The decree of 7 July 2010 on dedicated state funding within the overall decentralisation grant and the legal circular of 17 February 2011 implementing the decree together introduce an important new context for requests for financing to build new libraries. In line with the requirements placed on museums in the 2002 law, these new regulations require library heads to draw up scientific and cultural projects for their institutions. The text – a tool for good governance and management practice – draws attention to the institution’s unique characteristics by siting it within its local community. The document thus sets the strategic guidelines for managing the institution and for defining priorities for users now and in the future. This development was sparked by the example of the Inguimbertine Library project in Carpentras. The present article outlines the issues raised by these regulations for the future of libraries.