Posted in Legislative Analysis, Political Institutions on Sep 17, 2019

This Bill has been drafted by the Ministry of Religious Affairs and Culture and described on the website of Pyidaungsu Hluttaw on September of 9th 2019.

Current status (17/09/2019): pending to send to the floor of a Hluttaw for discussion.

Bill in brief

The Bill includes the formation of a Supervisory Body and approaches to the collection of elements of literature and arts.

Summary of main provisions

  • The Bill’s objectives are:
    • to specify the duties and powers of the National Library
    • to fulfill the vision of the national library
    • to develop the library through networks of domestic/foreign organisations
  • The National Library is formed by the Ministry of Religious Affairs and Culture for the following purposes:
    • to provide researchers access to reference materials;
    • to collect elements of literature and arts;
    • to ensure systematic library management, and;
    • to establish branches of the library.
  • With the consent of central government, the Ministry will form the National Library Supervisory Body (NLSB) led by the director from the Department of Historical Research and National Library as Chair. The body will be comprised of not more than 8 library experts and a national library director (librarian).
  • The NLSB is responsible for:
    • collecting library materials from domestic/foreign sources;
    • providing library services;
    • issuing manuals for library management;
    • listing Cataloguing in Publication (CIP), International Standard Book Number (ISBN) and International Standard Serial Number (ISSN), and;
    • conduct exchange programs with domestic/foreign libraries and organisations, including exchange of elements of literature and arts.
  • Every organisation is obliged to send five print or non-print materials to the national library within one month for free. The publishing house, publisher and distributor have to describe CIP, ISBN and ISSN on the respective materials.
  • The NLSB can distribute library materials to the branches of national library by changing into digital format without copyright infringement.
  • For taking away items without a permit for library materials, copying/transforming/distributing, and the absence to meet obligations to send materials to the National Library, there is a fine not more than MMK 1 million.

Other relevant legislation

1964 Library, Museum and Exhibition Monitoring Law

The Printing and Publishing Enterprise Law 2014

Literature and Art Copyright Law 2019

National Record and Archive Bill 2019


Bill text


Moe Aung, The Ananda,