CDNLAO Newsletter

No. 46, March 2003

(News from the National Library of Maldives)


7) ADEPLIS (Advanced Distance Education Programme in Library and Information Science)


The National Library of the Republic of Maldives was founded in 1945 as the "State Library" of the Maldives by Ameer Mohamed Amin Didi, then the head of the Department of Education. The Library was renamed "Majeedi Library" in 1948 after one of the most popular statesmen of the Maldives, Ameer Abdul Majeed Didi.
National Library of Maldives
In the climate of development and modernization that has prevailed since 1978 the library was named "The National Library" by H. E. President Maumoon Abdul Gayoom on the 1st June 1982.

The National Library is headed by Director General and financed by the government and functions under the Ministry of Information, Arts and Culture. After the re-opening of the National Library, the library will provide Public Library Service cum National Library service. Public Library aims to provide information, recreation and support research as well as equal opportunity for the education and providing books for all. National Library aims to acquire and preserve publications concerning the country and maintain national literature.

In the age of globalization, the National Library of Maldives, as the largest and oldest library in the Maldives, is the center of library and information activities in Maldives. The National Library is the apex organization of the library and information services system and serves the entire nation. With the turning point of the new era, the National library has become the landmark for consultation whenever the need arise for additional knowledge and information. The library has played active roles in collecting reading materials, and promoting reading habit as well as the research work among Maldivians and non-Maldivians in the past twenty-two years.


  1. Acquisition and conservation of manuscripts of national importance. 
  2. Acting as a Referral Center purveying full and accurate knowledge of all sources of bibliographical information and participation in international bibliographic services.
  3. Rendering of bibliographical and documentation services of retrospective material, both general and specialized.
  4. Planned acquisition of foreign material required by the country.
  5. Collection of printed material concerning Maldives, wherever it is published and also acquisition of a photographic record of such materials that is not available within the country.
  6. To promote the reaching habits among the children and adults of the Maldives.
  7. Acts as the focal point of Library services in the country and renders to the general public.
  8. To serve as a legal depository for all publications in the Country.
  9. To publish the National Bibliography.
  10. To serve as the National Bibliographical Center Coordinating local and international activities by establishing relation with other countries.

Collection development is one of the most significant areas of librarianship. It is the backbone of all library services and important for the librarians to develop the collection in an organized manner.

The library has a fairly good number of Arabic and Urdu books beside Dhivehi (Maldivian Language) and English books. The English section contains more than 34,263 books, both Reference Fiction and Non-fiction. Dhivehi, Arabic and Urdu section contains almost 8,860, 1,662 and 947 respectively. In addition, library holds bound periodical volumes, reports, manuscripts, journals and other serials, newspapers and press cutting files, pamphlets. The books are categorized according to Dewey Decimal Classification 21st edition and catalogued according to AACR2 as well.

The library has rich collection in Philosophy & Psychology; Religion; Social Sciences; Language; natural science & Mathematics; Technology (Applied science); The Arts-Fine and Decorative arts; Literature & Rhetoric; Geography & History. The library collects foreign government and academic publications through donation and an exchange program with other libraries around the world. The library has collected and preserved many old Dhivehi literature and are allowed only for reference work. The bound newspapers are also collected. These are a good number of Dhivehi, Arabic, Urdu and Maldivian books. A special collection of books on all aspects of the Maldives is also maintained separately. The library has also good collection in fiction & non-fiction books of children.

National Collection: The National Library main objectives are to acquire and preserve of all significant printed materials produced in the country to maintain the national heritage. A special collection of books on all aspects of the Maldives is also maintained separately. This could be used in the library for reference purposes only.


The National Library remains open from 8.00 a.m. to 9.00 p.m. everyday except Friday and public holidays. The library services hours are as:

Opening Hours: 8:00 21:00
9:00 17:00 (Ramazaan hours)
Lending Hours:  8:15 20:00
9:15 16:00 (Ramazaan hours)
Cash Counter Hours: 8:15 18:00
9:15 16:00 (Ramazaan hours)


The library has following procedure to enroll its members in the library as:

a) To become a member, fill application form available for MRF 1/- from the cash counter, and return it to the Library with the memberships fees, the Library fees, and two stamp size photographs. Foreign members must pay a refundable deposit of MRF 150/- (one hundred and fifty rufiya) in addition to the membership fee and the library fee.

b) Membership fee:

Adult membership fee MRF 50/- (Fifty rufiya)
Junior membership fee MRF 25/- (Twenty five rufiya)

c) Library fee:
The library fee could be paid annually (every 12 months) or twice a year (every six months). The annual fee is to be paid before December 15th. The first installment should be paid by June 15th and the second installment by December 15th. The library fee is to be paid according to the following scale.

