The National Library Service (
Servizio Bibliotecario Nazionale - SBN) is the network of Italian libraries promoted by the Ministry of Culture, with the cooperation of regional administrations and universities. It is coordinated by the Central Institute for the Union Catalogue of Italian Libraries and for Bibliographic Information (ICCU).
The SBN network was established on the basis of a memorandum of understanding signed by the Ministry of Culture, the Ministry of Universities and Scientific and Technological Research and the Conference of Italian Regions with the goal of overcoming the fragmentation of library resources typifying Italy’s socio-political history. Today, the network includes state, local, university, school, public and private institutional libraries performing their activities in various discipline branches.
The libraries taking part in SBN are grouped together into local hubs including a variable number of libraries which manage all their services through automated procedures. The hubs are linked to the SBN Index system, core of the network; this system, managed by ICCU, manages the collective catalogue of the publications acquired by the SBN libraries.