National Library of the Czech Republic

  • our website
  • main catalogue
  • eds katalog
You are here: Home Services Links Rules and regulations Rules and Regulations of the National Library of the Czech Republic

Rules and Regulations of the National Library of the Czech Republic

In effect as of May 6, 2021


Exclusive status of the National Library of the Czech Republic (further the National Library) established by its genesis and tradition binds it to serve as an institution accountable for preservation and accessibility of cultural heritage to present and future generations. This status is encoded in the Laws and Statutes of the Czech Republic in the Act No. 257/2001 Coll. on libraries and conditions to provide public library and information services (Library Act). In pursuant with this Act and other relating laws composing Statutes of the Czech Republic (especially Civil Code, Criminal Code and Copyright Act, the National Library has issued these Rules and Regulations of the National Library (further Rules and Regulation).

Part 1: Definition of basic terms
Part 2: User services
Part 3: User and visitor rights and obligations
Part 4: User registration, processing and personal data protection
Part 5: General lending provisions
Part 6: In-house lending and reading rooms access
Part 7: External lending
Part 8: Interlibrary, circulation and current awareness services
Part 9: Grievances
Part 10: Fees, reimbursements, deposits and guarantees
Part 11: Final provisions

Supplements referred to in the text

Supplement 1: The National Library of the Czech Republic Services List
Supplement 2: Rules for Copying and Copy Distribution
Supplement 3: Registration Form
Supplement 4: Photoduplicating Services Work Order Form
Supplement 5: Fees and Services Price List

Definition of basic terms

  1. Library collection is a complex of all units that the National Library makes accessible to its users.
  2. Library unit is each individually registered item in the National Library collections.
  3. Open access collections are freely accessible to library users.
  4. Visitor is a person who is in a given moment on the premises of the National Library (with exclusion of the library staff).
  5. User is a person who in any given moment exploits the collections, equipment, records and services provided by the National Library – in person, through a stand-in, via internet, by telephone, etc.
  6. Registered user is a person who has entered into a contractual relationship with the National Library owing to which he is entitled to in-house and external lending. Details are stipulated further. The Slavonic Library has its own registration rules.
  7. Contractual user is a person who makes use of library services on and to the extent of individually negotiated terms.
  8. In-house loan is a loan of a library unit for-use-in-library-only.
  9. External loan is under specific conditions granted to registered users.
  10. Lending period is a time during which a user may utilize the borrowed item. Lending period is specified when the loan is made. If there is no individual specification of the time limit, the lending period reverts to that stipulated in these Rules.
  11. Restricted area is a space beyond the security checkpoint access to which has a registered user, user and a visitor with a valid Admission Ticket and persons registered by a security guard.
  12. Rules for visitors further adjust users’ rights and obligations during their stay in reading rooms or other designated areas. Rules for visitors are interconnected with the Rules and Regulations of the National Library and both are in use concurrently. Heads of specific departments, such as Library Collections and Services, Historical and Music Collections and Services, Centre for Communications, the Slavonic Library, and/or other designated staff members may also issue rules for visitors. If in existence, Rules for visitors are noticeably posted by the entrance to a given area.
  13. Directive is a set of either written or spoken instructions for the National Library users and visitors. Users and visitors are obligated to respect them.


User services

  1. The National Library offers library, information and other services to the public to the extent of its mandate, which stipulates above all a provision of access to information resources.
    Detailed scope of services is spelled out in The National Library of the Czech Republic Services List (Supplement 1).
  2. The National Library as a depository of the United Nations publication system No. 55 makes available UN documents in-house and free of charge to users who study these materials exclusively.
  3. The National Library facilitates use of its computer systems and other devices including those brought in by users. If a person wants to use a personal computer or other such device he is compelled to follow library staff instructions.
  4. The National Library supplies for fee copies of its own materials or items obtained through its other services. The request for a copy may be refused for following reasons: poor condition of the item; unavailability of the service; copying order is above and beyond capacity of the service; copying of a given item violates the law or an item to be copied is not from the library collection or the National Library did not obtain it through other services. Copies thus supplied are for the personal use only. Any other use must be subjected to individual negotiations between the National Library and the user or an author and the user otherwise the user may breach these library Rules and/or the Copyright Act
    Details on copying rules and regulations are spelled out in Rules for copying and copy distribution (Supplement 2); charges for copying are listed in the Fees and Services Price List (supplement 5).
  5. The National Library provides information and consultation services; organizes educational and cultural events, etc.
  6. The National Library informs about its services through its Internet sites and, and in reasonable scope posts essential information at observable spots inside the library.
  7. The National Library could experimentally provide new services, which may not be listed in The National Library of the Czech Republic Services List and therefore reserves a right to stop or discontinue such service even without a prior notice.
  8. The National Library may in justifiable circumstances reduce its services or cease to provide them altogether for a given period of time. Such decisions lie fully and only within the powers of the Director General.


