Østfold County Library is situated approx. 80 kilometres south of Oslo, in Fredrikstad.
The obligations of a county library are found in The Public Library Act, and the county library is run by the County Council.
Østfold County Library’s main task is to support and develop the libraries in the county within all fields of librarianship, ranging from new user demands in the electronic society to the traditional focus on literature and fostering high skills of reading.
Other tasks for the Østfold county library is to run two large webportals for the county: Culture Net, Visit Oslofjord and to publish a talking newspaper for the blind & Partially Sighted people.
Østfold County Library started a large project which involved all the libraries from all the 18 municipalities. The project was called “The Østfold library – a true library without walls”, focusing on better library services for the Community. The project work has resulted in a joint delivery service for all the libraries, offering a collection of one million books easily available to the Patrons.
The County Library is not an ordinary public library, but an office working on developing library solutions for the public. Therefore many courses are held for the staff in the public libraries to enhance their skills.
AIMS AND OBJECTIVES
Public Libraries should make a variety of books and other media available to the general public. The stock should be up to date, of high quality and comprehensive. The Libraries should offer premises and opening hours to suit the local population. The staff should be well trained, offering a good quality service. The services on offer should make possible the improvement of general knowledge and standards of education amongst the public.
Those wanting to improve their qualifications should be supported by good and efficient library services. Reforms in schools and modern teaching methods are now demanding project work and personal responsibility for the learning process. Acquisition of basic knowledge once learnt, has to be regularly updated in areas continually changing and developing.
In a democratic society the public must be given access to the correct information at the right time. Public Libraries should be granted a leading position on the information highway to make sure that the general public can partake in the development. Those making the mass of information available, must be trained and updated on a regular basis. The County Library should be an advisory centre for this development.
The public Libraries of Østfold aim at serving the inhabitants of the County by giving a comprehensive, good quality and up to date service, taking the wishes of the general public into consideration. People with special needs should be given a high priority. The libraries should promote a wide spectrum of cultural activities to suit all needs, as well as looking after Norwegian culture, language and history.