This is the blog of NAPLE Forum where you can find news, events, data and information about the public libraries in Europe.

NAPLE Forum was founded on October 4, 2002. It is 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.

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.


  • 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 beginnings

NAPLE stands for National Authorities for Public Libraries in Europe, and the forum will primarily deal with information and strategy advisory tasks.

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. 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.

Following a conference in Copenhagen: ‘European Public Libraries – in development’, October 2002 for European NAPLE’s and others, arranged by Danish National Library Authority it was agreed to found a new Forum.


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.

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