The Ministry of Culture launches a new edition of the Guide to the public purchase of books for libraries, entirely redesigned and written under the auspices of the Department’s Book and Reading Service with the valuable assistance of professional structures and organizations in the book sector.


This guide, initiated in 2005 and whose latest version dates from 2011, is intended for library professionals and legal services under the jurisdiction of the State, local authorities, to their public establishments but also to bookshops who wish to apply for public book markets. It will be presented at the Salon Livre Paris 2018.


The 2018 edition responds to a need for updating resulting from the new normative framework for public procurement resulting from the 2016 reform. This general reform was an opportunity for the Ministry of Culture to introduce an important provision specific to the book sector: the raising of the threshold for exemption from prior advertising and prior competition to 90,000 euros excluding VAT for public procurement of school books. This provision represents a real opportunity, on the one hand, for many public library purchasers, especially small and medium-sized towns, and, on the other hand, for booksellers who see the costs generated by the award of public contracts considerably reduced.

In particular, it reaffirms one of the public policy objectives initiated by the "Lang" law of 10 August 1981 on the price of books, namely the maintenance on the territory of a dense network of retailers, guaranteeing a diversified and accessible editorial creation for the greatest number.


More generally, the aim of the vade-me cum is to contribute to a better mutual understanding of the needs and constraints of public purchasers and suppliers, while clarifying the specific legal framework for public book procurement. In particular, practical advice and tools can be used to respond to the difficulties that players may encounter, such as: how can offers be separated in a fixed price context? How can the advisory role of booksellers be enhanced, without weakening their economic balance and violating the principles of equal treatment and freedom of access to public procurement?


This vade-me cum should thus provide libraries with all the keys to optimize the conduct of their public book markets and maintain balances favourable to the wealth and diversity of the book industry.


The publication of this guide is part of the policy of support to the independent bookstore and, more generally, to the cultural shops of downtown, joining the policy of revitalization ofThe Minister’s multi-year heritage strategy, which was announced on November 17, 2011, was established by the Minister.