In a traditional sense, a library is a large collection of books, and can refer to the place in which the collection is housed. Today, the term can refer to any collection, including digital sources, resources, and services. The collections can be of print, audio, and visual materials in numerous formats, including maps, prints, documents, microform (microfilm/microfiche), CDs, cassettes, videotapes, DVDs, video games, e-books, audiobooks and many other electronic resources.
The places where this material is stored can range from public libraries, subscription libraries, private libraries, and can also be in digital form, stored on computers or accessible over the internet. The term has acquired a secondary meaning: "a collection of useful material for common use." This sense is used in fields such as computer science, mathematics, statistics, electronics and biology.
A library is organized for use and maintained by a public body, an institution, a corporation, or a private individual. Public and institutional collections and services may be intended for use by people who choose not to — or cannot afford to — purchase an extensive collection themselves, who need material no individual can reasonably be expected to have, or who require professional assistance with their research. In addition to providing materials, libraries also provide the services of librarians who are experts at finding and organizing information and at interpreting information needs. Libraries often provide a place of silence for studying, and they also often offer common areas to accommodate for group study and collaboration. Libraries often provide public facilities to access to their electronic resources and the Internet. Modern libraries are increasingly being redefined as places to get unrestricted access to information in many formats and from many sources. They are extending services beyond the physical walls of a building, by providing material accessible by electronic means, and by providing the assistance of librarians in navigating and analyzing tremendous amounts of information with a variety of digital tools.
- 1 Early history
- 2 Types
- 3 Organization
- 4 Library use
- 5 Lists of libraries
- 6 See also
- 7 References
- 8 External links
The first libraries mainly consisted of published records, housed in a particular type of library, called archives. Archaeological findings from the ancient city-states of Sumer have revealed temple rooms full of clay tablets in cuneiform script. These archives were made up almost completely of the records of commercial transactions or inventories, with only a few documents devoted to theological matters, historical records or legends. Things were much the same in the government and temple records on papyrus of Ancient Egypt.
The earliest discovered private archives were kept at Ugarit; besides correspondence and inventories, texts of myths may have been standardized practice-texts for teaching new scribes. There is also evidence of libraries at Nippur about 1900 BC and those at Nineveh about 700 BC showing a library classification system. Another early organization system was in effect at Alexandria.
Over 30,000 clay tablets from the Library of Ashurbanipal have been discovered at Nineveh, providing modern scholars with an amazing wealth of Mesopotamian literary, religious and administrative work. Among the findings were the Enuma Elish, also known as the Epic of Creation, which depicts a traditional Babylonian view of creation, the Epic of Gilgamesh, a large selection of "omen texts" including Enuma Anu Enlil which "contained omens dealing with the moon, its visibility, eclipses, and conjunction with planets and fixed stars, the sun, its corona, spots, and eclipses, the weather, namely lightning, thunder, and clouds, and the planets and their visibility, appearance, and stations", and astronomic/astrological texts, as well as standard lists used by scribes and scholars such as word lists, bilingual vocabularies, lists of signs and synonyms, and lists of medical diagnoses.
Libraries in the Hellenic world and Rome
Private or personal libraries made up of non-fiction and fiction books (as opposed to the state or institutional records kept in archives) appeared in classical Greece in the 5th century BC. The celebrated book collectors of Hellenistic Antiquity were listed in the late 2nd century in Deipnosophistae:
Polycrates of Samos and Pisistratus who was tyrant of Athens, and Euclides who was himself also an Athenian and Nicorrates of Samos and even the kings of Pergamos, and Euripides the poet and Aristotle the philosopher, and Nelius his librarian; from whom they say our countryman Ptolemæus, surnamed Philadelphus, bought them all, and transported them, with all those which he had collected at Athens and at Rhodes to his own beautiful Alexandria.
All these libraries were Greek; the cultivated Hellenized diners in Deipnosophistae pass over the libraries of Rome in silence. By the time of Augustus there were public libraries near the forums of Rome: there were libraries in the Porticus Octaviae near the Theatre of Marcellus, in the temple of Apollo Palatinus, and in the Bibliotheca Ulpiana in the Forum of Trajan. The state archives were kept in a structure on the slope between the Roman Forum and the Capitoline Hill.
Private libraries appeared during the late republic: Seneca inveighed against libraries fitted out for show by illiterate owners who scarcely read their titles in the course of a lifetime, but displayed the scrolls in bookcases (armaria) of citrus wood inlaid with ivory that ran right to the ceiling: "by now, like bathrooms and hot water, a library is got up as standard equipment for a fine house (domus). Libraries were amenities suited to a villa, such as Cicero's at Tusculum, Maecenas's several villas, or Pliny the Younger's, all described in surviving letters. At the Villa of the Papyri at Herculaneum, apparently the villa of Caesar's father-in-law, the Greek library has been partly preserved in volcanic ash; archaeologists speculate that a Latin library, kept separate from the Greek one, may await discovery at the site.
