Archives and heritage libraries (i.e. libraries with valuable historical collections) in Flanders and Brussels are considered part of the domain of cultural heritage as described in 3.1 — thus residing with the Flemish Community. The National Library (KBR) and the State Archives are regulated at the Federal level.
Almost every municipality in Flanders and Brussels has a (Dutch-speaking) public library (see also 1.3.2). This is largely a consequence of former legislation that obliged local authorities in Flanders to establish one. The ‘Internal State Reform’ (see 1.2.4) introduced a number of important changes for public libraries. Since 2016, the decision on if and how to organise a library now fully resides with the local authority. Local authorities are also no longer obliged to share data on their libraries with the Flemish government — which still plays a part in knowledge transfer on the topic. Since 2018, provincial authorities — which provided support to local libraries, e.g. by supplying digital systems for lending out books — no longer have responsibilities in policy on public libraries. Through the new Decree on Supralocal Cultural Activities (see 1.2.4), libraries can apply for funding from the Flemish government for cultural projects on a regional scale.
In 2017, the Flemish government initiated in collaboration with Cultuurconnect a project on creating a unified library system (‘Eengemaakt Bibliotheeksysteem’ or EBS). This should allow to replace the different local and provincial systems for lending out books with a single digital infrastructure. The project, dubbed WISE, is being piloted throughout 2019-2021. Cultuurconnect supports local governments in tackling digital challenges in their cultural policy. Their services, workshops, research projects, and network are focused on public libraries, culture centres, and community centres (see also 2.4).
 A team within the Department of Culture, Youth and Media specialises in ‘supralocal library policy’. The Flemish government still receives data on public libraries (and culture and community centres) by local authorities, but these are shared on a voluntary basis. These data can be consulted through an online interface.