant provisions of the legal deposit legislation. The important thing is that such materials should be dealt with in categories, not on an item by item basis, which would lead to bottlenecks. (Cf. section 6 above.)
The services to be provided by the NL/NLS are usually stated or implied
in the statement of functions. It is not desirable to list the services
in the statute, since the range of services will evolve over time. However,
it may be useful if the statute deals with a number of issues such as:
access to the public;
conditions of access; and
charging for services.
In some countries every citizen has free access to the national library. In other countries access may be restricted to persons over a certain age or with given educational qualifications or credentials, and users may be required to pay for a reader's ticket. This is usually done in national libraries that emphasise heritagerelated functions, in order to protect the collections and to give priority to serious researchers. The services of a comprehensive national library service, on the other hand, should by definition be available to all the people.
The board of a NL/NLS should be empowered to require that users comply with certain conditions of access, which are mainly aimed at protecting the collections and ensuring that the rights and convenience of fellowusers are respected. The board should be entitled to deny access to users who do not comply with the conditions of access.
Charging for services is an emotive issue. It has been argued that in principle access and the use of all services should be free of charge since the NL/NLS is a national institution funded largely by the taxpayers. On the other hand, there are few countries in which the NL/NLS will claim to be generously or even adequately funded. Certain services incur considerable costs, so that the NL/NLS may simply be unable to afford to make them available free of charge. The board of the NL/NLS should be empowered to determine charges for various categories of services and to revise them from time to time. The board should in fact draw up a policy setting out which services are:
delivered free of charge;
charged for on a full or partial cost recovery basis; and
charged for at a rate which yields a profit.
The following text, appropriate to a national library emphasising heritagerelated functions, illustrates the above points:
The Board shall determine the categories of persons who may gain access to its various premises, set conditions subject to which access is granted, and determine which fees and charges, if any, will be charged for the use of its various services and facilities.
The following text would be more appropriate to a national library service providing a comprehensive nationwide service which has constituent and affiliated libraries:
(1) The Board shall determine the conditions of access and use that it deems necessary to maintain order and security in its premises and those of its constituent and affiliated agencies, and to safeguard the assets of the Service and of any of its constituent or affiliated agencies.
(2) The Board may levy such fines and impose such sanctions as it may determine for noncompliance with the conditions of use of its services and facilities intended in subsection (1).
(3) Subject to the conditions intended in subsections (1) and (2) no restrictions shall be placed on access to those parts of its premises or the premises of any of its constituent and affiliated agencies that have been designated for the use of the public.
(4) The Board may determine which fees and charges, if any, will be charged for the use of its various services and facilities; Provided that no charges shall be levied by the Service or by its affiliated or constituent agencies for the use of services which have been designated as basic services by the Minister on the recommendation of the Board.
(5) Any revenue raised by the Service from charges and fines accrues
to the Service.
S11.1 Sources of funds
The following example sets out the sources of funds of the NL/NLS:
The funds of the Service consist of
(a) money appropriated for it by Parliament;
(b) money borrowed by the Service;
(c) interest on investments;
(d) rental or royalties paid to the Service;
(e) donations, endowments or contributions received by the Service;
(f) fines levied for non-compliance with the conditions of use of the Service;
(g) fees and charges levied for the use of the services and facilities of the Service; and
(h) proceeds of commercial operations carried out by the Service.
The NL/NLS should have a reliable and predictable source of funds. Hence
the lion's share of the funds of the NL/NLS should be derived from money
voted specifically for it by the legislature. Ideally it should not be
left to the ministry to decide how much of the money it has received from
the legislature is to be allocated to the NL/NLS. Unfortunately, any wording
which reduces the degree of control that the supervising ministry has over
the funding of the NL/NLS (as by giving this control to the legislature)
is likely to be objected to. It is all the more difficult to write into
a NL/NLS statute wording which binds the government to any level of funding.
(For example, it has been suggested that the NL/NLS should be granted annually
a fixed percentage of the national budget.) The financial responsibility
of the government and the ministry in respect of the NL/NLS should be negotiated
with the supervising ministry when the bill is drawn up, and the wording
of this section devised in the light of the compromise reached and in accordance
with the country's financial policy.
As indicated earlier, borrowing may be subject to ministerial permission. The investments implied by subsection (c) are also likely to be subject to conditions laid down by the minister and/or the minister of finance. Such conditions are mainly intended to ensure that the NL/NLS does not lose money through risky investments.