In the West, the first public libraries were established under the Roman Empire as each succeeding emperor strove to open one or many which outshone that of his predecessor. Unlike the Greek libraries, readers had direct access to the scrolls, which were kept on shelves built into the walls of a large room. Reading or copying was normally done in the room itself. The surviving records give only a few instances of lending features. As a rule, Roman public libraries were bilingual: they had a Latin room and a Greek room. Most of the large Roman baths were also cultural centers, built from the start with a library, a two room arrangement with one room for Greek and one for Latin texts.
Libraries were filled with parchment scrolls as at Library of Pergamum and on papyrus scrolls as at Alexandria: the export of prepared writing materials was a staple of commerce. There were a few institutional or royal libraries which were open to an educated public (such as the Serapeum collection of the Library of Alexandria, once the largest library in the ancient world), but on the whole collections were private. In those rare cases where it was possible for a scholar to consult library books there seems to have been no direct access to the stacks. In all recorded cases the books were kept in a relatively small room where the staff went to get them for the readers, who had to consult them in an adjoining hall or covered walkway.
In the 6th century, at the very close of the Classical period, the great libraries of the Mediterranean world remained those of Constantinople and Alexandria. Cassiodorus, minister to Theodoric, established a monastery at Vivarium in the heel of Italy with a library where he attempted to bring Greek learning to Latin readers and preserve texts both sacred and secular for future generations. As its unofficial librarian, Cassiodorus not only collected as many manuscripts as he could, he also wrote treatises aimed at instructing his monks in the proper uses of reading and methods for copying texts accurately. In the end, however, the library at Vivarium was dispersed and lost within a century.
Through Origen and especially the scholarly presbyter Pamphilus of Caesarea, an avid collector of books of Scripture, the theological school of Caesarea won a reputation for having the most extensive ecclesiastical library of the time, containing more than 30,000 manuscripts: Gregory Nazianzus, Basil the Great, Jerome and others come studied there.
With education firmly in Christian hands, however, many of the works of classical antiquity were no longer considered useful. Old texts were washed off and the valuable parchment and papyrus were reused, forming palimpsests. As scrolls gave way to the new book-form, the codex was universally used for Christian literature. Old manuscript scrolls were cut apart and used to stiffen leather bindings.
Ancient Chinese libraries
The imperial library is the earliest known Chinese library, with history dating back to the Qin Dynasty. Han Chinese scholar Liu Hsiang established the first library classification system during the Han Dynasty, and the first book notation system. At this time the library catalog was written on scrolls of fine silk and stored in silk bags.
Libraries and Islam
The centrality of the Qurʾān as the prototype of the written word in Islam bears significantly on the role of books within its intellectual tradition and educational system. An early impulse in Islam was to manage reports of events, key figures and their sayings and actions. Thus, "the onus of being the last 'People of the Book' engendered an ethos of [librarianship]" early on and the establishment of important book repositories throughout the Muslim world has occurred ever since.
Upon the spread of Islam, libraries in newly Islamic lands knew a brief period of expansion in the Middle East, North Africa, Sicily and Spain. Like the Christian libraries, they mostly contained books which were made of paper, and took a codex or modern form instead of scrolls; they could be found in mosques, private homes, and universities, from Timbuktu to Afghanistan and modern day Pakistan. In Aleppo, for example, the largest and probably the oldest mosque library, the Sufiya, located at the city's Grand Umayyad Mosque, contained a large book collection of which 10,000 volumes were reportedly bequeathed by the city's most famous ruler, Prince Sayf al-Dawla. Ibn al-Nadim's bibliography Fihrist demonstrates the devotion of medieval Muslim scholars to books and reliable sources; it contains a description of thousands of books circulating in the Islamic world circa 1000, including an entire section for books about the doctrines of other religions. Modern Islamic libraries for the most part do not hold these antique books; many were lost, destroyed by Mongols, or removed to European libraries and museums during the colonial period.
By the 8th century first Iranians and then Arabs had imported the craft of papermaking from China, with a paper mill already at work in Baghdad in 794. By the 9th century completely public libraries started to appear in many Islamic cities. They were called "halls of Science" or dar al-'ilm. They were each endowed by Islamic sects with the purpose of representing their tenets as well as promoting the dissemination of secular knowledge. The 9th century Abbasid Caliph al-Mutawakkil of Iraq, even ordered the construction of a ‘zawiyat qurra literally an enclosure for readers which was `lavishly furnished and equipped.' In Shiraz Adhud al-Daula (d. 983) set up a library, described by the medieval historian, al-Muqaddasi, as`a complex of buildings surrounded by gardens with lakes and waterways. The buildings were topped with domes, and comprised an upper and a lower story with a total, according to the chief official, of 360 rooms.... In each department, catalogues were placed on a shelf... the rooms were furnished with carpets...'. The libraries often employed translators and copyists in large numbers, in order to render into Arabic the bulk of the available Persian, Greek, Roman and Sanskrit non-fiction and the classics of literature. This flowering of Islamic learning ceased centuries later when learning began declining in the Islamic world, after many of these libraries were destroyed by Mongol invasions. Others were victim of wars and religious strife in the Islamic world. However, a few examples of these medieval libraries, such as the libraries of Chinguetti in West Africa, remain intact and relatively unchanged even today. Another ancient library from this period which is still operational and expanding is the Central Library of Astan Quds Razavi in the Iranian city of Mashhad, which has been operating for more than six centuries.
