Data on libraries that operated on the territory of the Republic of Croatia in 2020 were obtained by processing the administrative database of the National and University Library.
A total of 1 749 libraries were covered, which included one national library, 99 libraries at institutions of higher education, university and scientific libraries, 95 specialised libraries, 304 public libraries, 883 libraries in basic schools and 367 libraries in secondary schools.
In 2020, of the total number of libraries, 11% were autonomous, 6% were part of another library and 83% were part of another institution, enterprise or educational institution.
Increasing number of libraries with internet access
The modernisation of libraries with new media and technologies enables a direct access to all types of knowledge and information. Therefore, 87% of all libraries had an integrated reading room, 64% had a multimedia department and 87% had wireless internet equipment. The number of libraries that had wireless internet for users increased by 12% compared to 2019.
There were 4 082 persons employed in libraries, of which 84% were women. Of the total number of persons employed in libraries, 88% were professional library staff.
The most numerous members of public libraries and visitors to library events were children and youth up to 18 years of age
A total of 1 287 522 persons had a library membership in 2020, of which 68% were active users. Women accounted for 64% of the total number of public library users.
The members of libraries in basic and secondary schools accounted for 39% of all library memberships, followed by the members of public libraries with the share of 37% in the total membership. Children and youth up to 18 years of age accounted for 40% of public library memberships.
Observing the age structure of visitors to library events and workshops, 72% of visitors were under 18 years of age.
Impact of the crisis caused by the COVID-19 pandemic and the closure of public institutions on the library activity
In 2020, a total of 85% library materials were used outside the library. When comparing the lending of library materials compared to 2019, a decrease of 28% is visible, which indicates that the crisis caused by the pandemic and the closure of all cultural institutions have affected the library activity as well.
The decrease in visits to libraries was the most pronounced in physical visits, which decreased by 46% compared to 2019. The number of library events in 2020 was 57% lower and the number of visitors to library events 44% lower than in the previous year. Furthermore, the number of workshops held at libraries decreased by 38% compared to 2019.
Virtual library visits – a growing trend among users
Due to the development of digital society, there is a tendency towards virtual library visits, which were even more represented in 2020 than in the previous years and amounted to 69% of total visits, which was an increase of 10% compared to 2019.
1 LIBRARIES, BY TYPE, STATUS AND ADDITIONAL DEPARTMENTS, 2020
2 PROCESSED BOOK AND NON-BOOK MATERIALS, 2020 (SITUATION AS ON 31 December 2020)
3 USE OF BOOK MATERIALS, 2020
4 INTERLIBRARY LOANS, 2020
1) In libraries in basic and secondary schools, there is no interlibrary loan, but only additions to and weeding out of book and non-book materials. Therefore, they are not included here.
5 LIBRARY USERS, BY ACTIVITY, 2020
6 PUBLIC LIBRARY USERS, BY SEX, AGE AND ACTIVITY, 2020
7 VISITS TO LIBRARIES AND ATTENDANCE OF LIBRARY EVENTS, 2020
8 LIBRARY EMPLOYEES, 2020 (SITUATION AS ON 31 DECEMBER 2020)
9 ADDITIONS TO LIBRARY MATERIALS, 2020
10 LIBRARY REVENUES AND EXPENDITURES, 2020
1) As regards libraries at institutions of higher education, university and scientific libraries, the revenue of autonomous libraries is presented as own revenue and as revenue from other sources, while the revenue of libraries that are part of institutions of higher education or universities is presented as the revenue of the parent institution.
1) Specialised libraries have no revenue data, but only expenditure data. The revenue of specialised libraries is a part of the total revenue of the parent institution, of which the library is a part, so it is not presented separately.
Sources and methods of data collection
Data on libraries are the result of processing statistical data from the administrative database of the National and University Library (NSK). Pursuant to Article 6, paragraph 3 of the Library and Library Activity Act (NN, Nos 17/19 and 98/19), libraries are obliged to collect statistical data on their operations and enter them into NSK’s system of unique electronic collection of statistical data on library operations in accordance with the standards referred to in Article 12, paragraph 2 of the aforementioned Act.
