A History of the Fundação Biblioteca Nacional (FBN) and its role in the creation of National Library Reading Initiatives in Brazil


  • Alma C. Ortega University of San Diego


In an era when the value of national libraries is coming into question (budgets, cultural value, etc.,) this article aims to show how some national libraries have struggled to survive; the Fundação Biblioteca Nacional (FBN) or the Brazilian National Library is one such library. Having started with a noble history, the FBN had some truly prosaic moments. Currently, the library enjoys a period of respect within the national arena and has managed to maintain a decent, though not adequate budget, which permits it to carry out national initiatives such as the PROLER (a reading initiative) that no other entity in the country could have undertaken successfully.

Author Biography

Alma C. Ortega, University of San Diego

Alma C. Ortega is Assistant Professor at the University of San Diego in San Diego, California since 2003. She works at Copley Library where she performs reference services (including virtual reference), collection development, and teaches information literacy. She received two masters degrees from the University of California, Los Angeles, in Library and Information Science and another in Latin American Studies.