Basic principles of NLL collection development

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I. National collection
(Acquiring of editions of Latvian publishers and editions printed in Latvia, foreign editions on Latvia and Latvians)

Law "On National Library of Latvia" determines that the National Library of Latvia (NLL) is a public universal academic library, which serves the intellectual development of the whole nation, and its basic task is formation, preservation and ensuring accessibility to National collection. National collection is formed by:

  • Archive of legal deposit – its mission is to ensure the eternal preservation of printed materials issued in the territory of Latvia; basic source for acquisition of archive is free copy of legal deposit;
  • Printed works issued in the territory of Latvia what are purchased by NLL in order to ensure their access for all NLL users, as well as for anyone interested resident of Latvia or abroad through use of interlibrary subscription services and electronic document delivery;
  • Foreign editions on Latvia and Latvians, works by Latvian authors.

NLL acquires printed editions issued in the territory of Latvia and issued by Latvian publishers as completely and comprehensively as possible.

NLL acquires foreign editions on Latvia and Latvians, works by Latvian authors in the fullest possible extent, regardless of the location and language of issue.

National collection is the main priority of Latvian National Library collection creation and development.


II. Acquisition of foreign editions

Law "On National Library of Latvia" (Section 6. Functions of National Library of Latvia; sub-paragraph 2) determines: NLL "shall selectively acquire (by purchasing, obtaining by exchange, receiving as donations) and store those printed publications and documents of other nations (foreign states), which are significant for the development of Latvian statehood, science, the national economy, education and culture, as well as shall ensure the utilisation thereof".

Therefore, acquisition intensity for foreign editions in different branches of science is different, it is determined NLL mission and basic profile of acquisition:

The thematic profile of the NLL collection is humanities and social sciences, it is determined by:

  • NLL tradition of collection acquisition;
  • traditions for creation of national library collections in the world;
  • rapidly increasing demand during 90ies of 20th century for literature of these branches in foreign languages;
  • rapid involvement of Latvia in international cultural and artistic processes;
  • cultural diversity and intensity of Riga as Latvian capital, its formation as an important regional economic, cultural and educational centre.

NLL acquires foreign editions in humanities in scientific research level.

Social sciences in general is basic profile for acquisition in NLL, but taking into account the extensive offer of literature in individual sciences in library of Latvian University and other universities, acquisition of literature in the social sciences are mostly in education or training level.

Taking into account already established tradition of previous decades and the fact that the basic profile of several scientific libraries of national importance is exact, natural sciences and technology (Academic Library of the University of Latvia, Scientific Library of Riga Technical University, Fundamental Library of Latvian University of Agriculture, Latvian Patent and Technology Library, Riga Stradiņš University library), NLL acquires editions in these branches mainly in level of base information acquisition.

Important role has also additional retrospective acquisition of foreign literature. Its purpose is to supplement the NLL funds with major editions of 20th century (chrestomathic editions and sources), which would ensure greater internal unity and quality of content of funds, especially in the humanities and social sciences.

Acquisition of foreign editions is determined also by:

  • regional aspect (both thematically and in terms of publication place)

The greatest attention is paid to editions on the Baltic States, they are acquired in research level. More widely are acquired documents on the countries and regions with which Latvia has close socio-political, cultural and historical relations (Germany, Russia, the Nordic countries, Europe as a whole), with selection are acquired documents on America (mainly North America, 20th century and the present day); with large selection-on Asia, Africa and Australia.

  • languages ​​in which the documents areacquired

Foreign editions are acquired in foreign languages what are most widely-used and demanded in Latvia ​​– mainly in English, Russian, German, French, in other foreign languages ​​– with a great selection.

  • types of editions

NLL acquires both traditional (books ​​– reference publications, encyclopaedias, manuals, monographs, periodicals) and electronic foreign editions (databases, e-books, etc. ​​– according to the profile and defined acquisition level in sector). NLL special collections acquire also special types of editions (maps, sheet music, audiovisual materials, art catalogues, etc.) according to their profile.

NLL is a universal scientific library with a very diverse composition of the users and for their needs it mainly selects authoritative foreign publishers and authors; with more general character, not very narrow specialization and thematic studies (with the exception of the editions on Latvia, Latvians, works by Latvian authors) ​​– works that looks at the history, development, basic concepts, the most outstanding achievementsof the industry (themes, object), what provide an insight into the modern development trends, etc.

Basic principles of National Library of Latvia collection are formulated on the basis of:

  • development model of NLL in the 21st century – NLL as modern centre of culture and knowledge a focus on the reader and easy accessibility of the information and library funds for all residents of the country;
  • NLL as national library whose core mission is the creation of the National collection and its preservation for future generations;
  • close cooperation and coordination between NLL and major Latvian academic libraries in acquisition issues, operation in the consortium of Latvian libraries;
  • NLL as interlibrary and international interlibrary subscription centre in the country with an effective electronic document delivery system that provides a wide range of information needs, also with narrow specialization.