Culture and recreation;Education;Svalbard
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Academic and special libraries


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Key figures


million library loans

Academic and special libraris. Main results. Numbers and per cent.
20172018Percentage change
2017 - 2018
The table was corrected 2 July 2019
Loans at the libraries (millions)1.71.7-0.8
Library material (NOK 1000)551 642566 0342.6
Full-time equivalents, permanent employees December total1 6001 583-1.1
Formalized teaching participation98 552113 08314.7

See selected tables from this statistics

Table 1 
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 physical14 244 8563 208 2987 583 699576 246784 6832 091 930
Periodicals - number of subscriptions, physical92 4497 21343 0834 4889 77627 889
Yearbook, monographic serial, report serial and the like physical1 327 417584 931547 51740 05522 755132 159
Manuscripts physical16 068 09816 000 0007 156481 47559 419
Graphic and cartographic material physical5 957 1145 870 95612 8031 05766871 630
Musical score documents physical279 81481 288129 18760 0153 9625 362
Digital collection1
Books digital27 146 568548 9223 772 009914 8141 647 612263 211
Periodicals - number of subscriptions, digital540 769..233 68359 78589 366157 935
Yearbooks, monographic serials, report serials and the like digital424 610510249 15565 51684 94124 488
Manuscripts digital762 249742 6952 28110517 258
Graphic and cartographic material digital1 558 9031 521 8746 0542 1176 05822 800
Musical score documents digital46 067..45 9514769..

Table 2 
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 605 6121 494 4111 483 1841 407 259
Universities with faculty and departemental library612 376701 459692 812857 158
Libraries at scientific colleges122 275115 663145 128138 266
Libraries at colleges741 219575 043537 290311 556
Special libraries and libraries at health institutions129 742102 246107 954100 279

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

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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.


Principles for revision in Statistics Norway.