The Law of the Republic of Azerbaijan on Libraries (1998) aims to improve the organisation of libraries, make libraries more effective and useful, and extend library and information services to people living in rural areas. More generally, it sets out to develop the community’s intellectual potential, and contribute to the progress of knowledge. It provides the legal basis that libraries require to do their job effectively and to improve and up-date their working methods. The aim is not to tinker with principles, but to re-address them radically in terms of the new economic and political situation. The Act formulates the principles of state policy on libraries, provides a common basis for the library system, regulates the founding and running of libraries, and covers funding, the public’s rights regarding use of libraries, and the principles of international co-operation in this area.
The Law on Publishing (2000) is designed to remedy shortcomings in the publishing and printing industry, and to supply the lack of comprehensive legislation in this sector. Its central aim is to revive the country’s ailing publishing industry. The Act lays down the main principles of state policy, specifies the state’s duties, defines optimum approaches to the organisation and running of publishing and printing activities, and formulates principles to govern relations between operatives in this area. Geared to the economic realities of the country’s situation, and practical in its whole approach, it holds promise for the future of publishing and printing in Azerbaijan.