The NL/NLS will be required to spend its funds on the performance of
its functions as set out in the statute. As already indicated, the board
will be required to draw up an annual budget (more formally known as “a
statement of its estimated revenue and expenditure during its next financial
year”). All expenditure must be in accordance with its budget. The board
should be empowered to establish and operate reserve funds.
The NL/NLS will be required to keep proper accounts of its assets and financial transactions and to have these accounts audited by the national state auditing authority (e.g. the auditorgeneral). If the NL/NLS is a parastatal institution its statute usually makes its board responsible for supervising its finances, but designates the chief executive officer of the NL/NLS as its “accounting officer” who is held responsible for the keeping of its accounts and may be called to account by the legislature for any irregularities discovered by the auditor.
If the NL/NLS is an integral part of a ministry, it will be made subject to the accounting procedures and regulations of the public service. In such cases any income accruing to the NL/NLS may have to be deposited in the revenue account of the relevant ministry or in the general revenue account of the ministry of finance. This means that the NL/NLS does not benefit directly from any income it has generated. This can be remedied by creating a special fund for it, as in the following example:
(1) There is hereby established a Fund, to be known as the National Library Service Fund, which shall be administered by the Permanent Secretary and which shall be used for carrying out the functions intended in Section ...
(2) The Fund shall consist of -
(a) such moneys as may be appropriated by law for the purposes of the National Library Service;
(b) any moneys which may accrue to it by virtue of any regulations made under the provisions of section ... or by reason of any charge reasonably made for services performed by the National Library Service; and
(c) gifts, grants and bequests derived from any public or private
In this example the fund is to be administered by the permanent secretary because the NLS is an integral part of a government department and the permanent secretary is by law the accounting officer of a department. Ideally, responsibility for the administration of such a fund should be delegated to the director of the NLS, who acts within the framework of a budget recommended by his/her board and approved by the permanent secretary.
In some countries the organisation structure of the NL/NLS is laid down
in its statute in that its major divisions and sections, with or without
the titles and ranks of their heads, are specified there. This has the
advantage that the legislature takes note of these components and implicitly
recognises that they are entitled to resources.
However, the viewpoint adopted here is that it is not advisable for the organisation structure of the NL/NLS to be laid down in its statute. The divisions of the NL/NLS or the designations of their chiefs should not be specified in it. Instead, the board should be empowered to review and adapt the organisational structure from time to time to enable the institution to respond to changes in its environment. With the rate of change accelerating, the NL/NLS needs to be able to respond quickly, which may be difficult if the statute has to be amended by Parliament every time the organisation structure needs to be revised. In such a case the organisation structure could (if this is considered necessary) be promulgated by means of regulations issued in terms of the statute. Such regulations can be changed more easily than a statute.
An exception to this principle would have to be made in a case where a number of existing institutions have been combined to form the NL/NLS, and where for political reasons it has been decided that some of the component parts should retain their names or some degree of autonomy, for example in a federal relationship.
Another exception may be made to this principle in the case of an institution combining the functions of a national library emphasising heritage and a comprehensive national library and information service. In such a case it may be advantageous to specify that the NL is a division of the NLS (or vice versa) and to explicitly state the purpose and functions of this division. This recommendation arises from the finding that in some developing countries either the one or the other of the two components (heritage or comprehensive service) tends to be overlooked because it has no clear mandate.
In the case of a comprehensive national library service, attention should be paid to the relationship of the NLS to the local and other authorities which serve as its partners in delivering information services to the people. This should not be dealt with in the statute, but the minister should be authorised to promulgate, on the recommendation of the board, regulations dealing with:
categories of communities or organisations which qualify for library and information services;
criteria which local authorities or governing bodies of organisations must satisfy to qualify for the provision of library and information services by the NLS by means of affiliated or constituent libraries, depots, mobile libraries or other facilities;
consultative and negotiating procedures to be followed;
establishment of library committees and their functions;
declaration of affiliated or constituent libraries;
financial and other responsibilities of the NLS;
categories of materials and services to be provided by the NLS;
financial and other responsibilities of the local authority or governing body; and
disaffiliation or termination.
