Present

Mission Statement

PresentThe National Library of Israel was established by law to "collect, preserve, cultivate and endow the treasures of knowledge, heritage and culture in general, with an emphasis on the Land of Israel, the State of Israel and the Jewish people in particular."

 

With that mission in mind, the National Library has set out on the journey of rebuilding, restructuring and upgrading itself. The goal is to craft an institution at the frontier of information and cultural ingenuity, in the core areas that the law has entrusted. The National Library seeks to play a defining role in the cultural life of all Israeli citizens, regardless of their faith, and to reach those audiences around the world that may be interested in Israel and Judaism. Working with partners in the fields of information and content, the National Library will make a vital contribution to the international effort to preserve and promote the treasures of humankind’s cultural heritage.

Incorporating the Past, Building for the Future

The National Library of Israel was founded in 1892 as a world center for the preservation of Jewish thought and culture. In 1925, the Library assumed the additional role of a general university library.

 

As a result of the recommendations of an international advisory committee convened in 1998, and the conclusions of the Zamir Committee for Changing the Status of the National Library, published in 2004, the Israeli Knesset enacted the National Library Law of 2007. This law granted the National Library independent legal status as of January 1, 2011, and extended the National Library's responsibilities to include the documentation of Israel's cultural oeuvre.

 

The Israeli government’s decision to allocate a central area in Jerusalem for the new Library building (to be completed in 2016) is tangible evidence of the coming changes that are beginning to gain momentum. The National Library has developed a comprehensive Master Plan for Renewal, which is centered around the utilization of advanced technologies to provide free access to all of the Library's collections; promoting research and scholarly collaboration; and establishing the National Library as a center for cultural and educational activity. The National Library also introduced a new organizational structure, with positions being held by professionals from the fields of library science, technology and content areas, working under an executive team that is governed by a Board of Directors, which is led by the Chair of the Board. Members of the Board of Directors include high-profile public figures, senior Israeli scholars, and leading professionals from the fields of information and library science, law, and technology.