National Library of Sri Lanka serves as the leader in providing information to the nation. It is mainly a Research and a Reference Library and open to all members of the public. It is the apex library in the library sector in the country. Being the main reference library in the country, it serves researchers, writers, publishers, academics, university students, general public and foreigners who visit Sri Lanka.

National Library of Sri Lanka is mainly concerned on acquiring resources published in Sri Lanka, resources published in foreign countries on Sri Lanka and resources by Sri Lankan authors.

Books and other materials are shelved on 866 meters of shelving in three floors. All Library stacks areas are closed access.

No, but it does have more than one million books and printed materials, as well as government publications, braille materials, newspapers, periodicals, theses and dissertations, maps, manuscripts, ola leaf manuscripts, audio and video recordings and other special collections.

Methods of acquiring library material are purchases, deposits, gifts and donations and local and foreign exchange.

The National Library of Sri Lanka was inaugurated on 27th April 1990 by HE Ranasinghe Premadasa, the President of the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka. The Ceylon National Library Services Board Act no. 17 of 1970 provided the legal base for the National Library at its initial period.

Permission to use cameras must be obtained from the Assistant Director, Reader Services.

Book binding, fumigation, document repairing, dehumidifying of paper and the digitization of original materials are carried out to preserve its collections. These measures include maintaining materials in the proper environment, being prepared for handling of the collections.

Items in the National Library of Sri Lanka are for reference only. You cannot take them out of the reading rooms.

You can take writing materials and papers. Please be silence your mobiles in the reading areas. Bags, books, food items and drinks are prohibited in the reading rooms. Bags and books must be left in security counter at the ground floor.

According to the current situation in our country, You can’t use your laptop computers and tabs in reading rooms.

Staff at the counters and information desk will be able to help. There are three counters located in each floor (ground, first & second) and information desk is located on the ground floor. The Information Desk is on the front when you enter the library. There is a reference area with reference materials on open shelves in ground floor, but we will have to fetch most items for you from storage areas.

You will need to search the catalogues to find the details for the items you require by author, title, subject, ISBN, series and call number. You can access the catalogues in reading room.

You need to fill in an application slip for issuing items and handed it over to the counter officers.

The time taken to fetch items depends on where they are stored and crowd of the queue. Storage details are included in the catalogue record for each item.

Please take any material you wish to copy to the counter. Sometimes we cannot copy material or cannot copy it in certain ways due to copyright restrictions or the need to protect the collections from wear and tear.

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