In the previous section and several earlier sections mention has been made of regulations that may be made by the minister. Such regulations are referred to as delegated legislation, since in these cases the legislature delegates to the minister the authority to promulgate legislation. In some countries it is the practice to specify all the regulations in a separate section, of which the following is an example:
(1) The Minister, after consultation with the Board, may make regulations prescribing all matters which by this Act are required or permitted to be prescribed or which, in his opinion, are necessary or convenient to be prescribed for the purpose of carrying out the functions of the Service.
(2) In particular and without prejudice to the generality of the
foregoing, regulations made in terms of subsection
(1) may provide-
(a) for the procedure to be followed by the Board;
(b) for the conditions subject to which constituent and affiliate libraries may borrow publications through the inter-library loan facility;
(d) for the conditions subject to which persons may borrow publications ...
(e) for the minimum requirements for registration of a library as an affiliate library, including requirements as to the size of the library, number of staff, nature of furnishings, number of publications and the maximum fees to be charged for admission of members; and
(f) for the fee to be charged on registration of an affiliate library.
A checklist of derived legislation is provided as Annex B.
S14.1 Transition measures
If the NL/NLS comes into being through the amalgamation or absorption
of one or more existing institutions or involves a change of name, status
or governance, various transition measures may need to be enacted to ensure
that there is a smooth transition from the old to the new dispensation.
For example, if governing bodies of the old institutions are to be replaced
by a new board, provision might be made for members of the old governing
bodies to become members of the new board or to remain in office until
a new board has been appointed. The manner in which the new board is to
be convened for the first time may have to be set out here. Also to be
dealt with here are transitional measures relating to the transfer from
one or more pre-existing institutions to the new NL/NLSA of:
assets, e.g. buildings, equipment, collections and other property ;
contractual obligations and liabilities;
regulations, rules and bylaws; and
personnel (taking into account institutional obligations to employees and their rights in respect of rank and status, remuneration, pension funds contributions and entitlements, etc.)
The NL/NLS statute may necessitate the repeal or amendment of existing
legislation, for example as a result of the transfer of an existing statutory
organisation to the control of the new board. As indicated earlier, some
amendments of the legal deposit legislation may also be required. With
a bit of luck it may even be possible to slip in here a small amendment
to the country's posts and telecommunications legislation, entitling the
NL/NLS to free postal and telecommunications services or, failing this,
to concessionary rates.
In some legal traditions the form in which the statute is to be cited
is specified here, as is the date on which the statute is to come into
operation. (This can also occur at the beginning of the statute.)
Items printed in boldface are recommended reading.
ABC of copyright. 1981. Paris: UNESCO.
Abid, A. 1996. Memory of the world: preserving our documentary heritage. 62nd IFLA General Conference, Beijing, 1996. Booklet 0: 63-72. (Paper 119-UNESCO-1-E.)
Bagrova, I.Y. 1990. Database on legislation relating to national libraries throughout the world. IFLA journal 16(3):336342.
Bagrova, I.Y. 1991. The legislative framework of national library functions. (Unpublished paper 112-PRESESSION-4-E given at the IFLA UNESCO Pre-session Seminar, Moscow, 12-16 August 1991.)
Bagrova, I.Y. 1992. The IFLA/UNESCO Presession seminar on the role and objectives of national libraries in the new information environment, 1216 August 1991, Moscow, USSR. IFLA journal 18(3):274280.
Briquet de Lemos, A. A. 1986. A portrait of librarianship in developing societies. In: Information consultants in action; edited by J. Stephen Parker, London: Mansell: 2574.
Burston, G. 1973. National libraries: an analysis. International library review 5:183194.
Chen, C.-C. 1996. Global digital library: technology is ready, how about content? In: New information technology for library & information professionals, education media specialists & technologists; Proceedings NIT '96: 9th International Conference, November 11-14, 1996, Pretoria, South Africa. West Newton, Massachusetts: MicroUse Information: 41-55.
Cornish, G.P. 1991. The role of national libraries in the new information environment. Paris: UNESCO. (PGI90/WS/4.)
Cornish, G.P. 1992. The changing role of the national library in the new information environment. Alexandria 4(2):125141.
Cornish, G.P. 1994. Europe divided or united? Networking and document supply now and in the future. Libri 44(1):63-76.
Dube, S.R. 1991. National Library and Documentation Services development: which way forward? Zimbabwe librarian 23(2):1418.
Ferguson, S. 1992. Strategic planning for national libraries in developing countries: an optimist's view. IFLA journal 18(4):339344.