The collection of data from administrative sources is in line with the recommendations from the European Statistics Code of Practice relating to the use of administrative and other data whenever possible in order to reduce the burden on reporting units and to reduce the costs of collecting, processing and publishing statistical data.
Coverage and comparability
The statistical survey covers all libraries that existed on the territory of the Republic of Croatia on 31 December 2020. Data are comparable to those from previous years.
Definitions and explanations
Library is a legal entity that performs the library activity in accordance with the provisions of the Library and Library Activity Act.
According to the purpose and library contents, libraries are categorised as follows: national library, libraries at institutions of higher education, university and scientific libraries, specialised libraries, public libraries and school libraries.
Specialised (professional) library is a library that covers one discipline or a particular area of knowledge. The name “specialised library” is sometimes used to indicate a library intended primarily for a special category of users (e.g. patients) or focused on a particular form of documents (e.g. music, sound and video library, photograph library, cinematic arts library). It may be public if the founder is the Republic of Croatia or a legal entity predominantly owned by the Republic of Croatia, or private if the founder is another legal entity or natural person.
Administrative unit is a library or a group of libraries that operate under a single library administration. An administrative unit may consist of a central library and its branches.
Autonomous library is an independent public institution, that is, a registered legal entity, which performs the library activity in accordance with the Library and Library Activity Act.
Library that is a part of another library is an organisational unit of an institution or another legal entity that performs the library activity in accordance with the Library and Library Activity Act.
Library branch is an organisational part of the administrative unit of a library situated on a separate location, which provides services to users.
Library bus is a mobile library department, that is, a specially equipped vehicle for delivering library materials and providing services directly to users.
User area (net user area) is usable area for user services. It includes area for reading, learning (individually or in groups), lending, providing instruction, information and other services, areas where users use the library independently (borrowing and returning materials, automatic recording of book returns and lending), as well as areas for recreation and communication/rest and socialising, multipurpose halls, rooms for people who have suddenly fallen ill, the entrance hall, and areas with open access materials that are integral parts of user services.
Seats for users are seating places for users (excluding seating places for rest).
Library materials consist of each textual, visual and audio document, on easily transferable material or in electronically readable form, of informational, artistic, scientific or professional content, produced in several copies and intended for the public, including manuscripts. Games, toys, etc. are also considered library materials if they are part of the library fund.
Book materials are physical library materials that are not in digital form. They include books, serial publications, manuscripts, graded papers, brochures, didactic games and other book materials (maps, photographs, art reproductions, etc.)
Fund includes overall library materials in all formats.
Book is a non-periodic printed publication of at least 49 pages, not including cover pages.
Brochure is a non-periodic printed publication of at least five and no more than 48 pages, not including cover pages.
Magazine is a periodic publication in several volumes whose publication is not limited in time, that is, which is established with the intention of being published in an unlimited number of volumes. It is published at more or less regular intervals.
Volume is a physical unit of any printed or manuscript work contained in one binding.
Newspaper is a serial material unit that is published at frequent intervals, usually daily, weekly or semi-weekly, which reports on current events and topics of public interest.
Manuscripts are original handwritten or typewritten materials.
Graded papers are papers that are required for completing a study and acquiring a certain academic title or degree of tertiary education. In the Republic of Croatia, they include a doctoral thesis or dissertation (at the end of postgraduate university study), graduate thesis (at the end of graduate and integrated graduate and undergraduate university study) and final thesis (at the end of all other studies, but often means the final thesis of undergraduate study).
Digitised materials are copies of the originals made by the process of digitisation, that is, conversion into digital form. Different forms can be digitised, such as text, audio, video materials, etc.
Digitised materials in originally digital form are materials that were originally created in digital form, such as e-books, e-magazines, e-newspapers, and other digital documents processed and stored in the repository of an institution.
Audio-visual materials are a type of non-book materials that can only be used with a certain device, such as a projector, reader, magnifier, etc. Audio-visual materials include films (video cassettes, boxes, reels and loops), microforms (microfilms, microfiche), video recordings (videotapes, videocassettes, video boxes and video discs), visual projections (filmstrips, slides, transparencies, stereographs and microscopic preparations) and sound recordings (gramophone records, compact discs, audiotapes, audiocassettes and loudspeakers).
