History of National Library of Samoa

History of National Library of Samoa

The Nelson Memorial Public Library was set up in 1956 and was housed in various temporary premises in the town before the present library building was completed in 1959 and officially opened in 1960. The erection of the building was made possible by the generosity of the Nelson Family in presenting the land on which the library stands and part of the cost of the building, while grants from the government of Western Samoa and NZ provided the balance for building and books. The library is now called the NMPL in memory of the late Hon. O. F. Nelson (1883-1944). Samoan leader, businessman and patriot. The opening of this building represented a big step forward in library services in our country, and since then there has been a general increase in the activities of the library.


The Public Library plays an increasingly important role in improving the social and economic welfare of the Samoan people by providing equitable access to an independent lifelong learning environment and the pursuit of recreational interest for all Samoans, providing information and related services to a range of user groups, making available and preserving the published and cultural documentation of local communities, providing public access to government information and services and providing public access to new communication technologies.

A branch of the Nelson Memorial Public Library has been opened at Salelologa on the island of Savaii. Library services are administered by the Education Department. A major source housed at the central library is the rich collection of Samoana. An addition made to the main structure has allowed more space for archives and rare books.