In June 2011 the Ruusbroec Institute Library, together with its partner, the University Library, received the quality label of ‘Erkende Erfgoedbibliotheek’ (Acknowledged Heritage Library) as granted by the Flemish government.
In line with the 2008 Cultural Heritage Bill (23 May 2008) the Flemish government bestows this label upon organisations that take seriously their responsibilities as a administrators of cultural heritage materials. They apply themselves to the four basic functions of such organizations (acquisition, maintenance/conservation, research, public engagement) in an organized fashion and commit themselves to these functions as far as management is concerned. Such recognition creates many possibilities for (international) loans, the mobility of collections and the exchange of information.
Flanders Heritage Library
Vlaamse Erfgoedbibliotheken (Flanders Heritage Libraries) is a network of heritage libraries. It was established by six representative libraries from various Flemish provinces at the end of 2008:
- Heritage Library Hendrik Conscience in Antwerp
- University of Antwerp Library
- Public Library Bruges
- University Libray Ghent
- Provincial Library Limburg in Hasselt
- University Library Louvain
Each of these partner libraries holds specific collections and, along with those collections, a great deal of specific fields of expertise. This knowledge and experience is mobilised in order to support the field of heritage libraries in Flanders.
Vlaamse Erfgoedbibliotheken is geared towards anyone with an interest in written, printed and digital heritage collections in libraries. Through projects and research, this organisation aims to develop competence and spread knowledge about preserving heritage library collections, as well as making them accessible. Additionally, it wishes to raise public awareness about the riches of heritage library collections in Flanders.