Giavarra, E. 1996. Electronic copyright - what it is and what it means. (Unpublished paper 191-PRECONF-8-E given at the 1996 IFLA Pre-Conference Seminar, Tianjin, China.)
Goodrum, C.A. 1986. National libraries. In: ALA world encyclopedia of library and information services; 2nd ed. Ed. Robert Wedgeworth. Chicago: ALA: 580592.
Humphreys, K.W. 1996. National library functions. UNESCO bulletin for libraries 20(4):158-169.
International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions. 1992 Medium-term programme 1992-1993; compiled by the Professional Board of IFLA and edited by Hope E.A. Clement. The Hague: IFLA.
The legal deposit of electronic publications (1996) prepared by a Working Group of the Conference of Directors of National Libraries chaired by Brian Lang. Paris: UNESCO. (CII-96/WS/10.) (Available on the world-wide web. URL: http://www.unesco.org/webworld/legaldep.htm)
Line, M.B. & Line, J. 1979a. Concluding notes. In: National libraries; edited by Maurice B. Line and Joyce Line. London: Aslib: 317318.
Line, M.B. & Line, J. 1979b. The nature and aims of national libraries: introductory notes. In: National libraries; edited by Maurice B. Line and Joyce Line. London: Aslib: 78.
Line, M.B. 1980. The role of national libraries: a reassessment. Libri 30(1):116.
Line, M.B. 1989a. National library and information needs: alternative means of fulfilment, with special reference to the role of national libraries. Paris: UNESCO. (PGI89/WS/9).
Line, M.B. 1989b. National library and information needs: alternative ways of meeting them, with special reference to the role of national libraries. IFLA journal 15(4):306312.
Line, M.B. 1990. Do we need national libraries, and if so what sort? An assessment in the light of an analysis of national library and information needs. Alexandria 2(2):2738.
Line, M.B. 1993a. National libraries. In: World encyclopedia of library and information services; 3rd ed. Ed. Robert Wedgeworth. Chicago: ALA: 605611.
Line, M.B. 1993b. National libraries and the decline of the nation state. Alexandria 5(2):9598.
Line, M B 1995. Back to basics for national libraries? Alexandria 7(1):12.
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Lunn, J. 1981. Guidelines for legal deposit legislation. Paris: UNESCO. (PGI-81/WS/23.)
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Raseroka, H.K. 1994. National library policies of select African countries. Unpublished report prepared for the Library and Information Services Task Team, Centre for Education Policy Development, March 1994.
Rugaas, B. 1990. Developing a new national library in Norway. Alexandria 2(1):4149.
Schick, F.L. 1971. The international standardization of library statistics. UNESCO bulletin for libraries 25(1):211.
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This annex presents excepts from the NL/NLS legislation of four countries
in order to illustrate the range of functions that is performed by NL/NLS
of different types:
a national library with an emphasis on heritage in a developed country with a long library tradition (France);
a national library in a middle-ranking developing country; where the national library has very extensive responsibilities for heritage, infrastructure and leadership of the national library system, and aiming to deliver comprehensive service to the population (Venezuela);
a national library with heritage and infrastructural responsibilities in a middle-ranking developing country with a relatively well-developed library and information infrastructure (South Africa); and
a national library service aiming to provide service to all the people of a developing country which does not yet have an extensive infrastructure for library services (Papua New Guinea).
The examples are reproduced as far as possible in the original style and layout.
FRANCE: DECREE 94-3 OF 3 JANUARY 1994, CREATING THE NATIONAL LIBRARY
OF FRANCE (BIBLIOTHÈQUE NATIONALE DE FRANCE)
Art.2. - The National Library of France has, as its mission:
1. To collect, catalogue, conserve and enrich, in all fields of knowledge, the national heritage of which it is the guardian, in particular the heritage of the French language and that relating to French civilisation:
To this end:
-it exercises, by virtue of article 5, section 2, of the ... law of 20 June 1992, the tasks relating to legal deposit entrusted by this law and by the decrees promulgated for its application to the Bibliothèque nationale; it manages, on behalf of the State, in terms of the conditions provided in the abovementioned law of 20 June 1992, the legal deposit of which it is the depository. It compiles and distributes the national bibliography thereof.
