The New Brunswick Public Library Service (NBPLS) is the network of public libraries in New Brunswick and is made up of one provincial office, 5 regional offices, 52 public libraries, 11 public-school libraries, a virtual branch and a provincial Books-by-Mail and Talking Book Service. In New Brunswick, public library service is provided in partnership between the provincial government and participating municipalities and is regulated by the New Brunswick Public Libraries Act.
The provincial library system is designed to maximize resource sharing and allows public libraries to share a single library card as well as collections, programs, statistics, online services, administration, and an automated library system. The provincial service has been in place since 1954.
Through NBPLS, the provincial government is responsible for strategic planning, general administration, provision and supervision of programs and services, managing human resources, collection development, cataloguing and processing of materials, the provincial library catalogue, automation, and online resources including the virtual branch of eBooks and audiobooks.
Participating municipalities are responsible for providing and maintaining library facilities. This includes providing and maintaining furnishings, equipment, computers, and communication lines. Municipalities also provide funding for marketing, promotion, local programming and library board expenses. The municipal partner appoints trustees from the community to serve on local library boards. The role of the trustees is to support the Library Manager/Director in the delivery of quality public library service in their community.
There are eleven public-school libraries operated by NBPLS. In the case of public-school libraries, school districts are a third partner, contributing half the salaries, curriculum-related collection development, and providing and maintaining facilities to serve school users. In this type of partnership, municipalities fund the same areas of responsibility as in public library partnerships in order to ensure that the facility is suitable for use by the public.
There are also many volunteers that provide invaluable support to the public library system in New Brunswick.