As part of The Cultural Policy Guidelines 2014-2020 “Creative Latvia” there are the Strategy for the Archives 2015-2020 (Management of documents and archives. National documentary heritage) and the Library Strategy.
The main institution responsible for the policy development is the Ministry of Culture (department of Archives, Libraries and Museums). Latvian National Archive (after reorganisation in 2011, 18 state archive institutions were merged) implements the policy in the document and archive management field. In the library sector, the Latvian Library Council is a consultative body and – in addition — several professional non-governmental organisations operate as well.
Altogether, there are 1597 libraries in Latvia (in 2018, Central Statistical Bureau). The National Library of Latvia has a special mandate being a centre of theoretical research and practical analyses of the activities of Latvian libraries. The Library operates as the centre of Latvia’s Interlibrary Loan system, provides library and information services to the Saeima (parliament), and is implementing library- sector standardisation. From its very beginning, it has been responsible for Latvia’s national bibliography.
There is a dense network of 789 municipal public libraries all over Latvia (see chapter 1.3). Public libraries play a special role in the life of local communities, not only providing books, but also being a
social cohesion centre, providing access to Internet, supporting creative activities and fostering entrepreneurship of individuals.
The Latvian Library for the Blind has 7 branches. Another large network are the libraries of education institutions.
The most significant developments in the field have been digitalisation of libraries (see chapter 2.4 about digitalisation projects of public libraries) and the construction of the Latvian National Library (2008-2014).
See also chapters 4.2.2 and 4.2.5 about legislation.