User and visitor rights and obligations

  1. Users and visitors are to conduct themselves chiefly according to these Rules and Regulations, to Rules for Visitors of reading rooms and other specialized departments of the National Library and to follow instructions of the library staff. Main responsibility of users is to timely and properly meet their obligations towards the National Library.
  2. Users and visitors are to behave themselves in consideration of others, cause no aggravation, hassle or nuisance and damage. Prior to entering the National Library premises, they ought to switch off ring on their mobile phones or any sound made by any brought in equipment. Any part of the National Library premises should be used in accordance with its function.
  3. Serious breach of the Rules and Regulations is unauthorized removal of a library unit beyond security check or an attempt to do so. The National Library deems it a theft or an attempt of such and will act to the full within its legal powers.
  4. While using the National Library equipment users and visitors have to conduct themselves according to the National Library instructions. They must not interfere with the equipment and alter settings and network installation.
  5. For safety reasons, cameras might monitor the premises of the National Library. When entering the library users and visitors ought to be aware that all their movements may be recorded.
  6. Prior to entering areas beyond security checkpoint a user has to leave outer clothing, bags, briefcases, etc. in the cloakroom or in a locker. These lockers are not intended to house valuables and the National Library takes no responsibility for any damages. Handbags, with exception of notebooks, which may be taken to the library cannot be larger than 30x21x10 cm and could be subjected to security check.
  7. Bringing weapons, intoxicants and other dangerous substances as well as food and beverages is strictly prohibited. Consumption of food and drink is allowed only in the cafeteria or close to vending machines situated in the Restricted Area.
  8. Dogs and other animals are not allowed in with the exception of ‘seeing dogs’.
  9. When passing the security checkpoint, a user fills out a permit form entitling him to bring in his own materials or their copies (mostly books, journals, newspapers, sheet music, maps, microfilms, audio recordings or audiovisual cassettes). This permit and the materials themselves must be presented at the security checkpoint each time the user leaves or enters the library.
  10. User is required to show to security personnel (or to library staff in reading rooms and other specialized areas) all library units that are to be taken out. When asked, a user is required to hand over a personal baggage for inspection by security and/or library staff.
  11. The National Library may refuse to provide further services to a user who failed to meet his obligations toward the National Library until such time when he will have made amendments.
  12. If a registered user suffers from a contagious disease he ought to be considerate enough and not come to the library. Before returning externally borrowed material he should disinfect it if at all possible and necessary or alert the library staff.
  13. Disabled users have a right, or, as the case may be, upon the National Library staff instruction, the obligation to use services of a personal assistant. Holders of ZTP/P (identity card for disabled persons) have a right to use such service in all areas of the National Library to carry out their studies. A personal assistant need not be a registered user. If the personal assistant acts as a stand-in for the disabled user, he must have on his person a valid library card of the disabled user, a power of attorney letter and his own ID card or a passport. A ‘seeing dog’ may accompany visually disabled users.
  14. User who breaches the law or these Rules and Regulations may be asked to leave the premises of the National Library.


User registration, processing and personal data protection

  1. Registered user is a user who has a valid library card. In order to register he has to be at least 15 years old and must have a valid ID card, passport or a driver’s license. Persons with disabilities must apprise library staff of their condition when they register. The Slavonic Library registers users according to its own regulations.
  2. In order to register a person fills out a registration form and pays a registration fee (see supplement 5: Fees and Services Price List). The applicant must supply all required data clearly earmarked on the form. Providing any other information indicated on the form is purely voluntary. When registering, the applicant should acquaint himself with these Rules and Regulations. By signing the filled form, the applicant agrees with processing his personal data and security monitoring. Applicant must provide either a valid ID card, a passport or a driver’s license. Persons who fail to provide required personal data would be refused registration. The issued library card is nontransferable.
  3. Unregistered user may be issued upon request one-day Admission Ticket, which would let him use reference collections in reading rooms and some in-house services.
  4. Registration is valid for one year from the date of issue. Renewal is possible in the last month of its validity. A user has to present a still valid library card and either a valid ID card, a passport or a driver’s license. A user must report any change in the required data.
  5. Personal data required by the National Library are treated in accordance with the Act No. 101/2000 Coll. on personal data protection and its amendments. The National Library is, in the sense of the law, an administrator of these data and as such is registered with the Office for Personal Data Protection. The National Library gathers personal data of its users chiefly for protection of its assets, statistics and discharging its responsibilities as they are stipulated in statutory regulations. The library staff process the data after the applicant has agreed with the procedure.
  6. A library card is the registered user’s ID for dealing with the National Library. A user proffers it every time when entering or leaving the library premises or when he is asked to. If there are some doubts about the validity of the card, the person might be asked to show a personal ID. In case of loss or theft the user should immediately inform the library otherwise he is responsible for its misuse. There is a charge for issuing a duplicate. (See Supplement 5: Fees and Services Price List)
  7. Registered user may ask in writing for termination of his library privileges and removal of his personal data from the library files. If there were no obligations toward the National Library on the user’s side the library would comply right away. In general, the personal data are removed from the library files after a user has not renewed the registration for two consecutive years and concurrently after at least one year from discharging his last obligations towards the library.
  8. If there is a well grounded suspicion of criminal goings-on or of a serious breach of the Rules and Regulations on the side of a user the National Library reserves a right to temporarily withhold his card.
  9. There is a charge for registration and its each renewal as stipulated in the Fees and Services Price List.