The contents of these Islamic libraries were copied by Christian monks in Muslim/Christian border areas, particularly Spain and Sicily. From there they eventually made their way into other parts of Christian Europe. These copies joined works that had been preserved directly by Christian monks from Greek and Roman originals, as well as copies Western Christian monks made of Byzantine works. The resulting conglomerate libraries are the basis of every modern library today.
Medieval Christian libraries
With the retrenchment of literacy in the Roman west during the fourth and 5th centuries, fewer private libraries were maintained, and those in unfortified villas proved to be among their most combustible contents.
In the Early Middle Ages, after the fall of the Western Roman Empire and before the rise of the large Western Christian monastery libraries beginning at Montecassino, libraries were found in scattered places in the Christian Middle East.
Medieval library design reflected the fact that these manuscripts —created via the labor-intensive process of hand copying— were valuable possessions. Library architecture developed in response to the need for security. Librarians often chained books to lecterns, armaria (wooden chests), or shelves, in well-lit rooms. Despite this protectiveness, many libraries were willing to lend their books if provided with security deposits (usually money or a book of equal value). Monastic libraries lent and borrowed books from each other frequently and lending policy was often theologically grounded. For example, the Franciscan monasteries loaned books to each other without a security deposit since according to their vow of poverty only the entire order could own property. In 1212 the council of Paris condemned those monasteries that still forbade loaning books, reminding them that lending is "one of the chief works of mercy."
Lending meant more than just having another work to read to librarians; while the work was in their possession, it could be copied, thus enriching the library's own collection. The book lent as a counter effort was often copied in the same way, so both libraries ended up having an additional title.
The early libraries located in monastic cloisters and associated with scriptoria were collections of lecterns with books chained to them. Shelves built above and between back-to-back lecterns were the beginning of bookpresses. The chain was attached at the fore-edge of a book rather than to its spine. Book presses came to be arranged in carrels (perpendicular to the walls and therefore to the windows) in order to maximize lighting, with low bookcases in front of the windows. This stall system (fixed bookcases perpendicular to exterior walls pierced by closely spaced windows) was characteristic of English institutional libraries. In Continental libraries, bookcases were arranged parallel to and against the walls. This wall system was first introduced on a large scale in Spain's El Escorial.
Southeast Asian libraries
Buddhist scriptures, educational materials, and histories were stored in libraries in pre-modern Southeast Asia. In Myanmar, a royal library called the Pitaka Taik was legendarily founded by King Anawrahta; in the 18th century, British envoy Michael Symes, upon visiting this library, wrote that "it is not improbable that his Birman majesty may possess a more numerous library than any potentate, from the banks of the Danube to the borders of China". In Thailand libraries called ho trai were built throughout the country, usually on stilts above a pond to prevent bugs from eating at the books.
Early modern libraries
Johannes Gutenberg's movable type innovation in the 15th century revolutionized bookmaking. From the 15th century in central and northern Italy, the assiduously assembled libraries of humanists and their enlightened patrons provided a nucleus around which an "academy" of scholars congregated in each Italian city of consequence. Cosimo de Medici in Florence established his own collection, which formed the basis of the Laurentian Library. In Rome, the papal collections were brought together by Pope Nicholas V, in separate Greek and Latin libraries, and housed by Pope Sixtus IV, who consigned the Bibliotheca Apostolica Vaticana to the care of his librarian, the humanist Bartolomeo Platina in February 1475. In the 16th century Sixtus V bisected Bramante's Cortile del Belvedere with a cross-wing to house the Apostolic Library in suitable magnificence. The sixteenth and 17th centuries saw other privately endowed libraries assembled in Rome: the Vallicelliana, formed from the books of Saint Filippo Neri, with other distinguished libraries such as that of Cesare Baronio, the Biblioteca Angelica founded by the Augustinian Angelo Rocca, which was the only truly public library in Counter-Reformation Rome; the Biblioteca Alessandrina with which Pope Alexander VII endowed the University of Rome; the Biblioteca Casanatense of the Cardinal Girolamo Casanate; and finally the Biblioteca Corsiniana founded by the bibliophile Clement XII Corsini and his nephew Cardinal Neri Corsini, still housed in Palazzo Corsini in via della Lungara.
