Mr Andris Vilks

Director of the National Library of Latvia

Andris Vilks (1957) is one of the most notable library and information science professionals in Latvia, having significantly contributed to the library sector, as well as to the development of the information and knowledge society at the national and Baltic level. He has been the Director of the NLL since 1989. Andris Vilks has fostered the development of the NLL, selflessly involving himself in both the construction project for the library’s new building Gaismas pils (Castle of Light) and the start-up of operations in the newly constructed building, as well as in the creation of the Gaismas tīkls (Network of Light) National Unified Library Information System and the Letonica National Digital Library.

Andris Vilks is an honorary member of the Latvian Academy of Sciences, Chairman of the UNESCO Latvian National Committee (LNC) Knowledge Society Programme Board, and a member of the UNESCO LNC Assembly. He has also gained recognition among his fellow professionals internationally and is an active board member in the Association of European Research Libraries (LIBER) and Bibliotheca Baltica – the Baltic Sea Region Library Association.

Andris Vilks has received a number of honours for his library and cultural work and his contribution to the new National Library building project: the Order of Three Stars, the highest award of the Republic of Latvia, a Cross of Recognition, as well as Lithuanian, Estonian, Polish, Swedish and Netherlands’ national awards for his contribution to cultural development and the fostering of cultural cooperation.

In 2017, Andris Vilks was presented with a lifetime achievement award for his contribution to Latvia’s book sector.


Four years have passed since opening of the Castle of Light – the new building of the National Library of Latvia (NLL). During these years the NLL organized many different events that strengthened main organizational functions and were connected with the intellectual resources of Latvia. At the same time, the NLL developed new services for the new target audiences. Availability of various public premises has provided great opportunity for implementation of diverse events and activities. The NLL continued digitalization of collections – Latvian National Digital Library is being further developed in the context of digitalization and accessibility of all cultural heritage. The library has substantially integrated into the scientific and educational environment. It has accommodated the editorial board of the National Encyclopaedia. Within Latvia’s Centenary celebration, events (conferences, publications, exhibitions, public debates) that characterize century long nation and nation-building processes have been chosen as the leading motive of the NLL.