Legal Deposit in Four Countries: Laws and Library Services
American Association of Law Libraries, Vol. 80, No. 4, Fall 1988
29 Pages Posted: 1 Mar 2011
Date Written: November 1, 1988
National libraries throughout the world generally hold the strongest collection of publications from their home countries and build a rich variety of information services from the collections. To be sure of developing such a national collection for current and future use, the libraries must depend on more than careful acquisitions and sizable budgets. They need legal mandates requiring delivery of a copy of each new work published in the country. With the assistance of enforceable rules of law, national libraries can receive nearly all desired publications. Such an arrangement is known as "legal deposit," and it is the foundation of national collection development and library services.
Through a comparative analysis of legal deposit statutes from four countries, this article analyzes the elements of comparable statutes and presents findings that might help lawmakers draft more effective statutes. By comparing the legal deposit systems of the United States, the United Kingdom, France, and Switzerland, this article develops a conceptual framework for analyzing the qualities of deposit systems.
Keywords: copyright, legal deposit, library services
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