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The number of books published in Lithuania is dropping by 15-20% annually on average.

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Lithuania/ 5.3 Sector specific legislation  

5.3.4 Literature and libraries

The Law on Libraries was passed in 1995. A new edition of the law was passed in 2004, and determines libraries' administration, system of libraries in the country, structure and protection of funding to purchase books.

The state provides partial financing for book publishing, translation, publication of important national literature heritage editions through the Ministry of Culture, the Culture Support Fund and the Press, Radio and Television Support Fund. The Ministry of Culture supported 93 (in 2010) and 99 (in 2011) publishing projects. Due to state support for publishing, book prices are lower. In 2007 the Ministry of Culture, National M. MaÅžvydas Library and Bill&Melinda Gates Foundation signed trilateral agreement on the Project "Libraries for Progress", which was implemented in 2008-2012.The aim of the project was to guarantee Lithuania's residents free internet access, possibility to use computer and internet in everyday life, to improve libraries' services quality.During the period of the Programe, open access to the internet was established in 1276 public libraries in cities and rural territories. In terms of speed and access to the internet, Lithuania became one of the leaders in Europe in this area.

The main issue in the development of library activities is inadequate infrastucture to meet the demands of society. During the implementation of the Programme of Modernisation of Libraries, financial support for reconstruction and maintenance of buildings was allocated only for 44 premises from 150 scheduled in the plan.

However, according to the President of Lithuania's Publishers Association (LLA), Remigijus Jokubauskas, book publishing decreased in Lithuania during the last years, and the number of published books is dropping by 15-20% on average annually. In comparison to 2008, the number of fiction titles fell by a quarter in 2013. There are 170 publishing houses that specialise in book publishing (among 580 publishing houses in total; source:; 2013-05-06).

Public lending rights were adopted by a government resolution passed in 2002, and the state budget annually allocates reimbursements to authors for the public use of published books. 

Chapter published: 28-11-2014

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