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Serbia/ 5.3 Sector specific legislation  

5.3.4 Literature and libraries

A set of three important laws was adopted in 2011 – Law on Library and Information Sector (SG RS 52/11), Law on Legal Deposit of Publications (SG RS 52/11) and Law on Old and Rare Library Materials (SG RS 52/11).

The Law on Rare Library Materials introduces the obligation of professional care of old and rare library materials for all the owners of these movable cultural artefacts, not just for libraries and institutions. The circle of libraries that are in the process of effective protection of old and rare library materials, which until now included only the National Library of Serbia and Matica Srpska Library as depository libraries, is now widened. The Law was updated from the standpoint of the need for encouraging the use of new technologies in the field of old and rare library materials, especially information technologies and digitalisation. Criteria for assessment of old and rare library materials are introduced, as well as the right of the private owner of the materials to request a free expert advice on old and rare library materials.

Law on Library and Information sector recognises the need to foster the application of new technologies in library services, especially information technologies and digitalisation, which was not regulated until this Law was adopted. This Law regulates the establishment of the National Centre for shared cataloguing, as a vital institutional and functional form of fulfilling of the obligations of complete records of everything that is in the libraries on the one hand, and the rights of all citizens to unrestricted access to information, knowledge and cultural values. With this Law, forms of library materials formed on the basis of new technologies, such as electronic, combined and multimedia publications and computer programmes used by the public are officially recognised for the first time.

The Law on Legal Deposit of Publications is intended to achieve the public interest of preservation, archiving and full access to the entire publishing production in Serbia and in the Serbian language anywhere in the world. The novelty is the passing of the obligation of mandatory submission of the copies from the printers to the publishers. The number of copies required is halved (5 instead of 10); a mandatory copy in electronic form is introduced, all forms of traditional print publishing and all forms of digital publishing are equally treated, including Internet, within the Serbian domain.

The Parliament, at the request of The Ministry of Culture, approved the amendment to the Law on Publishing through urgent parliamentary procedure, recognising the National Library as the only state agency for delivering four international publication numbers: ISBN, ISSN, ISMN and DOI. The new Law on Publishing is in the final draft phase, with the most important change being the introduction of the National Book Centre. The main aim of the Law is to take responsibility for strategic decisions concerning publishing procedures and protection of the national publishing industry. Although it in the final stage, it is still not clear when it can be expected in the final Parliamentary procedure.

Chapter published: 18-08-2015

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