About National Library
The National Library of Sri Lanka was inaugurated on 27th April 1990 by HE Ranasinghe Premadasa, then President of the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka. This event marks a significant step in the country’s educational, cultural, library and information fields.
The Ceylon National Library Services Board Act No.17 of 1970 provided the legal base for the National Library at its initial period.
The National Library and Document Services Board new amendment Act No. 51 was introduced in 1998. Powers and responsibilities of the National Library were clearly spelled out for the first time and this was a fulfillment of a long felt need. It has become a herculean task to organize and introduce this new institution to the country and to the general public.
The National Library is mainly a research and a reference library and it is the main library and information centre in Sri Lanka. It intends to provide library resources as well as information to Sri Lankans through the National Library. The library has five floors with a floor area of 11,250 sqm. and 866 meters of shelving. There are three reading areas with a seating capacity for 320 readers and several special study rooms, air conditioned auditorium with 145 seats and a conference room with 30 seats. The current library material stock of approximately over 1,000,000 volumes will form the nucleus of the future national collection.
The National Library has been building it’s collection since 1970’s through it’s acquisition programme. Methods of acquiring library material are purchases, deposits, donations and exchange (local and international). The National Library was attributed the Legal Deposit status by the Printers and Publishers Act in 1976 which made provisions to deposit a copy of each local publication in the National Library.