Meaning of LIBRARY in English


traditionally, collection of books used for reading or study, or the building or room in which such a collection is kept. The word derives from the Latin liber, book, whereas a Latinized Greek word, bibliotheca, is the origin of the word for library in German, Russian, and the Romance languages. From their historical beginnings as places to keep the business, legal, historical, and religious records of a civilization, libraries have emerged since the middle of the 20th century as a far-reaching body of information resources and services that do not even require a building. Rapid developments in computers, telecommunications, and other technologies have made it possible to store and retrieve information in many different forms and from any place with a computer and a telephone connection. The terms digital library and virtual library have begun to be used to refer to the vast collections of information to which people gain access over the Internet, cable television, or some other type of remote electronic connection. This article provides a history of libraries from their founding in the ancient world through the latter half of the 20th century, when both technological and political forces radically reshaped library development. It offers an overview of several types of traditional libraries and explains how libraries collect, organize, and make accessible their collections. Further discussion of the application of the theory and technology of information science in libraries and related fields is included in the article information processing. collection of books used for reading or study, or the building or room in which such a collection is kept. The word derives from the Latin liber, a book, whereas a Latinized Greek word, bibliotheca, is the origin of the word for library in German, Russian, and the Romance languages. Today's libraries frequently contain periodicals, microfilms, tapes, videos, compact discs, online services, and other materials, as well as books. Additional reading The changing role of libraries Many authors speculate on the future of libraries in an electronic age. Michael Buckland, Redesigning Library Services: A Manifesto (1992), discusses what libraries should do to hold on to their enduring values while adapting to technological change. William F. Birdsall, The Myth of the Electronic Library: Librarianship and Social Change in America (1994), provides an informed and insightful consideration of the impact of electronic information services on the social, cultural, and political role of the library. Charles R. McClure, William E. Moen, and Joe Ryan (eds.), Libraries and the Internet/NREN: Perspectives, Issues, and Challenges (1994); and Charles R. McClure, John Carlo Bertot, and Douglas L. Zweizig, Public Libraries and the Internet: Study Results, Policy Issues, and Recommendations (1994), discuss the impact of the Internet on library functions. Drawing on literature from both librarianship and other disciplines, Michael A. Harris and Stan A. Hannah, Into the Future: The Foundations of Library and Information Services in the Post-Industrial Era (1993), examines how libraries have used and been shaped by the growth of an information economy. Geoffrey Nunberg, The Places of Books in the Age of Electronic Reproduction, Representations, 42:1337 (Spring 1993), examines the book as a physical object in contrast to the electronic text. Linda Scovill, Librarians and Publishers in the Scholarly Information Process: Transitions in the Electronic Age (1995), summarizes discussions of a closed meeting held between librarians and publishers. Leigh S. Estabrook The history of libraries Much library history can be found in three subject encyclopaedias: Allen Kent et al., Encyclopedia of Library and Information Science, 35 vol. (196883), continued with supplemental volumes (1984 ); Robert Wedgeworth (ed.), World Encyclopedia of Library and Information Services, 3rd ed. (1993); and Wayne A. Wiegand and Donald G. Davis (eds.), Encyclopedia of Library History (1994). John Feather, A Dictionary of Book History (1986), helps define the intersection between print culture and library history. Luciano Canfora, The Vanished Library (1989; originally published in Italian, 1986), is a highly readable account of the ancient Library of Alexandria. Karl Christ, The Handbook of Medieval Library History, rev. by Anton Kern, trans. from German and ed. by Theophil M. Otto (1984), is still useful. Types of libraries Helpful works on types of libraries include Mohamed Makki Sibai, Mosque Libraries: An Historical Study (1987); James Thompson (ed.), University Library History: An International Review (1980); and Jesse H. Shera, Foundations of the American Public Library: The Origins of the Public Library Movement in New England, 16291855 (1949, reissued 1974). Model library histories of particular countries include Andr Vernet (ed.), Histoire des bibliothques franaises, 4 vol. (198892); and A.K. Ohdedar (aditya Ohadedara), The Growth of the Library in Modern India: 14981836 (1966).National libraries are dealt with in Maurice B. Line and Joyce Line (eds.), National Libraries (1979), and National Libraries 2 (1987); and in the beautifully illustrated Anthony Hobson, Great Libraries (1970).Academic libraries are the subject of Stephen E. Atkins, The Academic Library in the American University (1991); and Allen B. Veaner, Academic Librarianship in a Transformational Age: Program, Politics, and Personnel (1990). A more detailed discussion of the problems of handling large academic library collections is found in Clare Jenkins and Mary Morley (eds.), Collection Management in Academic Libraries (1991).General treatments of public libraries include W.J. Murison, The Public Library: Its Origins, Purpose, and Significance, 3rd ed. (1988); and Verna L. Pungitore, Public Librarianship: An Issues-Oriented Approach (1989). More detailed accounts of services to adults and to children are contained in Kathleen M. Heim and Danny P. Wallace (eds.), Adult Services: An Enduring Focus for Public Libraries (1990); and Mae Benne, Principles of Children's Services in Public Libraries (1991).Two books that treat the impact of special libraries on organizations are Jos-Marie Griffiths and Donald W. King, Special Libraries: Increasing the Information Edge (1993); and Joanne G. Marshall, The Impact of the Special Library on Corporate Decision-Making (1993).School libraries are covered in some detail in American Association Of School Librarians and Association For Educational Communications And Technology, Information Power: Guidelines for School Library Media Programs (1988); Betty J. Morris, John T. Gillespie, and Diana L. Spirt, Administering the School Library Media Center, 3rd ed. (1992); and James E. Herring, School Librarianship, 2nd ed. (1988).Readers wishing to find more detail on archives may consult James Gregory Bradsher (ed.), Managing Archives and Archival Institutions (1988); and Richard J. Cox, Managing Institutional Archives: Foundational Principles and Practices (1992). The library operation Robert D. Stueart and Barbara B. Moran, Library and Information Center Management, 4th ed. (1993), focuses on general topics. The problems of developing and managing library collections are dealt with in several texts: Beatrice Kovacs, The Decision-Making Process for Library Collections: Case Studies in Four Types of Libraries (1990); G. Edward Evans, Developing Library and Information Center Collections, 2nd ed. (1987); and G.E. Gorman and B.R. Howes, Collection Development for Libraries (1989). Library techniques for organizing information are covered in Lois Mai Chan, Cataloging and Classification: An Introduction, 2nd ed. (1994); and Bohdan S. Wynar and Arlene G. Taylor, Introduction to Cataloging and Classification, 8th ed. (1992). Issues involved in developing and managing library services to users are thoroughly covered in two standard textbooks: William A. Katz, Introduction to Reference Work, 6th ed., 2 vol. (1992); and Richard E. Bopp and Linda C. Smith (eds.), Reference and Information Services: An Introduction (1991). A good introduction to issues and practices of preservation of library materials may be found in John N. Depew, A Library, Media, and Archival Preservation Handbook (1991).Anne Woodsworth and Thomas B. Wall, Library Cooperation and Networks: A Basic Reader (1991), is an introductory text discussing interlibrary cooperation. The development of library associations is chronicled in Willem R.H. Koops and Joachim Wieder (eds.), IFLA's First Fifty Years: Achievement and Challenge in International Librarianship (1977); W.A. Munford, A History of the Library Association, 18771977 (1976); and Wayne A. Wiegand, The Politics of an Emerging Profession: The American Library Association, 18761917 (1986). The Editors of the Encyclopdia Britannica

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