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We are the national library of the Federal Republic of Germany

We are charged by the Federal Republic of Germany with collecting, documenting and preserving the culture heritage of Germany as expressed in publications and sound recordings. We do so without making any kind of judgement on the content.
As a provider of information and media we allow users to undertake searches in, and make use of, our own, national and also international, holdings.
Our collections and services provide a modern infrastructure for work in the fields of culture, education and science. Through exhibitions, publications and events we kindle public interest and contribute to the cultural life of Germany.
The library was founded on the initiative of German publishers in 1912 in Leipzig. Today we play an active role in the constantly evolving communication and media sector, adapting our work and services to the ongoing changes. Our underlying tasks have remained basically unchanged, yet we continually subject our bibliographic and technical processes, our work processes, organisational structures plus our products and services to further development. As the national library we initiate, coordinate and exploit innovations within the German and international library systems.
As the national library we represent librarianship in society. Together with our partners we raise awareness of the extraordinary range of information and communication possibilities offered by a modern library system.

We collect all German publications

Since 1913 we have consistently collected all media publications in Germany, about Germany or in German - as they have been published. These works are supplemented by our valuable special collections.

We preserve the original versions

We place high demands upon ourselves in terms of quality to ensure that future generations can also make use of the media we have archived. We avail ourselves of the very latest technologies to preserve our holdings. We regard the long-term preservation of electronic media publications as a major challenge for the future.

Putting users first

We provide German and international users from the fields of science, research and culture and from all areas of society with optimum access opportunities to the media.

We make our data and services accessible to libraries and information networks, publishers and music producers, book and sheet music retailers and other users inside and outside the library system. In doing so we are committed to protecting intellectual property.

We orient our services to the interests and needs of our own users and to those of our partners and their users.

We have an extensive knowledge base

We carry out descriptive and subject cataloguing of the publications we collect at a consistently high national bibliography quality level to create the Deutsche Nationalbibliografie. Together with the Integrated Authority File this constitutes the knowledge-based, rule-compliant identification system for all the publications collected. We also offer external data to our users.
We disseminate the Deutsche Nationalbibliografie, the Integrated Authority File and all catalogue enrichment data via our data services, thereby supporting their extended use.

Our collections can be used by everyone

We provide modern, unrestricted, 24 hour retrieval instruments and online ordering possibilities. Optimised working conditions for use of all the different types of media in our buildings combined with user-friendly opening hours help to provide unconstrained access to the media. Document delivery services and Internet access to freely available electronic publications also support external use of the materials worldwide. We provide custom-designed information and other services for local and external users.

Creating networks together

We maintain our collections and holdings. In collaboration with our German and international partners, we are creating a forward-looking infrastructure for the national and international exchange of data. Together we can offer these to users all over the world.

Setting the standards

We apply international standards and codes and are actively involved in their further development in the interests of the German library system. We coordinate their application together
with our national and international partners. We are responsible for maintaining the Integrated Authority File. We define the main areas of standardisation work and function as a competence centre in the fields of cataloguing, collection care, data formats, communication interfaces and long-term preservation.

We are a learning organisation

We are continuously developing our services, our processes and the organisation of our work in a targeted manner. Which is why we attach such importance to maintaining our specialist and social skills and are engaged in a continuous process of learning and further training.

The staff members are the most valuable assets of the German National Library.

They are involved in all developments, both in the individual specialist areas and at the organisational level. We ensure that there are distinct areas of responsibility and transparent communication structures in our work processes.

We offer flexible working hours and family-friendly working conditions. We endeavour to provide ergonomically designed work places. There are equal opportunities for men and women, and employees with disabilities are integrated and supported.

We deal with each other on a basis of mutual respect and consideration, working cooperatively in autonomous teams on the joint tasks. We support each other above and beyond the limits of our own department or site. We strive to create an open and friendly working atmosphere and are aware of the social responsibility which we carry for each other.

Our mission statement reflects attitudes as they are perceived today, but it is critically reviewed on a regular basis to ensure that it keeps abreast of circumstances as they change. This is the common benchmark by which we measure our performance.

Leipzig, Frankfurt am Main, 21 February 2014

Last update: 08.04.2014

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