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NAPLE Statutes

The National Authorities on Public Libraries in Europe (NAPLE) Forum is an international non-governmental association pursuing the interests of the national authorities for public libraries. Its main aim is to promote principles and strategies for public library policies.

NAPLE was founded on October 4, 2002.


The objectives of NAPLE are the following:

  • to provide the platform for national authorities for public libraries to cooperate in the facilitation of public library policy-making in Europe, thus supporting coherent European library policy development;
  • to contribute together with other actors to a knowledge base on European public library policy-making;
  • to provide best practices on the work of public libraries;
  • to inspire the furthering of national development of library services, for example by focusing on certain specific topics and scrutinising them in detail;
  • to identify suitable areas for co-operation among national authorities for public libraries in Europe.


Members benefit from the activities of NAPLE, such as participating or arranging European surveys concerning libraries, giving visibility and promoting national public libraries strategies, or strengthening alliances around hot topics for public libraries.

The members of NAPLE are expected to participate in the following activities:

  • to contribute to the topics to be discussed at the Annual Assembly;
  • to provide information on legislation and national strategies through the website;
  • to inform about contacts established with other institutions, agents, and/or alliances made with other stakeholders;
  • to assist with data collection about public libraries from the participating countries;
  • to actively participate in information exchange to support NAPLE focus areas and peer to peer learning;
  • to contribute with information on the work developed by the public libraries in their countries on the focus areas decided upon by Board and Annual Assembly;
  • to gather information relevant to the objectives of NAPLE and to disseminate this to all participating members;
  • to collate and interpret the state of the art developments and perspectives for public library policies in Europe by data collection and yearly reports;
  • to collate statistics about public libraries from the participating countries;
  • to be part of a forum
    • to discuss library policy frameworks and legislation in each of the participating countries;
    • for active consultation and discussion between the members of NAPLE;
    • to discuss the implementation of library-related policies among national public library authorities in Europe, and other relevant international bodies;
    • to present strategic plans from different countries.


The membership of NAPLE is open to all national public library authorities, or the nearest equivalent to such policy-making institutions with national responsibilities for public library services, or, within a federate system, institutions that can assume the appropriate level of such responsibilities. Interested members should be nominated by contacting the secretariat.

Each participating national authority, or equivalent, is expected to nominate at least one fixed representative to NAPLE.

Membership is free of charge, but members are expected to participate actively at meetings and other activities. Participation at meetings is at members’ own expense.

The open membership will facilitate the objective of building a network and enabling partnerships throughout Europe, fostering the exchange of information about national policies and peer-to-peer learning among NAPLE members.

NAPLE members should actively encourage countries without representation to join the organisation. In countries where there is no public library authority, members should contact the ministries under which public libraries are governed.  The library associations in respective countries can also be contacted for relevant contact information. NAPLE members may also nominate a second representative from within their country. Additional representative should be nominated by contacting the secretariat.


The NAPLE Board is elected for a 3-year period and is chaired by a President. The Board consists of at least five, but not more than seven members. Board members can be re-elected to serve a second 3-year term.

The members of the Board shall be elected by the Annual Assembly. Four weeks before the Annual Assembly, a nomination committee put together by the Board, shall have prepared a list of candidates.

The President of NAPLE shall be elected within the Board for a period of three years, i.e. the same period as the Board. The President establishes a secretariat from within his or her own institution. The President can be re-elected by the Board for a second 3-year term.

The Board shall meet at least once a year.

Annual Assembly – the NAPLE Forum

The Annual Assembly meets once a year. The Assembly can take place in co-operation with other library organisations, if the Board so decides.

All NAPLE members are encouraged to attend the Annual Assembly. In case a nominated member (see Active membership above) cannot attend, he or she can nominate a substitute from the organisation he or she represents.

Should a vote on an issue be needed within the annual assembly, there shall be one vote per member country and all members are entitled to participate in that vote. In the case of a change to statutes or the foundational status of the organisation, a two thirds majority of all members is needed. In all other cases a simple majority is needed.

Remote participation in all voting circumstances shall be facilitated.

Working groups

Time-limited working groups can be created to facilitate in-depth discussion on any given topic. A new working group can be proposed to the Board by members. If approved by the Board, the Working Group will be formed by representatives from the various member countries. Members of the working group select a chairperson from amongst themselves. Working groups will present an annual report on the progress of their work, and a final report if the goals of the working group are met.

Working groups meet every year in connection with the Annual Assembly. The chairperson reports on the activities of the working group to the NAPLE Board.


Programmes that support the objectives of NAPLE can be created to facilitate cooperation on any topic between public libraries in the member countries. A new programme can be proposed to the Board by members. If approved by the Board, the programme will be administered by representatives from the various member countries.

Programme goals may include the following:

  • To promote and facilitate cooperation between public libraries;
  • To disseminate best practice for public libraries;
  • To stimulate innovation in public libraries;
  • To increase national and international visibility of public libraries.


Communication between members will be maintained through an electronic mailing list, e.g. a listserv or an online communication platform. The Board decides which means is the most preferable.

NAPLE has a website hosted and maintained by one of the members of NAPLE.

The website shows relevant information on the work of public library authorities in Europe, as well as documents and all reports from the work within NAPLE. It hosts a directory with contact information for the NAPLE members.

These statutes were agreed by the NAPLE membership in May 2020. They will be reviewed by the new Board at the beginning of each 3-year term.

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