A lot of factors combined to create a "golden age of libraries" between 1600 and 1700: The quantity of books had gone up, as the cost had gone down, there was a renewal in the interest of classical literature and culture, nationalism was encouraging nations to build great libraries, universities were playing a more prominent role in education, and renaissance thinkers and writers were producing great works. Some of the more important libraries include the Bodleian Library at Oxford, the Library of the British Museum, the Mazarine Library and the Bibliothèque Sainte-Geneviève in Paris, and the National Central Library in Italy, the Prussian State Library, the M.E. Saltykov-Shchedrin State Public Library of St. Petersburg, and many more.
Literature of Libraries in the Seventeenth and Eighteenth Centuries is a collection of nine short works from the period which was published by John Cotton Dana and Henry W. Kent in 1906-07.
Libraries can be divided into categories by several methods:
- By the entity (institution, municipality, or corporate body) that supports or perpetuates them
- academic libraries
- corporate libraries
- government libraries, such as national libraries
- historical society libraries
- private libraries
- public libraries
- school libraries
- special libraries
- By the type of documents or materials they hold
- data libraries
- digital libraries
- map libraries or collections
- picture (photograph) libraries
- slide libraries
- tool libraries
- By the subject matter of documents they hold
- architecture libraries
- fine arts libraries
- law libraries
- medical libraries
- aquatic science libraries
- theological libraries
- By the users they serve
- military communities
- users who are blind or visually/physically handicapped (see National Library Service for the Blind and Physically Handicapped)
- By traditional professional divisions
- Academic libraries — These libraries are located on the campuses of colleges and universities and serve primarily the students and faculty of that and other academic institutions. Some academic libraries, especially those at public institutions, are accessible to members of the general public in whole or in part.
- Public libraries or public lending libraries — These libraries provide service to the general public and make at least some of their books available for borrowing, so that readers may use them at home over a period of days or weeks. Typically, libraries issue library cards to community members wishing to borrow books. Many public libraries also serve as community organizations that provide free services and events to the public, such as reading groups and toddler story time.
- Research libraries — These libraries are intended for supporting scholarly research, and therefore maintain permanent collections and attempt to provide access to all necessary material. Research libraries are most often academic libraries or national libraries, but many large special libraries have research libraries within their special field and a very few of the largest public libraries also serve as research libraries.
- School libraries — Most public and private primary and secondary schools have libraries designed to support the school's curriculum.
- Special libraries — All other libraries fall into this category. Many private businesses and public organizations, including hospitals, museums, research laboratories, law firms, and many government departments and agencies, maintain their own libraries for the use of their employees in doing specialized research related to their work. Special libraries may or may not be accessible to some identified part of the general public. Branches of a large academic or research libraries dealing with particular subjects are also usually called "special libraries": they are generally associated with one or more academic departments. Special libraries are distinguished from special collections, which are branches or parts of a library intended for rare books, manuscripts, and similar material.
Many institutions make a distinction between circulating libraries (where materials are expected and intended to be loaned to patrons, institutions, or other libraries) and collecting libraries (where the materials are selected on a basis of their natures or subject matter). Many modern libraries are a mixture of both, as they contain a general collection for circulation, and a reference collection which is often more specialized, as well as restricted to the library premises.
The earliest example in England of a library to be endowed for the benefit of users who were not members of an institution such as a cathedral or college was the Francis Trigge Chained Library in Grantham, Lincolnshire, established in 1598. The library still exists and can justifiably claim to be the forerunner of later public library systems. The beginning of the modern, free, open access libraries really got its start in the U.K. in 1847. Parliament appointed a committee, led by William Ewart, on Public Libraries to consider the necessity of establishing libraries through the nation: In 1849 their report noted the poor condition of library service, it recommended the establishment of free public libraries all over the country, and it led to the Public Libraries Act in 1850, which allowed all cities with populations exceeding 10,000 to levy taxes for the support of public libraries. Another important act was the 1870 Public School Law, which increased literacy, thereby the demand for libraries, so by 1877, more than 75 cities had established free libraries, and by 1900 the number had reached 300. This finally marks the start of the public library as we know it. And these acts led to similar laws in other countries, most notably the U.S.
1876 is a well known year in the history of librarianship in the United States. The American Library Association was formed, as well as The American Library Journal, Melvil Dewey published his decimal based system of classification, and the United States Bureau of Education published its report, "Public libraries in the United States of America; their history, condition, and management." During the post-Civil War years, there was a rise in the establishment of public libraries, a movement led chiefly by newly formed women's clubs. They contributed their own collections of books, conducted lengthy fund raising campaigns for buildings, and lobbied within their communities for financial support for libraries, as well as with legislatures and the Carnegie Library Endowment founded in the 20th century. They led the establishment of 75-80 percent of the libraries in communities across the country.
In 1979 and 1991 White House Conferences on Library and Information Services were held to demonstrate the key role libraries play in American Democracy.
The American Library Association (ALA) continues to play a major role in libraries to this day, with its public library focused division, the Public Library Association, establishing standards and planning guidelines. Dewey's classification system, although under heavy criticism of late, still remains the prevailing method of classification used in the United States.
