National LibraryThe history of the National Library dates back to the times when Namibia was a German colony established a library for its own administrative purposes, the Bibliothek des Kaiserlichen Gouvements. Volumes and books from this institution still found in the present Namibia National Library. During the First World War the victory of the South African troops in 1915 ensured that the library was taken over by the new authorities. In 1926 it was integrated into a library created for the settler parliament, the “Legislative Assembly of South West Africa”, and called Library of the Legislative Assembly which is today’s Parliament building. It began functioning with a small collection of books that were formerly the property of the German Government.

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The National Library acts as the International Standard Book Number (ISBN) and the International Standard Serial Number (ISSN) Agency for Namibia. It was given authorization by UNESCO to become an ISBN Agency in 1991 and an ISSN Agency in 2009. This entails allocating ISBN/ISSN free of charge to books/serials published in Namibia. The NLN provides the International Agency in London with ISBN and publishers information for their world directory, the Publishers International ISBN Directory (PIID).

The Namibia Library and Information Service Act 4 of 2000 makes provision for legal deposit. It means that publishers are required by law to give, free of charge, one or several copies of every publication that is issued or produced in the country to a specified library (or several libraries). Governments in almost all countries have made provision for legal deposit.
Reference and general collection material is open for public usage within the library.
EBSCOHOST is an online system that provides access to many periodical indexes or databases. The NLN maintains fully computerized catalogues of its collection using WINISIS.

User Services

User Services

Act as a centre for national and international supply of information resources;
Provide support services and conduct research in order to ensure the rendering of a library and information service to the people of Namibia;
Co-ordinate and supplement the acquisition, exchange, disposal or retention of any library material to ensure an adequate national library resource;
Serve as the national centre for the conservation of material emanating from Namibia or relating to Namibia.

Bibliographic Services

Bibliographic Services

Render bibliographic services and serve as the national bibliographic agency;
Build through legal deposit or other means, a collection of material emanating from Namibia or relating to Namibia;
Act as central agency for the implementation of national and international standards relating to library and information work; and
Promote awareness and appreciation of the existence of Namibia’s national heritage.