Culture and recreation;Education;Svalbard
ffbibl, Academic and special libraries, university library, university college library, national library, special library, lending, borrowing, collections, books, journals, digital documents, employees, revenues, expenditureTertiary education, Culture, Culture and recreation, Culture and recreation, Education, Svalbard

Academic and special libraries


Next update

Key figures


million library loans

Academic and special libraris. Main results. Numbers and per cent.
20162017Percentage change
2016 - 2017
Loans at the libraries (millions)
Library material (NOK 1000)549 934551 6420.3
Man-years total1 562....
Formalized teaching participation110 85698 552-11.1

See selected tables from this statistics

Table 1 
Total number of loans from the Academic and special libraries

Total number of loans from the Academic and special libraries1
1The number of physical loans is the sum of inital loan registration to primary users and others, including interlibrary loans.
2Academic and special librarys, without the National Libraries
All academic and special libraries21 743 7471 605 6121 494 4111 483 184
Universities with faculty and departemental library692 395612 376701 459692 812
Libraries at scientific colleges128 909122 275115 663145 128
Libraries at colleges783 911741 219575 043537 290
Special libraries and libraries at health institutions138 532129 742102 246107 954

Table 2 
Collection statistics of a few selected groups of physical and digital resources

Collection statistics of a few selected groups of physical and digital resources
All academic and special librariesNational librariesUniversities with faculty and departemental libraryLibraries at scientific collegesLibraries at collegesSpecial libraries and libraries at health institutions
1In 2015 many academic and special libraries have changed library system from BIBSYS to Alma. Due to this there may be some uncertainty related to the figures for stock and increase.
2From 2017 PDA- titles (Patron-driven acquisition) is not included
Physical collection1
Books physical15 420 2263 187 6237 923 818566 8681 299 3572 442 560
Periodicals - number of subscriptions, physical129 5127 95747 3345 2568 63760 328
Yearbook, monographic serial, report serial and the like physical1 025 970408 906420 87324 86842 605128 718
Manuscripts physical16 103 38316 000 00029 827461 25472 256
Graphic and cartographic material physical6 042 4445 673 244292 8681 0921 54473 696
Musical score documents physical286 17486 212124 22559 3936 19210 152
Digital collection1
Books digital26 251 067522 6253 009 2081 013 5281 523 917181 789
Periodicals - number of subscriptions, digital531 2302 308178 08855 969143 068151 797
Yearbooks, monographic serials, report serials and the like digital328 570509162 15349 91382 74333 252
Manuscripts digital775 305683 83067 399222624 028
Graphic and cartographic material digital1 207 1371 105 32373 9352 0724 12721 680
Musical score documents digital73 024073 0081060

About the statistics

Statistics on academic and special libraries at Norwegian universities and university colleges, public and private special libraries at research institutes and the National Library. These libraries are designed to provide services to students, teachers, researchers and those at the institution of which the library is part. The statistics show a summary of the activity during the year.


Definitions of the main concepts and variables

Non-local loans: loans from one library to another or loans to private persons/institutions

Databases are divided in following groups:

- Reference databases; a collection of bibliographic references in a database

- Full text databases; a collection of original texts

- Other databases are for example surveys/catalogues, dictionaries, e.t.c.

Standard classifications

Based on international standard ISO 2789 (Information and documentation - International library statistics)

Administrative information

Name and topic

Name: Academic and special libraries
Topic: Culture and recreation

Next release

Responsible division

Division for Education and Culture Statistics

Regional level

The figures are given on national and county Level.

Frequency and timeliness


International reporting



The National Library is the owner of the data and compiles statistics of their own.


Background and purpose

The purpose is to show statistics from activities executed during the year by the special and research libraries. The statistics intend to give useful information to central and local authorities and others that in some way or other are involved in the running or financing of a library. The library statistics has been published once a year since 1980 in co-operation with the National Office for Research and Special Libraries and The Norwegian Archive, Library and Museum Authority. From the publication year 2011 in co-operation with the National Library.

Users and applications

Users of the statistics are: Ministry of Culture, Ministry of Education and Research, the library sector, and individuals interested in various documents related to information, research, education and recreation.

Equal treatment of users

No external users have access to the statistics and analyses before they are published and accessible simultaneously for all users on ssb.no at 8 am. Prior to this, a minimum of three months' advance notice is given in the Statistics Release Calendar. This is one of Statistics Norway’s key principles for ensuring that all users are treated equally.

Coherence with other statistics

Data, based on reports from the National Library, are useful for LIBECON (http://www.libecon.org). The reports are based on international standard ISO 2789, Information and documentation - International library statistics.

Legal authority

Not relevant

EEA reference

Not relevant



The statistics cover special and research libraries in universities and state colleges, in public and private special libraries and the National Library. The National Library updates a list including all the libraries. The statistics include figures of collections, increase and decrease of books and periodicals, printed and electronic. In addition figures are given on expenditure and persons employed.

Data sources and sampling

Sources are the libraries themselves. However, the statistics are prepared in order to make it available through professional library systems such as BIBSYS.

The survey intends to cover the whole library field.

Collection of data, editing and estimations

Questionnaires are dispatched and collected by the National Library. They are also responsible for reminding and for updating of the population. A great part of the libraries deliver their data electronically, by filling in the questionnaires which they can find on an Internet website. Statistics Norway receives a prepared data file from the National Library based on collected data. This file forms the basis of the official statistics.

Logical addition and coherence is checked. Besides, a comparison with the questionnaires from previous year is made in order to uncover great deviations.

Seasonal adjustment

Not relevant



Comparability over time and space

Loans excludes renewals from 2012 and onwards.

Accuracy and reliability

Sources of error and uncertainty

Some libraries do not answer all questions. The reason might be that they do not have data to report, wrong interpretation of some questions, or respondents might also unconsciously have given erroneous data, influencing the statistics.

Although the response rate is nearly 100 per cent, dropouts would cause small errors comparing with years before.


Not relevant