As the number of books in libraries increased, so did the need for compact storage and access with adequate lighting, giving birth to the stack system, which involved keeping a library's collection of books in a space separate from the reading room. This arrangement arose in the 19th century. Book stacks quickly evolved into a fairly standard form in which the cast iron and steel frameworks supporting the bookshelves also supported the floors, which often were built of translucent blocks to permit the passage of light (but were not transparent, for reasons of modesty). The introduction of electrical lighting had a huge impact on how the library operated. The use of glass floors was largely discontinued, though floors were still often composed of metal grating to allow air to circulate in multi-story stacks. As more space was needed, a method of moving shelves on tracks (compact shelving) was introduced to cut down on otherwise wasted aisle space.
Library 2.0, a term coined in 2005, is the library's response to the challenge of Google and an attempt to meet the changing needs of users by using web 2.0 technology. Some of the aspects of Library 2.0 include, commenting, tagging, bookmarking, discussions, use of online social networks by libraries, plug-ins, and widgets. Inspired by web 2.0, it is an attempt to make the library a more user-driven institution.
Despite the importance of public libraries, they are routinely having their budgets cut by state legislature. Funding has dwindled so badly that some smaller public libraries have been forced to cut their hours and release employees.
Living Libraries or Human Libraries is a concept which originated in Copenhagen, Denmark in 2000 and has since spread worldwide. The purpose behind these libraries is to reduce prejudices and foster understanding through allowing users to ‘checkout’ a person (living book) who belongs to a stereotyped group. Living Libraries operate as a mobile library and are usually organized as events at festivals, academic libraries and public libraries. They rely on volunteers to serve as living books.
Academic libraries are libraries that are hosted in post-secondary educational institutions, such as colleges and universities. The main functions of an academic library are to provide resources and research support for students and faculty of the educational institution. Specific course-related resources are usually provided by the library, such as copies of textbooks and article readings held on 'reserve' (meaning that they are loaned out only on a short-term basis, usually a matter of hours).
Academic libraries offer workshops and courses outside of formal, graded coursework, which are meant to provide students with the tools necessary to succeed in their programs. Examples of these workshops may include: how to cite sources, effective search techniques, journal databases, electronic citation software, etc. These workshops provide students with skills that can help them achieve success in their academic careers (and often, in their future occupations), which they may not learn inside the classroom.
The academic library provides a quiet study space for students on campus; it may also provide group study space, such as meeting rooms. In North America, Europe, and other parts of the world, academic libraries are becoming increasingly digitally oriented. The library provides a "gateway" for students and researchers to access various resources, both print/physical and digital. Academic institutions are subscribing to electronic journals databases, providing research and scholarly writing software, and usually provide computer workstations or computer labs for students to access journals, library search databases and portals, institutional electronic resources, internet access, and course- or task-related software (i.e. word processing and spreadsheet software). They are increasingly acting as an electronic repository for institutional scholarly research and academic knowledge, such as the collection and curation of digital copies of students' theses and dissertations.
Libraries have materials arranged in a specified order according to a library classification system, so that items may be located quickly and collections may be browsed efficiently. Some libraries have additional galleries beyond the public ones, where reference materials are stored. These reference stacks may be open to selected members of the public. Others require patrons to submit a "stack request," which is a request for an assistant to retrieve the material from the closed stacks. A list of closed stack libraries is being aggregated on Wikipedia.
Larger libraries are often broken down into departments staffed by both paraprofessionals and professional librarians.
- Circulation (or Access Services) - Handles user accounts and the loaning/returning and shelving of materials.
- Collection Development - Orders materials and maintains materials budgets.
- Reference - Staffs a reference desk answering user questions (using structured reference interviews), instructing users, and developing library programming. Reference may be further broken down by user groups or materials; common collections are children's literature, young adult literature, and genealogy materials.
- Technical Services - Works behind the scenes cataloging and processing new materials and deaccessioning weeded materials.
- Stacks Maintenance - Re-shelves materials that have been returned to the library after patron use and shelves materials that have been processed by Technical Services. Stacks Maintenance also shelf reads the material in the stacks to ensure that it is in the correct library classification order.
Basic tasks in library management include the planning of acquisitions (which materials the library should acquire, by purchase or otherwise), library classification of acquired materials, preservation of materials (especially rare and fragile archival materials such as manuscripts), the deaccessioning of materials, patron borrowing of materials, and developing and administering library computer systems. More long-term issues include the planning of the construction of new libraries or extensions to existing ones, and the development and implementation of outreach services and reading-enhancement services (such as adult literacy and children's programming).
