Culture and recreation;Education;Svalbard

Academic and special libraries2017


About the statistics


Name and topic

Name: Academic and special libraries
Topic: Culture and recreation

Next release

Responsible division

Division for Education and Culture Statistics

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

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.