Information about the public library service including the functions of the NI Library Authority (Libraries NI) and the Public Records Office of Northern Ireland.

The Department's vision

The Department's vision for the public library service is:

‘A flexible and responsive library service which provides a dynamic focal point in the community and assists people to fulfil their potential’

Libraries NI

The Department funds the public library service, which is administered by the Northern Ireland Library Authority, known as Libraries NI.

The functions of Libraries NI are set out in the Libraries Act (NI) 2008.

Libraries NI services

Library services provided by Libraries NI include:

  • free membership
  • free lending service including books, dvds, e-books, e-magazines and newspapers, and audio books
  • free internet access and familiarisation training
  • special events for groups from pre-schoolers to the over sixties
  • access to information about government services and activities in the community
  • free access to computers and wi-fi

There has also been ongoing significant capital investment in new library buildings to improve and modernise the public library service.

These services, and others, are accessible at libraries located across the North and through Libraries NI's mobile service. More information is available on the Libraries NI website:

The Department also supports:

Delivering Tomorrow’s Libraries

The reports below contain the outturn results for the Public Library Standards which form part of the Department for Communities Delivering Tomorrow’s Libraries Policy.


The Public Record Office of Northern Ireland (PRONI) is the official archive for Northern Ireland. It aims to identify and preserve records of historical, social and cultural importance and make them available for the information, education and enjoyment of the public.

PRONI is the official place of deposit for public records in Northern Ireland. In addition, it collects a wide range of archives from private sources. PRONI also advises on and promotes best practice in archive and records management to ensure that today’s records will be available for future generations.

Further information can be found at the PRONI website:

Related to Libraries

Access to information

How to request information from the Department for Communities including Freedom of Information (FOI) and the use of our Publication Scheme. You may also request your own personal information, via a Right of Access Request.

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