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Tuvalu is an independent former colony of the UK. They gained their independence in 1978. It is low laying with a tropical climate. It is not prone to tropical storms, but they do happen. A larger concern is climate change, since the low laying islands are extremely vulnerable to rising sea levels. The majority of the 10,619 population is ethnically Polynesian (96%) and the two official languages are Tuvaluan and English. [1]

Featured Library

Tuvalu National Archives and Library

A 2011 report issued the Pacific Regional Branch of the International Council on Archives (PARBICA) indicates that as of 2009, positions for a Chief Librarian and Archivist have been established at the Tuvalu National Archives and Library (TNAL).[2] As discussed below in comments regarding Tuvalu's information legislation, under past leadership the TNAL has received little support. In February 2012, the Island Culture Archival Support (ICAS), a not-for-profit organization based in California, posted the following on their website in support of the TNAL: "The National Archives and Library of Tuvalu is in need of computers. ICAS currently has two computers with accessories (monitors, keyboards, etc.) to donate to them. Unfortunately, shipping costs can be quite expensive, especially to an isolated island in the Pacific. Your donation will help guarantee that the items will be securely shipped!" [3] The library also received some attention in 2005 after a researcher from the Australian National University was awarded funding from the British Library for the Tuvalu National Archives Preservation Pilot Project as part of the Endangered Archives Programme. [4] The Endangered Archives Programme enabled the research team to identify the holdings of the archives, produce approximately 3,600 digital images, and train staff in digital copying, migration, and documentation procedures.[5]

Preservation Concerns

On top of the general conservation and preservation concerns involved with tropical climates, Tuvalu also has specific concerns for natural and man made disasters.

Tuvalu's National Disaster Management Act defines a disaster as a cyclone, flood, tsunami, drought, etc.[6] It also includes man made disaster like climate change.[7] The piece of legislation also requires that a committee is formed and a disaster plan created.


Tuvalu is a good example of how existing legislation for libraries does not guarantee action and continual development of library services within a country. The Tuvalu National Library and Archives (TNLA) were established in the Public Records Act 1979, though no action was taken as a result.[8] Due to the ignorance of government officials and a general lack of understanding about the importance of a national library and archives to the country, the TNLA foundered.[9] Gradually, over the past decade or so, progress has been made regarding interest in the TNLA, and plans for its development. As of 2008, plans were submitted to the Minister of Education, Youth, and Sport regarding staff training, building planning, and writing library and archives policies to supplement the Public Records Act 1979.[10] The plan also emphasizes the need for publicity of library services and for a “greater investment” from the government.[11]


  1. CIA World Fact Book.
  2. Pacific Regional Branch International Council on Archives (PARBICA). (2011). Institutional, State and Country Report. Retrieved June 2012.
  3. Island Culture Archival Support. (2012). Projects. Retrieved June 2012.
  4. British Library. (n.d.). Endangered Archives.;r=41. Retrieved June 2012.
  5. Ibid.
  6. Tuvalu. 2008. National Disaster Management Act. Revised Edition. CAP 20.38, 6.
  7. ibid.
  8. Tulimanu, Mila. (2008). Report of Tuvalu National Archives and Library. Archives and Manuscripts: The Journal of the Archives Section, the Library Association of Australia. 36:1. p. 142-147.
  9. p. 142. ibid.
  10. p. 143. ibid.
  11. p. 147. ibid.