Electronic collection includes sources in electronic form as part of the library collection, which are originally digital or have been digitised.
Electronic book is one or several computer files of limited content, which are publicly available online (online book) or in physical form (on CD ROM and DVD).
Other book materials are all materials other than books, periodicals, manuscripts, microfilms and audio-visual materials. This includes materials such as maps, charts, art reproductions, photographs, technical drawings, toys, multimedia, etc.
Additions include documents or material units that are added to the collection in the reporting period.
Library user (library member) is any person registered with the library as a user of its materials or services in the reporting year.
Active user is a library member (registered user) who visited or used the library or its services in the reporting year. The use may also include the use of electronic services inside or outside the library.
Visit is the act of entering the library premises or accessing the library website in order to use one of the services provided by the library.
Physical visit is the act of entering the library premises in order to use one of the services provided by the library.
Virtual visit is an individual external virtual visit to the library website and catalogue.
User education includes education programmes with an elaborate lecture plan for the acquisition of knowledge and skills for the use of the library and other information and technical services. It may include a guided tour of the library, as well as lessons on information technology and online services with educational content.
Workshop is an activity organised by an expert employee of the library for users. User education is defined as a programme with a special lecture plan aimed at teaching users how to use the library and other information and technical services. It also includes a guided tour of the library, as well as lessons on information technology and online services with educational content. Educations within the project are included only if the project is intended for library users.
Library events are activities organised for users for literary, cultural or social purposes, such as visits by authors, reading groups, literary meetings and exhibitions.
Interlibrary loan is a loan of documents in the material form (books) or delivery of documents as copies from one library to another that is not under the same management. It also covers electronically delivered documents.
Library advisor is a person who has at least five years of work experience in the library profession after acquiring the title of a senior librarian and who has expert knowledge due to which he/she has acquired at least 500 points in accordance with the "Criteria for Assessing Professional Competence".
Senior librarian is a person who has passed the qualifying exam for a graduate librarian, at least five years of work experience in the profession after passing the qualifying exam for a graduate librarian and expert knowledge due to which he/she has acquired at least 400 points in accordance with the "Criteria for Assessing Professional competence".
Graduate librarian is a person who has completed an undergraduate and graduate university study in the field of information and communication sciences with at least 60 ECTS credits from the librarianship programme, or a librarianship study by which a university degree was obtained in accordance with the regulations that had been in force before the Act on Scientific Activity and Higher Education was in force, or who has completed another study by which a university degree was obtained in accordance with the regulations that had been in force before the aforementioned Act was in force, with the obligation to acquire 60 ECTS credits from the librarianship programme within three years from the day of employment and to pass the qualifying exam for a graduate librarian.
Librarian is a person who has completed an undergraduate university study in the field of information and communication sciences with at least 30 ECTS credits from the basic librarianship courses, or another study by which a non-university college degree was obtained in accordance with the regulations that had been in force before the Act on Scientific Activity and Higher Education was in force, with the obligation to acquire at least 30 ECTS credits from the basic librarianship courses within three years from the day of employment and to pass the qualifying exam for a librarian.
Assistant librarian is a person who has completed a four-year secondary school and has passed the qualifying exam for an assistant librarian.
Other library staff consists of all library employees who do not have a professional library title.
Students are university students who work part-time in libraries or who perform practice in libraries as part of certain courses.
Library revenues are the financial resources provided for the regular activity of the library.
Own revenue is the revenue generated by the library. It refers to revenues from the provision of services and/or delivery of goods on the market, such as the sale of own publications or renting premises, revenues from the main activity of the library, such as revenue from membership fees and late fees, revenue from property (interest) and revenue from aids and donations.
Library expenditure is the expenditure incurred by managing the library. It includes the purchase of book materials, employees’ gross earnings, education of library staff and other library expenditures.
|CD ROM||compact disc read-only memory|
|COVID-19||COrona VIrus Disease-19|
|DVD||digital versatile disc|
|ECTS||European Credit Transfer and Accumulation System|
|NN||Narodne novine, official gazette of the Republic of Croatia|
|WLAN||wireless local area network|
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