Adult members MRF 120/- for one year (12 months)
Adult members MRF 60/- for half year (06 months)
Junior members MRF 60/- for one year (12 months)
Junior members  MRF 30/- for half year (06 months)

Membership is in three categories:

a) Junior members
b) Adult members
c) Foreign members

The library users are the general public, children, students, teachers, researchers and Government personnel. Foreigners could be members and also they could visit library as readers. At paying a deposit of 150.


The library is providing the following kind of services to the library users:

a) Lending Services
b) Reference & Information Services
c) Current Awareness Services
d) Photocopying Services
e) Internet Services
f) Technical Advice Services
6.1) Internet Services

The Cyber Station has been installed in the library. The Library Cyber station is provided Internet services to the library members, only for educational purposes from 9:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. Internet service could be used for 15 minutes per day free of charge. A fee of =/50 laari for a junior and =/75 laari for an adult member will be charged for each extra minutes.

6.2) Photocopy Services

The photocopy services at reasonable charges and this service is also heavily used specially by the students.

6.3) Services to Children

Public library has a legitimized duty to perform by providing adequate library service to the children of the locality. Special attention is paid to children for whom there is a separate section, under the charge of a person specially qualified to attend their needs. A reading room is provided for children between 5 to 16 years of age equipped with reference materials and books of general nature on various subjects. They can also take books for home reading. The section is providing to children to use the computer including Internet facilities from the Cyber Station. The Photocopy service and press cutting is also available to the children for their school purpose. Special project file made ready for the student in any time of the year when needed.

6.4) Lending Service

The main objectives of the National Library are provide to issue the books for home reading. Books are placed on open shelves and free accessible to the readers. The readers can borrow two books at one time for two weeks. There will be a fine of =/50 laari per book for each day, if the item is not returned within the loan period.

6.5) Reference and Information Services

Besides these essential books service, there are many more facilities that are offered to the public. There is a separate Reference Section in the library where periodicals, newspapers and the books for ready reference services are made available for consultation. Reference service is to assist the clientele to use resource of the library in an effective manner leading to their optimum utilization. Reference and information service is the most intensive kind of personal service, which attempts to bring together the user and information in a personal way.

6.6) Current Awareness Services

The library collects various articles and news items from Newspapers, Periodicals etc. mainly for the use of our readers and filed according to the subjects which is available at the magazine rack. The library also provides abstracts of important articles appearing in the newspapers and periodicals. This is part of the library's extension activities and it attempts to bring about an awareness of current affairs among our clients.

6.7) Reading Room Facility

A special provision has been made in National Library for public to read in the cool and conducive atmosphere of the library. This section is very much appreciated by the readers who sit there undisturbed, and study. The latest newspapers and magazines are available this section.

7) ADEPLIS (Advanced Distance Education Programme in Library and Information Science)

The National Library of Maldives has started an Advance Distance Education programme in Library and Information Science with the help of Sri Lanka Library Association to train the library staff. The five employees have been deputed for this course. This course is three level professional development programme.

The objectives of the programme are:

a)  Developing managerial and professional skills of the library personnel in Maldives so that they could design, operate and maintain library information system and services required by the country.
b) Strengthening relationship between library association of Maldives and Sri Lanka with other professional library associations in the region with the view of improving regional cooperation and networking through sharing and exchange of resources.
c) Enhancing capability of Maldives Library personnel in national library and information system development.
d) Produce professionals who could teach and train library personnel in Para-professional grades.
The syllabus, duration and lessons of this course and evaluation of the participants are similar to national professional course of Sri Lanka Library Association (SLLA). The participants who complete the three level courses are awarded the professional certificate, which is internationally recognized. Professional librarians are required for designing, developing and operating information and library systems and for the improvement of the library profession in Maldives. The advantage of this programme is that the National Library will recruit a professional librarian as lecturer and consultant.


One of the important functions of the National Library is to bring the publication of the National Bibliographies. In addition, the library is responsible for the regular publication of a variety of other bibliography. The National Library has published Maldives National Bibliography annually.


The National Library of Maldives is headed by a Director General. The total number of staff is 38 out of which 9 are in administration and 29 in the professional staff. The National Library is under administrative control of Ministry of Information Arts and Culture.


The National Library provides librarians around the country with training and continuing education programme. In this way, the library staff is better able to cope with both the changing external environment and demands of the library's users to more comprehensive information and services. The librarians are provided courses and instructions from other countries.


The National Library is actively involved in International Cooperation, document exchange with overseas libraries and membership in international exchange of library materials The National Library is presently a member of Conference of Directors of National Library in Asia and Oceania (CDNLAO).


  • Networking of Atoll libraries
  • Networking with major Government libraries in Male'
  • Installation of Hardware & software for Networking
  • OPAC (Online Public Access Cataloguing)
  • Online Access Database
  • Linkage with other National resources Networks
  • Network based services
  • Creation of special databases services
  • CD-ROM services
  • Adequate budget required for reteroconversion

Organization chart


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