Digital and Libraries
The Ministry of Culture supports the development of digital library and encourages the dissemination of good practices in digitization and digital preservation.
The digital revolution has profoundly transformed the modes of distribution of works, access to information and a large number of cultural and social practices. The speed and scale of the transformations induced, including in everyday life, make it sometimes difficult to appropriate new technologies and digital content.
Because of the density of their network, their missions of access to culture and their training activities, public reading libraries have an important role to play in the acquisition of digital skills by their audiences, Online content delivery and digital inclusion.
In this context, the State supports local and regional authorities in the development of services and digital collections of their libraries and in their adaptation to the needs of different audiences.
Digital in the library: key figures
- A growing Internet library presence:
In 2016, 75% of municipal libraries have a dedicated website (compared to 71% in 2015) and this applies to 95% of libraries serving more than 20,000 inhabitants. As a result of this online presence, the average number of library connections is also increasing (24,000 visits in 2016 versus 20,400 in 2014).
- A large offer of digital collections:
In 2017, 47% of municipal libraries (41% in 2016) and 84% of departmental libraries (82% in 2016) offer digital resources (books, video, music, press, self-study content...). On average, 86% of libraries serving communities of more than 100,000 people offer digital resources (81% in 2016)
Self-study, online press and e-book offerings are the most popular library resources.
On the heritage side, the digital library Gallica of the National Library of France now offers online more than 5.8 million documents of all kinds: press, images, manuscripts, books, videos, sound recordings... part of which comes from the holdings of partner libraries.
- State support for digital library development:
In 2018, the State mobilized €9.8 million to support projects for the computerization, development of digital services or digitization of public reading libraries (against €7.4 million in 2015). 10-11% of special assistance to libraries within the general decentralisation allocation (DGD) is dedicated to digital every year.
Since 2010, 38 communities have been awarded the ministerial label Digital reference libraries ” (BNR) because of the ambition of their project and the importance of their investment.
Government support for the development of digital library services and collections
The Ministry of Culture has made supporting digital experiments and new uses one of its policy priorities. In a decentralized context where documentary policies are the responsibility of local and regional authorities, the Ministry of Culture reaffirmed in March 2010, within the framework of the 14 proposals for the development of reading, its desire to support libraries in developing digital collections and services adapted to the needs and expectations of their audiences.
In order to better support communities in the transition from traditional libraries and media libraries to the digital world, in 2011 the State specific assistance from DGD, to mobilise a significant part of the credits and adapt them to the challenges of digital. The wider opening of this facility to investment operations in the fields of informatics and digital technology will allow the development of infrastructures necessary for the dissemination of digital resources and the establishment of digital services in the territorial libraries. In 2012, the special competition for public reading libraries again evolved to include operating expenses such as the purchase of digital resources or the training of professionals.
In parallel, the Digital reference libraries (BNR) , set up in 2010, aims to support large-scale projects carried out by local and regional authorities wishing to place digital technology at the heart of their public reading policy in order to modernize facilities and reach new audiences. Support for BNR projects is also based on special support within DGD.
Also with a view to helping territorial libraries in the development of digital projects, the Book and Reading Service has set up a Digital Toolkit » for the development of digital fact sheets for library professionals.
Digitization of library collections
Between 1996 and 2013, the Ministry of Culture encouraged the digitization of heritage collections held in public libraries as part of a national digitization plan managed by the former Department of Research, Higher Education and Technology (DREST).
The digitization of the collections of territorial libraries is today mainly accompanied within the framework of the competition particular libraries within the DGD.
The department has been supporting the development of the digital library since 2007, with funding from the National Book Centre Gallica, as well as the intensive digitization and dissemination by this portal of collections of heritage prints of the National Library of France and documents under the rights of the French edition, with respect for rights holders.
It also ensures the use of standards and good practices in digitization and digital preservation and supports the digitization policies put in place as part of the Digital Reference Libraries.