NAPLE Statutes



In 1999 an EU-conference on public libraries was organised in Lisbon. During the conference a number of national authorities agreed to try to organise a network, NAPLE (National Authorities on Public Libraries in Europe). Present were colleagues from Portugal, Spain, Ireland, France, England, Norway, Sweden, Finland and Denmark. It was considered useful in many respects to have such a network and extend it to a much larger circle with the ultimate aim to establish a platform for a membership led rather than imposed European policy for public libraries. The background to this joining of forces is the role of public libraries in changing societies and the change of paradigm deriving from the ICT-development that is a common condition for all involved in public library issues. Public libraries have to accomplish new tasks and services to citizens. National public library authorities are facing a number of challenges that are more or less identical or at least parallel. A set of policy recommendations is needed on how to organise a technological lift to all public libraries, how to develop networking in serving the public, on what kind of new services citizens might benefit from and to which extent libraries can be considered a public service. A larger field is to analyse the role of public libraries in the European information policies and agree on recommendations in that field.


There is an Association of National Library Authorities in Europe, abbreviated as NAPLE Forum.
It was founded on October 4. 2002.
It shall be an international non-governmental association pursuing the interests of the national library authorities in Europe. Its main aim is to promote principles and strategies for public library policies.
NAPLE has its seat in Copenhagen.

Open membership

The membership of NAPLE is open to all national public library authorities or the nearest equivalent to such a policy making institution with national responsibilities for public library services, or, within a federate system, assuming the appropriate level of such responsibilities.


The objectives of NAPLE are the following:

  • to inform on the present state of the art of public libraries in Europe
  • to inspire to further national development of library services
  • to identify areas suitable for co-operation in the new Europe
  • to identify topics and areas for mutual future investigation and research
  • to support coherent European library policy development.


The activities of NAPLE include the following:

  1. to investigate the state of the art, developments and perspectives for public library policies
  2. to improve and promote exchange of information, results and bench marking in the public library systems in Europe
  3. to gather information relevant to the objectives of NAPLE and to distribute them to all participating members
  4. to establish and maintain a forum for active consultation and discussion between the members of NAPLE
  5. a forum among national library authorities to discuss for example the implementation of library-related policies from the European Union, the Council of Europe, UNESCO and other relevant international bodies. We need to discuss the establishment of appropriate solutions to such topics as:
    • gateways to public information in new frames
    • new services in the hybrid library
    • new relations and new frames for co-operation with other educational, cultural and social institutions and organisations.


The foundings organisations are:

  • Biblioteksstyrelsen, Danish National Library Authority, Denmark
  • An Chomhairle Leabharlanna, The Library Council, Ireland
  • O Instituto Português do Livro e das Bibliotecas, Portuguese Institute for the Book and Libraries, Portugal
  • NBLC, Vereniging van Openbare Bibliotheken, The Netherlands
  • The Council for Museums, Archives and Libraries, United Kingdom


NAPLE has a board. It will consist of the founding members for the first two years.
Thereafter a procedure for elections will be established and shall be published in the constitution. The Board shall meet at least once a year and moreover, whenever it will be necessary to take decisions on matters within its competence.

Active membership

The members have the right to benefit from the activities of NAPLE.
Members shall pay an annual membership fee.
NAPLE requires an active participation of its members in all its activities.


Part of the activities of NAPLE is based on current and up-to-date research on all aspects related to public library policy making. Members must participate in surveys and other research activities, in order to support a full and effective information exchange.

Biannual Meetings

NAPLE organises a biannual meeting based on a rota system. Meetings can take place in connection with EBLIDA council, IFLA conference or any other event where many members might turn up.
All members shall have at least one representative at the biannual meeting.
All members are free to nominate their representative for each biannual meeting of NAPLE.

Two years after the founding of NAPLE:

  1. The biannual meeting will determine the policy and the general programme of activities of NAPLE
  2. determine the membership subscription structure and the annual membership fee
  3. decide on applications for membership
  4. approve the annual financial report and the annual report on activities by the Board
  5. elect the Chairperson of NAPLE, who is also the Chairperson of the Board, and the other Board members
  6. deal with all matters placed on its agenda by the Board
  7. adopt any agreed revisions of the constitution as set out in the constitution of NAPLE
  8. decide on the dissolution and the liquidation of NAPLE.


NAPLE will communicate with its members through a closed discussion list.
It will publish a Newsletter for wider distribution.
It will communicate its activities with appropriate means through other forms of publications.


NAPLE has a secretariat.
The secretariat will be executed on a rota basis, and be related to one of the Board members by being based in one member organisation.

The secretariat is placed in Denmark 2002-2004.


NAPLE Forum Secretariat
Subdirección General de Coordinación Bibliotecaria, Ministerio de Educación, Cultura y Deporte,
Plaza del Rey, 1, 28004, Madrid, Spain.
Phone: + (00) 34 91 701 72 65 - Fax: (00) 34 91 701 73