General lending provisions

  1. Lending is a contractual transaction and as such is regulated by Statutes of the Czech Republic and by these Rules and Regulations. The Slavonic Library has its own lending regulations.

  2. Lending is based on the type of material and its physical condition. Unique and rare material, items deposited in the archival collections or those endangered by overuse are lent only for substantiated scholarly research.

  3. When an item is being lent the user should inspect it and report any damages. Damage is not a general wear and tear due to handling, character and age of the particular library unit.

  4. User should fill out an order slip clearly and legibly otherwise the library staff may fail to find the requested material. If there is a delay in delivery the user will be each time informed about the reasons. In one day, orders for a maximum of ten library units will be processed for one registered user.

  5. Delivery time or information about the delay must not exceed 48 hours (not counting days the library is closed for weekends, statutory holidays or when it is closed to the public).

  6. If a library unit is on loan to another user or is unavailable for other reasons the National Library places a hold on it upon the registered user's request. Reservations are valid for two years and are processed on the first come first serve basis.

  7. User is required to return a borrowed library unit in the same condition it was lent. The user has to report to the library staff any damage, mess up or a loss immediately and make compensation to the National Library. Damage is considered to be any change in or interference with the unit (such as underlining, highlighting, notes in the margins, putting in stickers, etc.)

  8. The user is not authorized to re-lend the borrowed library unit.


In-house lending and reading rooms access

  1. Any user may perform an in-house loan from open access collections. The loan contract is concluded at the moment the user takes hold of the library unit of an open access collection.
  2. In-house loan of a library unit, which is not in the open access collection, is granted only to a registered user. The loan contract s concluded at the moment the library staff member hands over a library unit to the user. Such lent library unit must be returned to a staff member before closing time or when it is not needed any longer. In general, in-house lent items are to be used in a particular reading room, from which they must not be removed.
  3. Registration of in-house loans is carried out at a reading room service desk by filing a user’s library card together with loan slips.
  4. Registered user may have a maximum of ten library units on loan and five on reserve in one reading room at one time. A library unit may be on reserve for one week from the delivery of the loan. Reservation may be renewed repeatedly subject to no other user requests it and, if any does so, only up to 30 days have elapsed from the delivery date.
  5. Use of electric/electronic equipment is possible only if such equipment has its own source of power. A user of such equipment has to follow instructions of the library staff member.
  6. Only the registered users or those with a one-day Admission Ticket may use reading rooms. If all seating places are occupied the user must leave the reading room. To reserve a chair for an absent user is not allowed.


External lending

  1. Only a registered user may take out library materials. That, given the nature of the collections, is rather exceptional. External loan without a deposit may be provided to a registered user above 18 years of age who permanently resides in the Czech Republic or who has a long-term resident permit. The National Library will conclude the loan contract only if the library unit is designated for such a use and there are no other serious obstacles to the conclusion. The registered user confirms conclusion of the loan contract by his signature conforming the specimen signature on the library card.
  2. Registered user may have on loan a maximum of twenty library units at one time.
  3. Lending period is usually 30 days unless stated otherwise. The renewal is possible to a maximum of 120 days and only if the item is not on reserve for another user.
  4. A user is obliged to return the library unit either in person, or through a third party, or possibly to send it as an insured consignment by post, or to put it in the NL book return box (Bibliobox); the loan must always be returned before the end of the loan period. When the library unit is returned undamaged in time, the loan contract expires. If the library unit is returned by post or put in the NL book return box (Bibliobox), the loan contract expires after the condition of the library unit is physically checked and the unit is signed out from the reader´s account of the user.


