The National Library of Norway provides one of the most important sources of knowledge about Norway, Norwegians and Norwegian society, both in Norway and abroad. The Library’s activities include the creation, archiving and publication of collections of widely differing natures for all types of media.
The libraries’ activities are developed in collaboration with various social institutions within libraries, media, training, research, archives, museums and art at the same time as new services are developed for the public. The National Library of Norway represents an important resource in a number of areas, including as Norwegian research infrastructure, for example as a research library, as a cultural policy tool and by assuming responsibility for long-term archiving of cultural heritage artefacts and celebrating author anniversaries. The Library has also been assigned an extended role with regard to linguistic policy through a commission to establish, construct and operate a Norwegian language bank.
The National Library of Norway administers the Norwegian Act relating to the legal deposit of generally available documents for national collections, with a view to ensuring that testaments to Norwegian culture and society are preserved and made available for research and documentation. Legal depositing covers not only printed documents such as books and newspapers, but also radio and TV recordings, records and film, electronic documents including CD roms, diskettes and Internet documents. In accordance with applicable legislation, the National Library of Norway both archives and distributes material using the relevant tools available at any one time. The National Library of Norway’s growing digital collection and an expanded digital infrastructure for retrieval and distribution means the service specs and spheres of responsibility will be constantly evolving. The National Library of Norway facilitates key infrastructure for all Norwegian libraries by establishing bibliographic standards, producing nationalbibliographies and other special bibliographies, and by operating the repository library. The National Library of Norway provides a shared digital infrastructure and new digital services for the benefit of all libraries and the general public.
Since 1 July 2010 the National Library of Norway has assumed responsibility for library-related tasks and resources from the Norwegian Archive, Library and Museum Authority. Consequently, the Norwegian government’s responsibility for library development is now bundled in a single institution. The changes were informed by a need to clarify roles and responsibilities at government level and to secure successful implementation of important development tasks facing the library sector.
National library policy
Based on the development of in-house services and experience, the National Library of Norway shall bear particular responsibility for developing and reinforcing Norwegian libraries as active and relevant social institutions. As the government’s development body, the National Library of Norway shall help to formulate and implement a national library policy, both for individual libraries and at an overarching level. The National Library of Norway has been allocated project funds to stimulate development of Norwegian libraries.
The National Library of Norway shall contribute to technical development, co-ordination and efficiency improvements in libraries by means of strategic development initiatives. Residents’ and research andeducation institutions’ needs for efficient and relevant library services representthe main focus of development work. Responsibilities for development and co-ordinationfor libraries are fulfilled through an ongoing dialogue with the libraries’owners at various management levels in different modern institutions.
In line with the instruction of the library and digitalisation reports from 2009 to assume national responsibility for the development of digital library services, the National Library of Norway is now establishing a digital infrastructure for service development in Norwegian libraries. The constantly expanding content of the National Library of Norway’s digital archives and services such as bokhylla.no, and collaboration with newspapers on the digitalisation of historical archives have created digital distribution opportunities which inturn provide a basis for developing new services in public and specialist Norwegian libraries. The joint service library search is already available and will be further enhanced over the next few years.
The main objectives of the National Library of Norway:
- The National Library of Norway shall be one of Europe’s most modern and exciting national libraries
- The National Library of Norway shall contribute to the development of a national library policy
- The National Library of Norway shall form the core of the Norwegian digital library
- The National Library of Norway shall offer knowledge and experiences
- The National Library of Norway shall offer technological knowledge and cultural understanding
- The National Library of Norway shall be an adaptable organisation.