In 1994 IUCN established the first IUCN Depository Libraries. Similar to the United Nations Depository Libraries where each member State selects one library to be the recipient of all UN documents, so in IUCN, selected IUCN members or partners receive a copy of each IUCN publication for their library. Coordinated by the IUCN HQ Library, a network of Depository Libraries has now been put in place (view list).

These libraries are charged with four tasks:

  • making this information available to the local/regional community
  • responding to specific requests referred to it by other network libraries or IUCN Regional or Country Offices
  • identifying and acquiring publications produced in the country/region for the IUCN HQ Library
  • providing an annual report on the status and use of IUCN publications


The creation of the Depository Libraries Network has helped to:

  • ensure equitable and faster access to IUCN's information
  • improve communication between IUCN offices, members and the conservation community
  • reduce duplication of materials and services
  • encourage resource sharing and capacity building among libraries
  • build a solid information management, exchange and dissemination infrastructure
  • access and link to other IUCN information networks and programmes, e.g. SDN
  • expand use of electronic communication by channelling requests

Depository Library Criteria:

  • must be an IUCN member, National Committee or other non-profit organization having significant links to IUCN
  • must have capacity to manage the collection
  • must have capacity to respond to queries and disseminate information
  • must have capacity to participate in the Depository Library Network, e.g. keep statistics on use, prepare reports,
  • participate in evaluations, participate in building/maintaining the network
  • must be able to participate in network activities in English, French or Spanish