The International Organization for Standardization (ISO) has published several standards regarding the management of libraries through its Technical Committee 46 (TC 46), which is focused on "libraries, documentation and information centers, publishing, archives, records management, museum documentation, indexing and abstracting services, and information science". The following is a partial list of some of them:
- ISO 2789:2006 Information and documentation — International library statistics
- ISO 11620:1998 Information and documentation — Library performance indicators
- ISO 11799:2003 Information and documentation — Document storage requirements for archive and library materials
- ISO 14416:2003 Information and documentation — Requirements for binding of books, periodicals, serials and other paper documents for archive and library use — Methods and materials
- ISO/TR 20983:2003 Information and documentation — Performance indicators for electronic library services
Patrons may not know how to fully use the library's resources. This can be due to some individuals' unease in approaching a staff member. Ways in which a library's content is displayed or accessed may have the most impact on use. An antiquated or clumsy search system, or staff unwilling or untrained to engage their patrons, will limit a library's usefulness. In United States public libraries, beginning in the 19th century, these problems drove the emergence of the library instruction movement, which advocated library user education. One of the early leaders was John Cotton Dana. The basic form of library instruction is generally known as information literacy.
Libraries inform their users of what materials are available in their collections and how to access that information. Before the computer age, this was accomplished by the card catalog — a cabinet containing many drawers filled with index cards that identified books and other materials. In a large library, the card catalog often filled a large room. The emergence of the Internet, however, has led to the adoption of electronic catalog databases (often referred to as "webcats" or as online public access catalogs, OPACs), which allow users to search the library's holdings from any location with Internet access. This style of catalog maintenance is compatible with new types of libraries, such as digital libraries and distributed libraries, as well as older libraries that have been retrofitted. Electronic catalog databases are criticized by some who believe that the old card catalog system was both easier to navigate and allowed retention of information, by writing directly on the cards, that is lost in the electronic systems. This argument is analogous to the debate over paper books and e-books. While libraries have been accused of precipitously throwing out valuable information in card catalogs, most modern ones have nonetheless made the move to electronic catalog databases. Large libraries may be scattered within multiple buildings across a town, each having multiple floors, with multiple rooms housing the resources across a series of shelves. Once a user has located a resource within the catalog, they must then use navigational guidance to retrieve the resource physically; a process that may be assisted through signage, maps, GPS systems or RFID tagging.
Finland has the highest number of registered book borrowers per capita in the world. Over half of Finland's population are registered borrowers. In the U.S., public library users have borrowed roughly 15 books per user per year from 1856 to 1978. From 1978 to 2004, book circulation per user declined approximately 50%. The growth of audiovisuals circulation, estimated at 25% of total circulation in 2004, accounts for about half of this decline.
Shift to digital libraries
In recent years, there has been increasing use of the Internet to gather and retrieve data. The shift to digital libraries has greatly impacted the way people use of physical libraries. Between 2002 and 2004, the average American academic library saw the overall number of transactions decline approximately 2.2%. Libraries are trying to keep up with the digital world and the new generation of students that are used to having information just one click away. For example, The University of California Library System saw a 54% decline in circulation between 1991 to 2001 of 8,377,000 books to 3,832,000.
These facts might be a consequence of the increased availability of e-resources. In 1999-2000, 105 ARL university libraries spent almost $100 million on electronic resources, which is an increase of nearly $23 million from the previous year. A 2003 report by the Open E-book Forum found that close to a million e-books had been sold in 2002, generating nearly $8 million in revenue. Another example of the shift to digital libraries can be seen in Cushing Academy’s decision to dispense with its library of printed books — more than 20,000 volumes in all — and switch over entirely to digital media resources.
One claim to why there is a decrease in the usage of libraries stems from the observation of the research habits of undergraduate students enrolled in colleges and universities. There have been claims that college undergraduates have become more used to retrieving information from the Internet than a traditional library. As each generation becomes more in tune with the Internet, their desire to retrieve information as quickly and easily as possible has increased. No doubt finding information by simply searching the Internet is much easier and faster than reading an entire book. In a survey conducted by NetLibrary, 93% of undergraduate students claimed that finding information online makes more sense to them than going to the library. Also, 75% of students surveyed claimed that they did not have enough time to go to the library and that they liked the convenience of the Internet. While the retrieving information from the Internet may be efficient and time saving than visiting a traditional library, research has shown that undergraduates are most likely searching only .03% of the entire web. The information that they are finding might be easy to retrieve and more readily available, but may not be as in depth as information from other resources such as the books available at a physical library.
In the mid 2000s Swedish company Distec invented a library book vending machine known as the GoLibrary, that offers library books to people where there is no branch, limited hours, or high traffic locations such as El Cerrito del Norte BART station in California.
Lists of libraries
- Library history
- ^ The American International Encyclopedia, J. J. Little & Ives, New York 1954, Volume IX
- ^ a b Phillips, Heather A., "The Great Library of Alexandria?". Library Philosophy and Practice, August 2010
- ^ Britishmuseum.org "Assurbanipal Library Phase 1", British Museum One
- ^ Epic of Creation in Dalley, Stephanie. Myths from Mesopotamia. Oxford, 1989: pg.233-81
- ^ Epic of Gilgamesh in Dalley, Stephanie. Myths from Mesopotamia. Oxford, 1989: pg.50-135
- ^ Van De Mieroop, Marc. A History of the Ancient Near East ca. 3000-323 BC. Oxford, UK: Blackwell Publishing, 2007: pg. 263
- ^ Epitome of Book I
- ^ Not the familiar Euclid.
