Describes the genesis, development and operation of the Finnish National Repository Library which was opened in 1989. The characteristics of the repository are: acting on a national scale, serving all libraries in the country, and active participation and co‐operation in interlending and cataloguing. The original objective of the library was to promote inter‐library co‐operation by arranging a national storage and interlending centre for less‐used library material. Discusses the potential of the repository library for assisting the library system in the new economic situation, where public funding has substantially diminished. The areas where the repository could broaden its functions are legal deposit, co‐operative cataloguing to union databases, and the national collection policy; and assisting subject responsibility libraries in acquisition co‐operation and in national interlending.
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