This law was formulated to facilitate the growth of public libraries and enable them to serve as sources of comprehensive
information used to support education, cultural development, academic research, and life-time learning. Details that are not addressed in this law shall be governed by other relevant laws where applicable.
Libraries as named in this law refer specifically to facilities created for the purpose of collecting, organizing, and preserving
published information for use by the general public or other designated parties.
The aforementioned term "published information" includes books, periodicals, newspapers, audio and visual recordings, electronic media, and Internet resources.
The "designated authorities" mentioned in this law refer to the Ministry of Education at the central government level; municipal
governments at the municipal level; and the county (city) governments at the respective county (city) level.
Government and academic institutions (organizations) shall establish libraries where needed, or encourage individuals, corporate
entities, and/or non-profit organizations to do so.
Libraries shall be classified into the following categories based on their founders, target audience, and purposes:
National libraries: refers to libraries founded by the central government which mainly serve government institutions, corporate
entities, non-profit organizations, and researchers. They gather and organize a nationwide collection of published information; their existence helps preserve culture; facilitates academic research; and guides the development of all other categories of libraries.
Public libraries: refers to libraries founded by other designated authorities, local township/city offices, individuals, corporate
entities, or non-profit organizations which mainly serve the local community. In addition to housing published information, public libraries also serve to promote community education and organize cultural activities.
College libraries: refers to libraries founded by various colleges which mainly serve their own instructors and students. College
libraries support academic research, teaching activities, and promote knowledge within their respective institutions, and are open to the public to a certain extent.
School libraries: refers to libraries founded by schools of primary and secondary educational institutions which mainly serve
school teachers and students. School libraries offer the resources and media needed to facilitate teaching and learning, while its existence also helps educate the use of library resources.
Special-purpose libraries: refers to libraries founded by government institutions, individuals, corporate entities, or non-profit
organizations which mainly serve their own employees or certain interest groups. These libraries gather and offer published information relating to particular themes or topics.
Foundation and operating guidelines for all libraries shall be stipulated by the central competent authority.
The methods used for classifying, indexing, filing, and searching published information shall be developed by a national
library, a professional corporation, or a non-profit organization appointed by the central designated authority.
All libraries shall provide their target audience with fair, unrestricted, timely, and convenience accesses to published
The services offered above are subject to compliance with the Copyright Act and to the rules of usage imposed by the respective libraries.
Libraries may develop policies to outline users' rights and obligations in reading, referencing, searching, and transferring
Services offered by libraries include: interviewing, indexing, collection, review, referencing, searching, and transferring
of published information; promotion of library use, inter-library collaboration, convenience for special readers (such as persons with visual and hearing disabilities), and exchanges of publications; creation, maintenance, and development of library information
network and database.
Each library shall adequately budget for the services described above.
Each library shall be managed by one curator, director, or administrator, and may engage specialists to deliver the above services.
The curator, director, or administrator of a public library must be chaired by person of adequate professional capacity.
In the case of public libraries, the personnel described in paragraph one shall be appointed according to the Civil Service Employment Act, and the Act of Governing the Appointment of Educators
Designated authorities may assemble committees to plan, coordinate and facilitate the development of various libraries under
Libraries of various categories may collaborate, form alliances, and develop integrated information networks to enhance the
collection, management, and use of published information.
Libraries may loan, exchange, or gift resources with each other to achieve more effective sharing of information.
Libraries may, to a maximum of 3% of their total collection each year, write-off publications that are damaged, destroyed, obsolete,
or rendered unusable within their own capacities.
For the purpose of preserving nationwide publications, national libraries have been legally appointed as collectors of all domestic
For any publication mentioned in Article 2, paragraph 2, the publisher, whether it is a government institution, school, individual, corporate entity, or non-profit organization, shall, at the time
of publication, provide one copy to the national library and to the Parliamentary Library, Legislative Yuan. Government publications, however, are governed by other relevant laws.
The central competent authority shall establish a guidance system to support library development.
The designated authorities shall conduct regular performance evaluations of the libraries under their governance. Rewards and/or
subsidies shall be given to the top-performers, while improvements are to be demanded from those with undesirable performance.
The national library may impose fine(s) totaling 10 times the retail price of a publication if the publisher violates Article
15, Paragraph 2 of this act and fails to submit a copy of the publication within the timeframe designated by the national library. Fine(s) may be imposed continuously until a copy is submitted.
Court orders may be obtained to enforce fines that are imposed but unpaid in accordance with this act.
This act shall be effective from the date of promulgation.
The Presidential Office Gazette, Volume 6,377 (2001.1.17), pp. 27–29.