- ^ The writer was Alexandrian; the sophisticates in Deipnosophistae were at a banquet in Rome.
- ^ See Library of Alexandria.
- ^ Seneca, De tranquillitate animi ix.4-7.
- ^ Zurndorfer, Harriet Thelma (1995). China bibliography: a research guide ... - Google Books. ISBN 9789004102781. http://books.google.com/?id=uu5zn7-ImJoC&pg=PA45&lpg=PA45&dq=imperial+library+library+classification+system&q=imperial%20library%20library%20classification%20system. Retrieved 30 April 2010.
- ^ Nasr, Seyyed Hossein (1992). "Oral Transmission and The Book in Islamic Education: The Spoken and The Written Word". Journal of Islamic Studies 3 (1): 1–14.
- ^ Nanji, Azim (2008). Landolt, Hermann; Sheikh, Samira; Kassam, Kutub. eds. An Anthology of Ismaili Literature: A Shi'i Vision of Islam. London: IB Tauris. p. xiii.
- ^ Sibai M. (1987). Mosque libraries: An Historical Study. Mansell Publishing Limited. p. 71. ISBN 0720118964.
- ^ Chief among the libraries destroyed by the Mongol hordes was that of the Shia Ismaili Muslim community who occupied a network of mountain fortresses - lead from the castle of Alamut - beginning from the end of the eleventh century to about 1256 CE. “The Fatimids and their successors at Alamut were great lovers and patrons of books, and their vast libraries attracted scholars of every creed from far and wide. The Imam al-Hakim even provided ink, pens, paper, and inkstands free of charge for all who sought learning in the ‘House of Knowledge’ (dār al-ʿilm). We can only imagine the horror the Ismailis would have felt when they witnessed the destruction of the literary legacy they had so painstakingly fostered. Al-Maqrizi (d.845/1442) describes how great hills of ashes were formed when the slaves and maids of the Luwata Berber tribe burned the Fatimid books. As an act of further desecration, they used the precious bindings of the volumes to make sandals for their feet. Similarly, Juwayni exults at torching the Ismaili library of Alamut, “the fame of which,” he adds, “had spread throughout the world.” See, Shafique N. Virani (2007). The Ismailis in the Middle Ages: A History of Survival, a Search for Salvation. Oxford University Press.
- ^ John L. Esposito (ed.) (1995). The Oxford Encyclopedia of the Modern Islamic World. Oxford University Press. ISBN 0-19-506613-8.
- ^ de Goeje(ed.) (1906). AL-Muqaddasi: Ahsan al-Taqasim. BGA, III. p. 449.
- ^ "Stradavinisaporifc.it". Stradavinisaporifc.it. http://www.stradavinisaporifc.it/cesena.asp. Retrieved 2010-03-07.
- ^ Geo. Haven Putnam (1962). Books and Their Makers in the Middle Ages. Hillary.
- ^ International dictionary of library histories, 29
- ^ Survivor: The History of the Library, history-magazine.com
- ^ This section on Roman Renaissance libraries follows Kenneth M. Setton, "From Medieval to Modern Library" Proceedings of the American Philosophical Society 104.4, Dedication of the APS Library Hall, Autumn General Meeting, November, 1959 (August 1960:371-390) p372ff.
- ^ Stockwell, Foster (2000). A History of Information and Storage Retrieval. ISBN 0786408405.
- ^ Dana, John Cotton, and Henry W. Kent, eds. Literature of Libraries in the Seventeenth and Eighteenth Centuries. Chicago: A. C. McClure, 1906-07; reissued Metuchen: The Scarecrow Reprint Corporation, 1967. No. 1: The duties & qualifications of a librarian: a discourse ... in the Sorbonne, 1780; by Jean-Baptiste Cotton des Houssayes.--No. 2: The reformed librarie-keeper ... concerning the place and office of a librarie-keeper; by John Dury (1596-1680).--No. 3: The life of Sir Thomas Bodley written by himself together with the first draft of the statutes of the public library at Oxon.--No. 4: Two tracts on the founding and maintaining of parochial libraries in Scotland; by James Kirkwood (d. 1708).--No. 5: A brief outline of the history of libraries; by Justus Lipsius; transl. from 2nd ed, 1607 ...--No. 6: News from France or a description of the library of Cardinal Mazarin preceded by The surrender of the library ... two tracts written by Gabriel Naude (1600-1653).
- ^ Harris, Michael H. (1984). The History of Libraries in the Western World. London: Scarecrow Press. ISBN 0810816660.
