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Act 11/1985.



  1. Short title.
  2. Establishment of Service.
  3. Functions of Service.
  4. Powers of Service.
  5. Director and Staff.
  6. Duties of Director.
  7. Funds of Service.
  8. Registration of affiliate libraries.
  9. Establishment and meetings of Council.


Powers of Service.

AN ACT to provide for the establishment of the National Library and Documentation Service and the establishment of a Council to advise on the administration of the Service; and to provide for matters connected with or incidental to the foregoing.

[Date of commencement: 1st September, 1988.]

WHEREAS it is desirable that all the people of Zimbabwe shall have access to facilities for the dissemination of knowledge and for research, recreation and study;

AND WHEREAS it is expedient to establish a National Library and Documentation Service for that purpose;

AND WHEREAS, pursuant to the desire to establish the National Library and Documentation Service, it is desirable that the National Free Library of Zimbabwe be dissolved in order that its functions may be assumed by the said National Library and Documentation Service;

AND WHEREAS the Board of the National Free Library of Zimbabwe are agreeable to the dissolution of the National Free Library as a body corporate and the vesting of its assets, liabilities and obligations directly in the State:

NOW, THEREFORE, be it enacted as follows—

1    Short title

This Act may be cited as the National Library and Documentation Service Act [Chapter 25:10].

                       2    Interpretation

In this Act—

“affiliate library” means a library registered with the Service in terms of section nine;

“constituent library” means a library which is staffed by public officers and which the Service administers, and includes—

  • the departments of the Government known as the National Library and Documentation Centre and the Library Training School; and
  • Government ministerial and departmental libraries; and
  • Government educational libraries; and
  • any other libraries that the Service may acquire or establish;

“Council” means the Council established in terms of section ten;

“Director” means the Director of the Service appointed in terms of section six;

“documentation facility” means a facility for the abstraction and distribution of information derived from or related to publications;

“inter-library loan facility” means a centralized system of distributing publications to constituent and affiliate


“Minister” means the Minister of Education and Culture or any other Minister to whom the President may, from time to time, assign the administration of this Act;

“publication” means any printed matter or any visual or sound recording;

“Service” means the National Library and Documentation Service established in terms of section three.

                       3    Establishment of Service

There is hereby established the National Library and Documentation Service, which shall be a body corporate capable of suing and being sued in its corporate name and, subject to this Act, of performing all acts that bodies corporate may by law perform.

                       4    Functions of Service

The functions of the Service shall be—

  • in relation to constituent and affiliate libraries—
    • to promote the widespread enjoyment in Zimbabwe of publications of an educational, scientific, cultural, recreational or sporting value;
    • to ensure, maintain and develop a high standard of library facilities;
    • to operate a documentation facility and an inter-library loan facility; and
    • to train librarians and to ensure, maintain, co-ordinate and develop a high standard of librarianship;
  • in relation to constituent libraries, to provide, maintain, co-ordinate and develop facilities for the consultation by and the free lending to the public of publications for reading, research, recreation and study.

                       5    Powers of Service

For the better exercise of its functions, the Service shall, subject to this Act, have power to do all or any. of the things specified in the Schedule.

                       6    Director and staff

  • There shall be a Director of the Service whose office shall be a public office and form part of the Public Service.
  • The management of the affairs of the Service shall vest in the Director and the Director shall exercise the functions of the Service.
  • In the exercise of his functions in terms of this Act the Director shall be assisted by persons who are officers of the Public Service.

                       7    Duties of Director

The duties of the Director shall be—

  • to co-ordinate the operations of the Service;
  • to give directions for the efficient administration of the Service;
  • to ensure that the Service and its constituent and affiliate libraries comply with regulations made in terms of section eleven;
  • to receive and consider advice from the Council;
  • to make recommendations to the Minister on all matters pertaining to the development of library and documentation services in Zimbabwe;
  • to receive and consider applications for the registration of affiliate libraries in terms of section nine; (g) to prepare estimates of expenditure for each financial year.

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