Manda It is the ambition of the National Library of Norway to be the nation's memory and a multimedia centre for knowledge and culture.

The main goals of the National Library are to:

  • be one of Europe’s most exciting and modern national libraries
  • preserve, give access to and actively mediate the cultural heritage through the development of modern digital library services
  • be a source of and an infrastructure for research, learning, culture and language development
  • contribute to making the research and public libraries into active and topical institutions of society

The main goals of the National Library in detail

The Legal Deposit Act mandates the National Library to collect, index and preserve for posterity Norwegian published knowledge and culture production in all media. Using this as a source for collection development and mediation of knowledge and culture, the National Library has an ambition to be one of Europe’s most modern and exciting national libraries.

The collection constitutes a unique knowledge base for use in the present and future. Access and active mediation of the collection for research and documentation purposes and to the general public is based on professional knowledge, knowledge of the collection and competence in the field of modern net based knowledge sharing and mediation.

Through the role of a Norwegian language bank and infrastructure for research, the National Library ‘s digital collection gives Norwegian science an international leg up through net based access to text, sound and image based sources for the history of Norwegian culture and society.

Within strategically important fields of our enterprise, the National Library will be a national competence and resource centre for other institutions in the cultural sector. This applies to copyright, conservation of paper, photography and film, digital preservation and the development of authority systems and metadata standards.

Through the development of services and in a dialogue with Norwegian public and research libraries, the National Library shall contribute to making the libraries into active and topical institutions of society.

The National Library’s areas of activity are described in detail in separate guidelines. These cover collection development, professional development and research, mediation, preservation, digitisation, communication and library development.

In order to enable the National Library to realize its professional ambitions  there is a constant watch of competence, resource use, workflows and structure so that the organisation is adapted to the tasks at hand.

2013 – 2017 – focus is on the following tasks

  • Expanding the Bookshelf ( to all Norwegian book publications up to the year 2000
  • Continuing the digitisation programme
  • Adaptation of the collections for use in research
  • Net based access to restricted material through agreements
  • Access by exposing metadata and digital content to the large search engines
  • Implementation of exhibition and culture programmes, research seminars and conferences that will mediate the collection in an active and targeted manner
  • Increased accession of legal deposit and other material in digital form
  • Filling historical gaps in the collection, supplementing with additional material that increases the value of the collection for research and documentation and for use in other libraries
  • Developing new forms of knowledge organisation and retrieval
  • Supplementing the legal deposit collection
  • Implementing the consequences of a new Act of Legal Deposit
  • The establishment and development of strategic partnerships in our core areas
  • The adaptation and extension of our buildings in order to solve future tasks
  • Appropriate performance management and effective problem solving


The National Library shall, based on its own services and experiences, have a special responsibility for contributing to the development and strengthening of libraries in Norway as active and topical institutions of society.

In the role of government development organ the National Library shall help shape and implement a national library policy both for the individual public and research libraries and across library types.

The development of modern good and relevant services tuned to the users of the libraries must take place locally and be based on the identity and the local anchoring of each library.

The National Library will facilitate coordinated action between state, regional and local levels in the library sector. A successful development depends on the ability of the libraries and their owners  to create development processes in their libraries.

In order to achieve these goals the National Library must:

  • be a central infrastructure for all libraries
  • facilitate the use of digital content and development of new digital services
  • advertise and distribute project money within prioritised areas of development in order to stimulate better library services
  • lead a dialogue with libraries and their owners
  • administer the Library Act

Be a central infrastructure for all libraries

By setting standards in areas such as the production of bibliographies, digitisation and digital preservation, the National Library is contributing to a common infrastructure for qualitatively good and efficient library services that can be reused. All libraries are offered the opportunity to deliver and reuse collections through the Repository Library at the National Library.

Facilitate the use of digital content and development of new digital services

The National Library has as its goal to digitise its collections. Dependent on rights status other libraries will be able to reuse all this material in their own digital services and mediation efforts. The National Library will facilitate this as much as possible.

Stimulate better library services

The national budget sets aside money for grants to library development projects. This applies to both projects of a general nature and projects in prioritised areas. The National Library sets criteria to ensure that the grants are awarded according to the intentions behind the grants, and ensures that the money is spent in a way that furthers local services and produces results that can be of use to other libraries.

Lead the dialogue with libraries and their owners

The organising for library development must take place within a dialogue with the libraries and the library owners. The National Library shall establish suitable forums in order to handle this dialogue in a way that creates a basis for reciprocal understanding and backing. The dialogue shall cover both areas of development, and the ways the grants are distributed and applied.