- ^ Paula D. Watson, “Founding Mothers: The Contribution of Woman’s Organizations to Public Library Development in the United States”, Library Quarterly, Vol. 64, Issue 3, 1994, p.236
- ^ Teva Scheer, “The “Praxis” Side of the Equation: Club Women and American Public Administration”, Administrative Theory & Praxis, Vol. 24, Issue 3, 2002, p.525
- ^ Mathews, Virginia H. 2004. Libraries, citizens & advocacy: the lasting effects of two White House Conferences on Library and Information Services. [Washington, D.C.?]: White House Conference on Libraries and Information Services Taskforce.
- ^ McCook, Kathleen de la Peña (2011). Introduction to Public Librarianship, pp. 75-99. ISBN 978-1-55570-697-5.
- ^ Cohen, L.B. (2007). "A Manifesto for our time". American Libraries 38: 47–9.
- ^ http://humanlibrary.org/what-is-the-living-library.html
- ^ For an example, see: http://main.library.utoronto.ca/workshops/
- ^ Dowler, Lawrence (1997). Gateways to knowledge: the role of academic libraries in teaching, learning, and research. ISBN 0262041596.
- ^ http://unllib.unl.edu/LPP/anunobi-okoye.htm
- ^ See: https://tspace.library.utoronto.ca/
- ^ "ISO - Technical committees - TC 46 - Information and documentation". ISO.org. http://www.iso.org/iso/standards_development/technical_committees/list_of_iso_technical_committees/iso_technical_committee.htm?commid=48750. Retrieved 2010-03-07.
- ^ "ISO - ISO Standards - TC 46 - Information and documentation". ISO.org. http://www.iso.org/iso/iso_catalogue/catalogue_tc/catalogue_tc_browse.htm?commid=48750. Retrieved 2010-03-07.
- ^ The humble Number One: Finland — thisisFINLAND
- ^ Statistics on Book Circulation Per User of U.S. Public Libraries Since 1856 from galbithink.org
- ^ Applegate, Rachel. "Whose Decline? Which Academic Libraries are "Deserted" in Terms of Reference Transactions?" Reference & User Services Quarterly 2nd ser. 48 (2008): 176-89. Print.
- ^ University of California Library Statistics 1990–91, University-wide Library Planning, University of California Office of the President (July 1991): 12; University of California Library Statistics July 2001, 7, Ucop.edu, accessed July 17, 2005; University of California Library Statistics July 2004, 7, Ucop.edu. Retrieved July 17, 2005.
- ^ "ARL Libraries Spend Nearly $100 Million on Electronic Resources," ARL Bimonthly Report 219, Association of Research Libraries (December 2001), ARL.org . Retrieved July 17, 2005.
- ^ Striphas, Ted. The Late Age of Print: Everday Book Culture From Consumerism to Control. New York City: Columbia University Press, 2009. Print.
- ^ Striphas, Ted. "Books: "An Outdated Technology?" Weblog post. The Late Age of Print. 4 September 2009. Web. 19 Nov. 2009. Thelateageofprint.org
- ^ Troll, Denise A. "How and Why are Libraries Changing?" Digital Library Federation. Library Information Technology- Carnegie Melon, 9 January 2001. Web. 29 November 2009. Diglib.org
- ^ Prieto Gutiérrez, Juan José (2009) Security Library Seguridad en bibliotecas. Seguritecnia, revista decana independiente de seguridad , julio-agosto (355). pp. 60-64. ISSN 0210-8747.
Directories of libraries
- LIBweb - Directory of library servers in 146 countries via WWW, PLANWEL is mirroring this database of world libraries maintained by WebJunction, a division of Online Computer Library Center, Inc. (OCLC)
- American Library Association's list of largest US libraries, ala.org
- lib-web-cats: A directory of over 39,000 worldwide libraries spanning 139 countries maintained by Marshall Breeding, librarytechnology.org
- LibLinks - Directory of library resource links organized by US states, liblinks.org
- Libraries of the World and their Catalogues compiled by a retired librarian, sylviamilne.co.uk
- National libraries of Europe, theeuropeanlibrary.org
- UNESCO Libraries Portal - Over 14000 links worldwide, unesco.org
- Libraries at the Open Directory Project
- Centre for the History of the Book, hss.ed.ac.uk
- Wikisource, The Free Library
- Libraries: Frequently Asked Questions, ibiblio.org
- International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions, ifla.org
- Professional Library Associations from Jenkins Law Library, jenkinslaw.org
- A Library Primer, by John Cotton Dana, 1903, setting out the basics of organizing and running a library. gutenberg.org
- A Compendium of Beautiful Libraries, curiousexpeditions.org
Rooms, spaces, and architectural elements Public areas Passages and spaces Utility and storage
- Box room / Carport
- Electrical room
- Equipment room
- Furnace room / Boiler room
- Janitorial closet
- Laundry room / Utility room
- Mechanical room / floor
- Root cellar
- Server room
- Wine cellar
- Wiring closet / Demarcation point
Shared residential rooms Private rooms Great house areas Other areas Architectural elements Related terms
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