Libraries make use of Biblioteksentralen's centralized library catalog system, BIBBI. It contains 170,000 bibliographic records, with 11,000 records added each year. A simplified version of the MARC21/NORMARC format is used, called BSMARC.
Biblioteksentralen is cooperatively owned (the "AL" suffix to the name means "andelslag" or cooperatively held corporation) by 425 municipalities, 14 counties, the league of municipalities (Kommunenes Sentralforbund) and the Norwegian library association (Norsk Bibliotekforening). It was established in this form in February 1952 after a government resolution in the previous year, but its predecessor Folkeboksamlingenes Ekspedisjon had been around since 1902. The corporation has 56 employees and a turnover of 99 million NOK (2006) with a profit from operations of 2 million.
The Norwegian book market is currently undergoing deregulation, meaning both challenges and opportunities for Biblioteksentralen. After July 1, 2006, municipal primary schools are no longer required to purchase textbooks from local bookstores. BS Norli Skole AS, a corporation established in April 2006 where Biblioteksentralen owns 34 percent, in its first year was able to win a majority of municipal tenders for purchase and gain a 40 percent market share. Such changes have a greater impact on Biblioteksentralen than the introduction of new technologies such as web services and RFID.