28 May 2003


NEW YORK, 27 May (UN Department of Public Information) -- The Georgian Intergovernmental Library, located in Tbilisi, has been designated a United Nations depository library, becoming part of an international network of 405 libraries in 146 countries and territories that brings United Nations documents and publications to users around the world.

The establishment of the Georgian Intergovernmental Library in 2002 as an international documentation centre for the South Caucasus was a joint project of the Georgia Technical University and a depository library in Switzerland in cooperation with the Centre européen de la recherche nucléaire, the International Labour Organization (ILO), the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and the World Health Organization (WHO), among others. Two professional librarians will be assigned to the United Nations deposit, which consists of publications of the United Nations and Economic Commission for Europe (ECE) masthead documents in English and Russian, as well as online access to the full text of parliamentary documents.

Since 1946, the Dag Hammarskjöld Library at United Nations Headquarters in New York, which is part of the Department of Public Information (DPI), has arranged for the distribution of United Nations documents and publications to users around the world through its depository library system. At present, there are 405 United Nations depository libraries: 54 are located in Africa, 111 in Asia and the Pacific, 19 in Western Asia, 33 in Eastern Europe, 79 in Western Europe, 51 in Latin America and the Caribbean and 58 in North America. These libraries receive United Nations materials, with the understanding that their collections will be maintained in good order and made available to the general public free of charge.

United Nations Member States, as well as non-members, are entitled to one free depository, usually the national library in the capital city. In addition, the national parliamentary library, if open to the public, is also entitled to receive material free of charge. Other depository libraries pay a token annual contribution to receive United Nations documentation. Developing countries pay a significantly smaller amount than developed countries.

The designation of depositories is carried out by the United Nations Publications Board. The degree of development of the requesting libraries and the overall geographic distribution of depository libraries in the countries concerned are among the criteria used.

United Nations professional librarians and information officers make periodic visits to depository libraries to provide assistance and training in the management of the United Nations collection. In addition, special training seminars for depository librarians are periodically organized by the Dag Hammarskjöld Library in New York and by the Library of the United Nations Office at Geneva.

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