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3.1 Role

The functions of the Library are set out in section 6 of the National Library Act
1960. They are:

a. to maintain and develop a national collection of library material, including a comprehensive collection of library material relating to Australia and the Australian people;

b. to make library material in the national collection available to such persons
and institutions, and in such a manner and subject to such conditions, as
the Council determines with a view to the most advantageous use of that
collection in the national interest;

c. to make available such other services in relation to library matters and
library material (including bibliographical services) as the Council thinks fit,
and, in particular, services for the purposes of:

  • the library of the Parliament
  • the authorities of the Commonwealth
  • The Territories
  • The Agencies (within the meaning of the Public Service Act 1999); and

d. to cooperate in library matters (including the advancement of library
science) with authorities or persons, whether in Australia or elsewhere,
concerned with library matters.

The Library is one of many agencies in the Infrastructure, Transport, Regional
Development and Communications portfolio with responsibilities for collecting
Australian cultural heritage materials and making them available to the
Australian public. The Hon. Paul Fletcher, Minister for Communications, Cyber
Safety and the Arts, is the minister responsible for the Library.

The affairs of the Library are conducted by the Library Council, with the
Director-General as executive officer.