-in the name of and on behalf of the State, it assembles and catalogues French and foreign collections of printed works, manuscripts, coins and medallions, prints, maps and plans, music, choreography, sound, visual and digitised documents;
-it participates in national and international scientific activities;
2. To ensure access by all [“the greatest number”] to the collections, excepting those secrets protected by law, under conditions conforming to the legislation on intellectual property and compatible with the conservation of these collections;
To this end:
-it conducts programmes of research relating to the heritage for which it is responsible, particularly on library science;
-it cooperates with other libraries and centres of research and documentation, French or foreign, notably in the field of information [“documentary”] networks;
-it participates, within the framework of the policies defined by the State, in the sharing of the information [“documentary”] resources of French libraries;
-it makes possible off-site consultation [”consultation at a distance”] using the most modern data transmission technologies;
-it takes all actions to promote its collections and, in particular, to undertake cultural and commercial operations related to the execution of this mission;
3. To pursue the construction, fitting out and equipping of the buildings entrusted to it by the State, notably those of which the construction is undertaken by the Établissement publique de la Bibliothèque de France, as well as to prepare for their occupation and opening to the public.
4. To preserve, manage and develop the buildings provided for it.
The Établissement publique de la Bibliothèque de France was the agency responsible for establishing the Bibliothèque de France, a new institution which in terms of this legislation was combined with the much older Bibliothèque nationale to form the Bibliothèque nationale de France.
VENEZUELA: NATIONAL LIBRARY AND LIBRARY SERVICES AUTONOMOUS INSTITUTE ACT (1977)
SOUTH AFRICA: DRAFT NATIONAL LIBRARIES AMENDMENT BILL, 1997
4. (1) The functions of the National Library of South Africa
(a) (i) to build up a complete collection of published documents emanating from or relating to South Africa;
(ii) to supplement the national resource intended in section 4(1)(a) (i) with selected documents;
(iii) to maintain and extend any other collections of published and unpublished documents; and
(iv) to promote the optimal management of collections of documents held in South African libraries as a national resource;
(b) (i) to record the documents intended in section 4(a) and
(ii) to render a national bibliographic service and to act as the national bibliographic agency;
(c) to promote optimal access to published documents nationally and internationally;
(d) to provide reference and information services, nationally and internationally;
(e) to act as the national preservation library and to provide conservation services on a national basis;
(f) to promote awareness and appreciation of the national documentary heritage; and
(g) to promote information awareness and information literacy.
(2) In order to achieve its objects and promote the development of library and information services in South Africa, the National Library of South Africa shall -
(a) provide appropriate information products and services;
(b) provide leadership, guidance and advice to South African libraries and information services;
(c) undertake planning and coordination in cooperation with other library and information services;
(d) present, in consultation and cooperation with appropriate educational institutions and professional bodies, courses of training and education relating to the functions intended in subsection (1);
(e) undertake research and development; and
(f) liaise with libraries and other institutions in and outside the Republic.
PAPUA NEW GUINEA: NATIONAL LIBRARY AND ARCHIVES ACT, 1993 (NO. 3 OF 1993)
5. FUNCTIONS OF NATIONAL LIBRARY SERVICE.
The functions of the National Library Service are -
(a) to develop and maintain national collections of library materials, including a comprehensive collection of library materials relating to Papua New Guinea, its people and its resources; and
(b) to maintain and preserve materials acquired by legal deposit under Part V; and
(c) to make library materials in the national collections available to such persons and institutions in such manner and subject to such conditions as the Director-General may determine, with a view to making the most advantageous use of those collections in the national interest; and
(d) to co-ordinate the bibliographical services of Papua New Guinea including -
(i) publication of a national bibliography to include all library materials published in Papua New Guinea; and
(ii) compilation and maintenance of a national union catalogue to facilitate inter-library loan and the sharing of information resources in Papua New Guinea; and
(iii) publication of selective, retrospective, and subject bibliographies as may be appropriate; and
(iv) assistance to national and international bibliographic projects; and
(v) establishment of national bibliographic standards in compliance with internationally accepted standards regarding bibliographic control of materials in Subparagraph (i); and
(vi) provision of other bibliographic services as deemed appropriate; and
(e) to promote and encourage the organization of library and information services throughout Papua New Guinea; and
(f) to initiate and plan the development and co-ordination of national library and information services, and to enter into agreements in relation to library matters with bodies within and outside Papua New Guinea; and
(g) to set and enforce standards for libraries in Papua New Guinea; and
(h) to encourage the development and maintenance of literacy in Papua New Guinea; and
(i) to promote and to conduct in-service training and short courses in the field of librarianship; and
(j) to encourage and conduct research in librarianship and related fields; and
(k) to provide professional advice and assistance to library staff in any government instrumentality and other organization; and
(l) on request, to provide information services to the National Parliament, authorities, institutions, government instrumentalities and the general public; and
(m) to administer a library run by a government instrumentality when requested by that government instrumentality so to do, provided that adequate resources are made available by that government instrumentality; and
(n) to initiate and promote co-operation between the National Library Service and other institutions in the discharge of the functions stipulated in this section; and
(o) to operate the International Standard Book Number agency for Papua New Guinea; and
(p) to carry out any other functions necessary for the development and maintenance of library and information services in Papua New Guinea.
