Our Functions

Main functions

There are several functions of National Library from the acquiring materials to the library until to placing on the respective shelves.  After shelving systematically, the library provides services to the students, researchers and public for their easy use of library materials. For less loss and damage of library materials, inventory taking and conservation is undertaken regularly.

Apart from that, for the promotion and dissemination of library and information subject, Library educating activities, cooperation and collaboration activities with libraries and library associations from local and oversea.

The functions of the National Library are acquisition, data processing, circulation and library development functions

Main Functions

  • Performing as a bibliographic centre of comprehensive collections on Myanmar published locally and overseas
  • Collecting and preserving all national publications
  • Acquiring the collections from Southeast Asian countries and disseminate to people
  • Providing the interlibrary loan with libraries and institutions within the country and abroad
  • Promoting and encouraging the library movements by cooperating with internationally
  • Compiling and publishing the Myanmar National Bibliography
  • Compiling and publishing the indexes of Myanmar periodicals and subject bibliographies on Myanmar
  • Providing the in-service training to profession from other libraries and practical training to students from library school
  • Providing the standards on the library profession in order to be equal throughout the country
  • Promoting and upgrading the information technology in the library and for participating in the Southeast Asia Regional Network

Acquisition is a function to acquire library materials in various ways. Library materials include not only printed books and serials but also non-printed materials such as palm-leaf manuscripts and parabaik manuscripts, type-writings, pamphlets, maps, microfilms, music notes, photographs, films, discs, video and recording tapes, recorded and reproduced materials of  paper, film and other materials.

The ways of acquisition are legal deposit, purchasing by annual budget, donation and gift as well as exchange with other libraries.

(a)       Legal Deposit

As the National Library Law is under drafting process, the National Library has acquired one copy of each local publication by the 2014 Printing and Publishing Law. However, government publications, reports of departments and organizations, publications that are excused by the above law and non-printed publications are not received by the National Library.

As the Depository Centre for United Nations Publications, materials from United Nations Organizations such as UNESCO, FAO, ESCAP and others are available for reference and research purposes.

(b)       Purchasing

As the National Library is responsible to collect local publications to meet its vision, the library purchases local publications, publications on Myanmar from other countries, research papers, dissertations, gazetteers, reference books, etc. by its annual budget.

(c)        Donation, Gifts and Exchange

By the exchange programme and gifts from oversea libraries and organizations, donation of private and organizations, the Library has increased collection development. The Library also accepts the donation of specific donation of book collectors and book lovers who want to keep their collections in single place, and maintain as Special Collection Corner. There are average 3,000 volumes of books and periodicals per year.

Collection development policy


Data processing is one of the main functions of library to prepare book catalogues and periodical indexes in order to easily searching by the library users. Bibliographic tools applied by the National Library are AACR 2 (Anglo-American Cataloguing Rules Second Edition) for cataloguing, Dewey Decimal Classification 22 Edition for classification and Sears’ List of Subject Headings. Library catalogues are arranged into both ways as card catalogue and as OPAC.

In order to easily searching to the library collections, the National Library has upgraded the Koha Integrated Library Software.

The Library is proud of her rich collection of rare and valuable ancient Myanmar manuscripts, palm-leaf and folded paper book (Parabaik) that are regarded as sacred objects because the majority of them are Buddhist religious texts and commentaries. Some manuscripts contain medical, astrological, mathematical, technical, historical documents and works on customary law. Most of them are at least 100 years old and some of them are about 200 years old.


The National Library is taking responsibility to preserve the national literary heritage in order to hand on to the next generations. Therefore, any library collection is not allowed to take outside the library. Mainly, the Library provides reading room service to any people who can read not only current publications but also old publications in the library freely. Due to the regulation of the National Library, any publication is not allowed to borrow. Exception is that government organizations’ requests, in accord with the necessary by the State, some publications are lent by the time limitation.

After receiving the designated copies according to the Legal Deposit of the National Library Law, borrowing library resources will be carried out to the public.

Circulation Policy

Legal Deposit

At the moment, the National Library receives a copy of local publications through the Copyright and Registration Department under Ministry of Information by 2014 Printing and Publishing Law. According to the National Library Law prescribed on 26 August 2020, local publishers including government departments and associations shall deliver five copies of each publication to the National Library. The prescribed law shall be active when the regulations are issued.

National Library Law (link to document)

Legal Deposit Guideline (link to document)


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