The Austrian National Library (German: Österreichische Nationalbibliothek, abbreviated ÖNB) is the largest library in Austria, with 7.4 million items in its various collections. The library is located in the Hofburg Palace in Vienna. Since 2005, some of the collections have been relocated within the baroque structure of the Palais Mollard-Clary. Founded by the Habsburgs, the library was originally called the Hof-Bibliothek ("Imperial Library"); the change to the current name occurred in 1920. The library complex includes four museums, as well as multiple special collections and archives.
Legal Status Today:
On January 1, 2002, the library gained the full legal capacity to dismiss staff. This brought the full control to the mechanism in budget and personnel questions. The library has a certain part of its budget funded by the state; additional funds must be raised by sponsorships, reproduction services, and the loaning from the premises. Organizationally, the library uses a central management and has three chief departments (personnel and accounting, inventory structure and treatment, as well as use and information), plus the individual collections. The head of the library reports to a board of trustees on a quarterly basis.
One of the major tasks of the Austrian National Library is the collection and archiving of all publications appearing in Austria (including electronic media). Depending on the law for the medium, four copies, and by other printing elements, two obligation copies each, must be delivered to the National Library by periodic printing elements appearing in Austria.
In addition, the library collects all works of Austrian authors appearing abroad, as well as such works which concern Austrians or the Austrian spirit and culture. Further publications from the foreign country are taken up with emphasis on the range of the Geisteswissenschaften. Tasks and services of the national library cover the development of the existence and their supply in the form of local-loan, remote-loan, and search services as well as Auskunfts, information and reproduction services.
The legally given general order for education is obeyed also by co-operation with universities, schools and adult education mechanisms. Altogether, the library has more than seven million objects, of which approximately three million are printed.