The list that follows is intended for use by national librarians who
wish to determine which matters need to be dealt with in derived legislation
such as regulations gazetted by the relevant minister. Which of these matters
need to be dealt with in this way will differ from country to country.
Some may not be relevant at all. In some countries many of the points will
be dealt with in the statute itself. Others may be best dealt with internally.
It is not wise to set out too much detail in derived legislation. It is
usually easier to amend regulations or rules than to amend a statute, but
even the amendment of derived legislation could lead to frustrating delays
in decision making. Therefore inclusion of a topic does not imply a recommendation
that it should necessarily be dealt with in derived legislation.
Derived legislation should not repeat or unnecessarily overlap with the provisions made in the statute itself.
(Only terms not defined in the statute.)
Board of the NL/NLS
Procedures for the appointment of board members
Call for nominations
Appointment of selection panel
Interviews to be conducted with nominees
Recommendations submitted to minister by selection panel
Election or appointment of chairperson and deputy chairperson
Tenure of office
Vacation of office
Dismissal on the grounds of incapacity, absence, misconduct, bankruptcy, etc.
Remuneration of board members
Frequency of meetings
Procedures at meetings
Notice or calling of meetings
Attendance of persons in advisory and non-voting capacities or as observers
Procedure in the absence of the chairperson
Voting; casting vote
Submission of minutes to minister
Committees of board
Procedure for dealing with urgent matters
Reporting to minister and/or legislature
Delegation of board's powers
Accounting: income, expenditure, assets
Submission of financial report
Organisation (not recommended)
Names of major divisions
Tasks or functions of major divisions
Designations of heads of major divisions
Human resources policy
Transfer of employees from other or pre-existing institutions
Conditions of service
Termination of service
Collections and other assets
Conditions and procedures for transfers of collections
Conditions and procedures for long term loans of collections
Conditions and procedures for writing off (disposal) of collections and other assets
Safeguarding of property
Precautions against loss, damage or theft
Access and use
Conditions of access to the public
Requirements (e.g. age, qualifications) for eligibility to use the NL/NLS or sections thereof
Membership, readers' tickets, etc.
Fees or charges that may be levied for membership and renewal
Library rules or code of conduct for users or clients
Obligation of users of specified collections to deposit a copy of research reports, theses etc. based on these materials, in the NL
Measures that may be taken if rules are not observed
Fees or charges that may be levied for various services, e.g. photocopying
National services and resource sharing schemes
Organisation of central services and national cooperative activities and responsibilities of participating parties
Book and serial numbering
Disposal and redistribution of surplus library materials
Collection of national library statistics
Affiliated libraries or service points
Categories of communities or organisations which qualify for the provision of services by the NLS, e.g.:
Nature (public, non-profit)
Size of potential clientèle
Criteria which municipal and other authorities have to satisfy to qualify for the provision of services by the NLS, e.g. they must undertake to provide:
Library premises and furnishing (e.g. square metres and number of reader places)
Personnel (grades and numbers)
Other services (electricity, water, telephone, etc.)
Consultative and negotiating procedures to be followed
Library committee of affiliated library or service point
Aim and functions
Powers and duties
Appointment, term of office, termination
Meetings (frequency, procedures)
Agreement relating to transfer of assets, staff, etc.
Declaration of affiliation
Responsibilities of the NLS
Financial (e.g. subsidies)
Categories of materials
Services that affiliated library or service point has to provide to its clients
Conditions of public access
Conditions for registration of clients as borrowers
Minimum opening hours
Minimum service levels
Free basic services
Fees and charges for non-basic services
Disaffiliation or termination of affiliation agreement
Return or division of collections and other assets
Continuation of existing board until new board is appointed
Transfer of staff, property, buildings etc. to new institution