Our Role

Understand the roles of the Libraries and Archives.

NLB Act & Statutory Functions

The National Library Board (NLB) is a statutory board established under the National Library Board Act (Chapter 197) (NLB Act). The NLB Act sets out the NLB’s functions and powers.

The functions of the NLB include the following:

  1. to establish libraries (such as the National Library and Public Libraries) and to administer the National Archives of Singapore (NAS) including the Oral History Centre under NAS
  2. to promote reading and encourage learning through the use of libraries.
  3. to provide a repository of library materials published in Singapore.
  4. to acquire a comprehensive collection of library materials relating to Singapore and its people.
  5. to provide a repository of archives of national or historical significance and to facilitate access to these archives.
  6. to conduct records management programmes for the Government including setting standards and procedures.
  7. to record, preserve and disseminate the history of Singapore through oral history.
  8. to share information on library and archival collections by any means including through publications and exhibitions.

NLB has the power to do all things necessary or convenient to be done in connection with its functions including the following:

  1. to make copies of any online material available on a Singapore website.
  2. to require that library materials (print and electronic versions) published in Singapore be deposited with NLB.
  3. to require that public records of national or historical significance be transferred to NAS.
  4. to require that sound or audio-visual recordings that have been broadcasted or made public be deposited with NAS.
  5. to acquire by purchase, donation or otherwise any library or archival materials of national or historical significance.
  6. to collaborate with other libraries, information providers, archives and oral history centres.
  7. to undertake and facilitate research on libraries, librarianship, archives, archival work and oral history.
  8. to enter into contracts.
  9. to form or participate in the formation of a company.
  10. to charge fees, commissions or rent for any services or facilities provided.

The NLB may make regulations for carrying out the purposes of the NLB Act. There is currently only one set of regulations under the NLB Act – NLB (Fees and Charges) Regulations.