NLS Act comes into force

Legislation to strengthen Library's role comes into effect

Legislation to modernise the functions and governance of the National Library of Scotland (NLS) comes into force today (February 1).

The National Library of Scotland Act 2012 replaces previous legislation, passed in 1925. The new Act will strengthen the Library's role in safeguarding and sharing the knowledge held within its collections for current and future generations.
Scotland's Culture Secretary Fiona Hyslop said: 'The National Library of Scotland holds a world-class collection and is one of Europe's leading libraries. This legislation will enable NLS to keep developing as an ambitious organisation, responding to new technological advances and offering a range of modern library services for the 21st century.'

Martyn Wade, Chief Executive of NLS said: 'This is an important day for NLS. The legislation gives the Library the powers and the Board structure it needs to continue to develop as a modern, forward looking institution, providing high quality services to the people of Scotland and those further afield.'

The functions reflect the role of NLS in relation to:

  • Preserving, conserving and developing the collections
  • Making the collections available to the public and to people wishing to carry out study and research
  • Exhibiting and interpreting objects in the collection.
  • Promoting collaboration and shared practice amongst the library community.   

The Act also reduces the size of the Board of Trustees, removing reserved places and ensuring all appointments are made by Scottish Ministers based on merit and selection, in line with current public appointments practice following the Nolan Principles.

The Act is available in full from our Board of Trustees page.

1 February 2013

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