LIBRARIES IN CHINA, PALAU, PORTUGAL AND REPUBLIC OF MOLDOVA DESIGNATED UNITED NATIONS DEPOSITORY LIBRARIES

PI/1256
12 June 2000

LIBRARIES IN CHINA, PALAU, PORTUGAL AND REPUBLIC OF MOLDOVA DESIGNATED UNITED NATIONS DEPOSITORY LIBRARIES

12 June 2000


Press Release
PI/1256


LIBRARIES IN CHINA, PALAU, PORTUGAL AND REPUBLIC OF MOLDOVA DESIGNATED UNITED NATIONS DEPOSITORY LIBRARIES

20000612

Four libraries, located in China, Palau, Portugal and the Republic of Moldova, have been designated United Nations depository libraries, becoming part of an international network of 383 libraries in 143 countries and territories that bring United Nations documents and publications to users around the world. They are the University of Hong Kong (China), Palau Community College, University of Minho (Portugal) and the State University of Moldova.

The University of Hong Kong Libraries (UHKL) becomes the eleventh United Nations depository library in China. Established in 1911, The University of Hong Kong Libraries is the oldest academic library system in the Hong Kong region. The system has over 1.7 million bound volumes, more than 46,700 serial titles and approximately 900,000 audiovisual and non-print items. The University of Hong Kong Libraries is fully automated and its over 72,000 users have online access to international library catalogues and external databases; nine of its staff of 40 professional librarians manage the United Nations deposit, which consists of printed publications and masthead documents, including Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP) masthead documents, in both Chinese and English.

Palau Community College, founded in 1969 and situated in the nation’s capital, Koror, is the first United Nations depository library to be designated in the country. The college library -- the largest library in Palau -- also serves as the de facto national library. In 1995, it became the first library in the country to implement an integrated automation system. Its holdings comprise close to 20,000 volumes; with a seven-member staff, Palau Community College offers all standard library services to about 600 users daily. The United Nations deposit at Palau Community College consists of printed publications and ESCAP masthead documents in English.

The University of Minho, founded in 1973, becomes the second United Nations depository in Portugal. Based in Braga, the third largest urban area in the country, the university is distinguished for its educational activities and research in international affairs and international law. With an enrolment of over 16,000 students and a teaching staff of close to 900, it also plays a major role in the dissemination of information on the activities of international organizations. The university library, which is fully computerized, currently holds about 270,000 volumes; five professional librarians with support staff serve an average of 2,500 readers per day. Its United Nations deposit consists of

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printed publications and masthead documents, including Economic Commission for Europe (ECE) masthead documents, in English.

The State University of Moldova becomes the second United Nations depository library in the country. Founded in 1946 and situated in the nation’s capital, Chisinau, it is one of the country’s leading institutions concerned with research and education. The university library, fully equipped with electronic resources and access to external databases, holds about 2.5 million volumes and serves approximately 25,000 users. From its staff of 110, three specialists are designated to manage the United Nations deposit, which comprises printed publications and masthead documents, including ECE masthead documents, in both English and Russian.

Since 1946, the Dag Hammarskj(ld Library at United Nations Headquarters in New York, which is part of the Department of Public Information (DPI), 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 383 United Nations depository libraries: 55 are located in Africa, 88 in Asia and the Pacific, 18 in Western Asia, 34 in Eastern Europe, 85 in Western Europe, 49 in Latin America and the Caribbean and 54 in North America. These libraries receive United Nations materials, with the understanding that their collections will be maintained in good order and made available to the general public free of charge.

United Nations Member States, as well as non-members, are entitled to one free depository, usually the national library in the capital city. In addition, the national parliamentary library, if open to the public, is also entitled to receive material free of charge. Other depository libraries pay a token annual contribution to receive United Nations documentation. Developing countries pay a significantly smaller amount than developed countries.

The designation of depositories is carried out by the United Nations Publications Board. The degree of development of the requesting libraries and the overall geographic distribution of depository libraries in the countries concerned are among the criteria used.

United Nations professional librarians and information officers make periodic visits to depository libraries to provide assistance and training in the management of the United Nations collection. In addition, special training seminars for depository librarians are periodically organized by the Dag Hammarskj(ld Library in New York and by the Library of the United Nations Office at Geneva.

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For information media. Not an official record.