Ten Years After : How County LibrariesHave Evolved Since Decentralization

The Central Lending Libraries were exterior services of the Ministry of Culture until December 31st 1985 when they were transferred to the County Councils on January 1st 1996. They officially took the title of Departmental Lending Libraries (bibliothèque départementale de prêt) in 1992. From the seven successive editions of Guide des bdp, published by the Association des directeurs de bdp, this article examines the principal developments, quantitatively as much as qualitatively, that occurred between 1986 and 1996 in matters of personnel, buildings, vehicles, computers, stocks, policy, and network structures. It shows that the new orientations have been superimposed on the old, without always replacing them completely.