Depository libraries - United Nations Dag Hammarskjold Library
United Nations Dag Hammarskjöld Library

 United Nations Depository Library System


What is the purpose of the Depository Library System?
Who has the authority to designate depository libraries?
Are there any criteria for the designation of depository libraries?
What are the conditions of deposit?
How much is the annual contribution?
Is there any United Nations document pertaining to the depository libraries?
Is there any support provided for the depository libraries?
Can a depository library use the United Nations emblem/flag?
How does a library apply for depository status?

  What is the purpose of the Depository Library System?


Since 1946, the Dag Hammarskjold Library of the United Nations Secretariat in New York has arranged for the distribution of United Nations documents and publications to users around the world through its depository library system. At present, there are more than 365 depository libraries in over 136 countries maintaining United Nations material from the date of designation as depository to the present. The general public can consult the material free of charge at any depository library.

  Who has the authority to designate depository libraries?

The United Nations Publications Board, on the advice of the Head Librarian of the Dag Hammarskjold Library and taking into account the views of the Government concerned, designates depository libraries.

  Are there any criteria for the designation of depository libraries?

Yes. All States and Non-Self-Governing Territories are entitled to one free depository library, normally the national library or a major research library located in the capital city.

The national parliamentary library, if open to the public, is also entitled to receive material free of charge.

Additional depository libraries, which will be required to pay an annual contribution, may be designated taking into consideration the expected use to be made of the deposit, the over-all geographical distribution of the depository libraries in the country concerned, etc.

  What are the conditions of deposit?

Depositories are required to:

- Place the material received in the care of qualified library staff;
- Keep the material received in good order at their institutions;
- Make the material received accessible to the general public, free of charge, at reasonable hours;
- Make the material received available through interlibrary loan, photocopying or other means to users who cannot easily visit the depositories concerned;
- Pay the annual contribution, if applicable, promptly;


In addition, each library is requested to organize activities on a regular basis to publicize its United Nations collection.

The United Nations inquires into the observance of the conditions of deposit by mandatory biennium questionnaires or by visits.

The Publications Board reserves the right, when evidence is presented that the conditions of deposit are not satisfactorily met, to withdraw depository status.

  How much is the annual contribution?

Depositories libraries located in developing countries pay US$250 per year for a regular deposit (Official Records and printed publications) or US$500 per year for a print plus deposit (Printed Official Records and masthead documents, printed publications).

Depositories libraries located in developed countries pay US$1,000 per year for a regular deposit (Official Records and printed publications) or US$1,750 per year for a print plus deposit (Printed Official Records and masthead documents, printed publications).

  Is there any United Nations document pertaining to the depository libraries?

Yes. There are two main documents.

One is the Principles Governing United Nations Depository Libraries, issued on 18 August 1995 and the other, Instructions for Depository Libraries Receiving United Nations Material, issued on 5 March 1995.

All depositories are expected to be familiar with them.

  Is there any support provided for depository libraries?

Yes. The Dag Hammarskjold Library and the Library of the United Nations Office at Geneva periodically organize special training seminars for depository librarians. In addition, research guides and tutorials are available online.

Depository libraries also receive up-to-date information on United Nations activities and deposit-related matters via e-mail. Other support, as needed, is provided by the Depository Libraries Group.

  Can a depository library use the United Nations emblem/flag?

A depository library wishing to use the United Nations emblem/flag on entrance signs, brochures, websites or for an event is required to obtain advance permission from the United Nations. Requests should be sent to the Coordinator, Depository Libraries.

  How does a library apply for depository status?

An interested library must ensure that it will be able to comply with the conditions of deposit and meet the contribution requirement, if applicable, fully. Information on application can then be requested from the Coordinator, Depository Libraries.

 

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