The Biblioteca Nacional del Perú is the national library of Peru, located in Lima. It is the country's oldest and most important library. Like the majority of Peruvian libraries, it is a non-circulating library.
The library was founded by José de San Martín in 1821, after he donated his collection of books and praised the new library as: "... one of the most efficient mediums to place into circulation our intellectual values". The library has various duties, among which it must formulate, conduct, supervise, and evaluate the fulfillment of policies and plans of development of library service within a national and international sphere for educational purposes. These and other administrative decisions concerning the library also depend on the ministry of education of the country.
The National Library of Peru is currently undergoing a modernization program which aspires to turn the library into one of Latin America's most modern libraries. It is located in Lima's San Borja district. After years of financial planning for the new building, the government of Peru financially collaborated to finish the building, along with a loan of up to seven million dollars from Spain to equip the new library with modern equipment. According to official sources from the library, it is said to have a bibliographic patrimony valued in some 400 million dollars. Among historical works the library has is the first book printed in Lima in 1584 along with other historical books dating back to colonial times. The new library will also attempt to connect to other Peruvian libraries in an effort to create an online national catalog of books and other materials for better research.