The Carnegie Library is the predecessor of the present Seychelles National Library Built from a grant provided by the Carnegie Trust Fund, the Carnegie Library opened in 1910. It was managed by a board of trustees, which was dissolved in 1970 when the Department of Education took over the Carnegie Library and re-named it the Carnegie Public Library.
In 1978 the Carnegie Public Library was declared the National Library of Seychelles. The following year the National Library was transferred to a newly renovated building on State House Avenue.
Over the years, the National Library has expanded into more specialized services such as the Children’s Section, the Reference Section, and a special collection on the Indian Ocean, among others. Following this expansion, there was a need for more space to accommodate the increasing stocks as well as the number of readers.
The National Development Plan of 1985-1989 therefore initiated plans for the construction of a new library. In order to implement the project, the government instituted the National Library Trust Fund.
Construction started in 1991 and was completed in 1994 when the library moved to its current premises on Francis Rachel Street. The President, Mr France Albert Rene officially opened the new Seychelles National Library on June 18, 1994. Parallel to the development of the main library on Mahé, branch libraries were also set up on Praslin and on La Digue.
The Seychelles National Library is a dual-purpose library providing both public and national library services. The public library services are well established, but work to develop all the National Library services is still underway.
The Seychelles National Library comprises a main library on Mahé and 3 other branch libraries, two on Praslin and one on La Digue.
Acquire, maintain and make available resources covering all fields of knowledge, to all.
Acquire, maintain and preserve a comprehensive collection of materials on the national literary output, and to provide access to information, to all.
Provide lending, reference, referral, reading, information communication technology (ICT), and reprographic services.
Provide an adequate and conducive environment for study, reference and reading purposes.
Provide equal access to library resources and services to all groups within the community.
Promote and encourage the use of the library and its resources.
Encourage and support the involvement of the community in library development.
Develop standards for library services.
Act as a national bibliographic centre and maintain the national bibliography and other bibliographies.
Initiate and promote cooperation between the National Library and other libraries both locally and internationally.
Provide leadership and participate in the planning and development of libraries in Seychelles.