Interlibrary, circulation and current awareness services

  1. The National Library would upon a request of a registered user acquire a library unit from another Czech library or from abroad if the requested unit is not in the National Library collections or is taken out of circulation. Through reciprocal service the National Library will lend its materials to any registered library in the Czech Republic for its registered users. Library units from Czech libraries collections are lent externally unless the borrowing library decides otherwise. Library units on loan from foreign libraries are for in-house use only. Amongst the libraries in the Czech Republic interlibrary services are free of charge. Photocopying is payable. International interlibrary services are charged for according to Fees and Services Price List.
  2. External lending of individual issues of periodicals is rare, and only to other libraries and possibly to institutions. It is carried out through the National Library circulation service upon individually negotiated agreement.
  3. Current awareness service is available to other libraries and possibly to institutions upon individually negotiated agreement.



  1. User who is not satisfied with the quality of the National Library services, with a behavior of a staff member or any other situation pertaining to the National Library has right to complain within seven days.
  2. Grievance must contain the name of the person complaining, the subject of grievance and expected remedy. If a grievance is made in writing, there should be an indication if a reply is wanted and where it is to be sent.
  3. Grievance can be made in person or in writing. When it is not possible to resolve it right away the complainer may be asked to hand it in writing. If he would not do so his grievance would be disposed of.
  4. The National Library sees to grievances without unnecessary delay and replies in a same fashion or similarly to the way it was lodged. Should it not possible to deal with it immediately it has to be cleared up within one month.
  5. If a grievance is not dealt with in good time or the complainer is not satisfied with the answer he may complain to the Director General of the National Library.


Fees, reimbursements, deposits and guarantees

  1. Users and visitors are responsible for damages caused by breach of their legal responsibilities. Responsibility for damages is governed by the Civil Code.
  2. In case that a registered user does not return the borrowed item in due time, he / she is obliged to pay a late fine, as agreed by the National Library of the CR and the registered user, persuant to § 2048 et seq. of the Civil Code as amended (hereinafter the late fine). The amount of the late fine is given in the NL of the CR Fees and Services Price List. The obligation to pay a late fine arises on the day that follows the end of the agreed loan period and it is counted for each borrowed item per calendar day of the delay until the obligation is fulfilled in accordance with the NL Rules and Regulations.
  3. If a user does not return a library unit in due course he receives an overdue notice the cost of which will be charged to him. If the unit is not returned within one month from posting the overdue notice the National Library will enter litigation. There is a flat fee for the case preparatory steps and it is charged for each individual library unit (see the Fees and Services Price List). All cost of litigation is charged to the defendant.
  4. The National Library has prescriptive rights to the library units constituting its collections. It is unachievable to acquire a library unit by staying power.
  5. When accepting orders for chargeable services the National Library might ask for a deposit, which on completion is subtracted from the total.
  6. The National Library may ask for a deposit on external loans to guarantee a return of borrowed library units. If the user does not comply with loan regulations the National Library will make use of the deposit to satisfy its claim for compensation of damages caused by user’s noncompliance and other appended charges according to these Rules and Regulations. If the deposit is lower than the cost of damages and other appended charges the claim of the National Library is sustained.
  7. The user must report immediately any lost or damaged library unit to the National Library. The NL decides when and how the lost or damaged unit will be replaced. Preferably, the NL requires to obtain a duplicate of the unit in the same edition and binding.  If this is not possible or appropriate, the NL may ask for another edition of the unit or financial compensation. If agreed with a user, the NL may also accept another publication. The amount of financial compensation is governed by the current market price of the replaced unit or the price of the copy made, including the price for possible binding. The user shall also reimburse all costs incurred to the NL in connection with loss or damage of the library unit and its replacement. This does not relieve him /her from the obligation to pay overdue fine in the event of reporting the lost or damaged library unit after the loan period expired.
  8. The National Library reserves a right to suspend services until such time compensation will have made and the user’s obligations discharged.


Final provisions

  1. The Library Rules and Regulations including supplements, amendments and additions are available to all users for perusal on the premises of the National Library and on the National Library website and A user may ask for a printed copy. The Library Rules and Regulations are issued in an up-to date version or in the original version along with amendments. Changes will be announced in advance of their effective dates on the premises and on the National Library website.
  2. Only the Director General or a person authorized by him in writing can make exceptions to the Library Rules and Regulations.
  3. Annexes to the NL Rules and Regulations, issued by the NL of the CR as needed,  form an integral part of these Rules and Regulations; The annexes are published immediately after their issue, indicating the effectiveness, both in print and electronic form at
  4. These Library Rules and Regulations are in effect as of May 6, 2021.

Given in Prague on the 6th of May 2021

Mgr. Tomáš Foltýn
Director General of the National Library

Sep 09, 2021
Facebook Twitter Instagram Youtube