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National library


The European Library is an Internet service that offers access to the resources of 47 European national libraries. The resources, both digital and non-digital, include books, magazines, journals, audio recordings and other material. The European Library portal offers free search capabilities and delivers metadata records as well as digital objects: some for free, others at cost. The global management of The European Library is based on a consortium of 23 subscribing national libraries, all in charge of maintaining and developing the portal services.

British Library main building, London.National Library of AustraliaNational Library Building in Singapore.The Jewish National and University Library in Jerusalem.

Legal deposit and copyright

Main article: Legal deposit

Some countries implement "legal deposit" laws. In the United Kingdom the Legal Deposit Libraries Act 2003 restates the Copyright Act 1911, that one copy of every book published there must be sent to the national library (the British Library); five other libraries (the Bodleian Library at Oxford University, the Cambridge University Library, the National Library of Scotland, the Trinity College Library, Dublin, and the National Library of Wales) are entitled to request a free copy within one year of publication. The international nature of the book publishing industry ensures that all significant English language publications from elsewhere in the world are also included.

In the Republic of Ireland, the Copyright and Related Rights Act 2000 specifies that one copy of every book published is to be delivered to the National Library of Ireland, the Trinity College Library, Dublin, the library of the University of Limerick, the library of Dublin City University, and the British Library. Four copies are to be delivered to the National University of Ireland for distribution to its constituent universities. Further, on demand in writing within twelve months of publication a copy is to be delivered to the Bodleian Library, Cambridge University Library, the National Library of Scotland, and the National Library of Wales.

In Australia, the Copyright Act 1968 and other state Acts requires that a copy of every book published in Australia be deposited with the National Library of Australia, the State Library for each state and certain other libraries such as Parliamentary libraries and University libraries, while in Singapore, the National Library Board Act requires all publishers in Singapore to deposit two copies of every publication to the National Library Board at their own expense within four weeks from the publication date.

A similar system exists in France with respect to the National Library of France; a similar system also exists in Canada with respect to its national library, known as Library and Archives Canada, and in Quebec, the Bibliothèque et Archives nationales du Québec which has been entitled to two copies (for publications retailing at less than $250), or one copy (for publications retailing at $250 or above) of books published in Quebec since 1968.

Since 1661, the Swedish Royal Library has been entitled to a copy of all works published in Sweden.

Other countries, like the United States, do not follow this requirement. The United States does, however, require that any publisher submit two copies of a copyrightable work to United States Copyright Office at the Library of Congress-this is known as mandatory deposit-but the Library is selective about which works it retains. The international nature of the book publishing industry ensures that all significant English language publications from elsewhere in the world are also included. It also has the Federal depository libraries, which must receive a copy of all of the publications of the Government Printing Office.

In addition to having a law requiring publishers to deposit books, those countries with legal deposits usually have many other incentives for a proper and speedy deposit, such as a tie-in with laws affecting copyright of the same documents, and/or a cataloguing- in- publication service.

About three million new English-language books are retained by the British Library and Library of Congress each year.

National bibliographic control

One of the main goals of a national library is to fulfill their nation's part in following the common international goal of universal bibliographic control, by ensuring the bibliographic control of all the books or book-like documents published in, or pertaining to, that particular country.

The first part of the goal is usually achieved through the means of legal deposit laws or (as is the case of the United States) by a host of different programs such as a cataloguing in publication service. By this service, the Library of Congress gives a complete catalogue entry of a book to any publisher who sends a final draft or some form of galley proof of a book currently in production. Other national libraries offer similar services or enforce mandatory practices similar to this.

The second part of the goal is achieved by thorough acquisition programs and collection development policies that target book markets in other nations, which foster international cooperation with other countries with national libraries who have national bibliographic control as one of their goals. Exchange and access protocols are defined permitting these countries to read each other's catalogues and to standardize catalogue entries, thus making it easier for each national library to become aware of every possible published document which might concern their country.

International bibliographic control

Another one of the main goals of many national libraries is the "export aspect" and the collaborative aspect of the universal bibliographic control of all the books in the world. This is done by the exchanges and accords mentioned in the

See also

  • List of national libraries


  1. ↑ See Biblia Latina, Rare book and Special Collections Division, Library of Congress. Europe, Rare Book and Special Collections in American Memory, Library of Congress Home Page. Retrieved May 23, 2008.
  2. ↑ About the Serial and Government Publications Division The Library of Congress. Retrieved August 8, 2008.
  3. ↑ M.E. DeBakey (1991), The National Library of Medicine. Evolution of a premier information center. JAMA 266 (9): 1252-8
  4. ↑ Toxicology and Environmental Health Program. Retrieved July 11, 2007.


  • Allison, Anne Marie, and Ann Allan. OCLC, a National Library Network. Short Hills, N.J.: Enslow Publishers, 1979. ISBN 0894900196 ISBN 9780894900198
  • Conaway, James. America's Library: The Story of the Library of Congress, 1800-2000. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press in association with the Library of Congress, 2000. ISBN 0300083084 ISBN 9780300083088
  • Hobson, Anthony. Great Libraries. New York: Putnam, 1970.
  • Laubier, Guillaume de, and Jacques Bosser. The Most Beautiful Libraries in the World. New York: Harry N. Abrams, 2003. ISBN 0810946343 ISBN 9780810946347
  • National Library of Australia. Treasures from the World's Great Libraries. Canberra, ACT: National Library of Australia, 2001. ISBN 0642107394 ISBN 9780642107398
  • Pitkin, Gary M. The National Electronic Library: A Guide to the Future for Library Managers. The Greenwood library management collection. Westport, Conn: Greenwood Press, 1996. ISBN 0313296138 ISBN 9780313296130

External links

All links retrieved November 13, 2018.