Library: Meaning, Types, Importance and Advantages
A library is a place where a large amount of information or such similar resources are stored. It is usually accessible by members of that particular library. A library may be in physical form or even in a digital form. A library’s collection includes books, periodicals, magazines, newspapers, DVD’s, CD’s, audio-books, journals etc.
A library may be a personal library that an individual keeps in his place for personal use or it may be a huge library which may be used by the members who subscribe to it. The earliest library known to men dated back to 2600 BC where it consisted of the earliest forms of writing such as the clay tablets. The libraries of Constantinople and Alexandria are known to be the greatest library in ancient history.
In a library, books or other such documents are borrowed and they are to be returned within a particular time period. A librarian is present in a library who helps the visitors in a library to locate books or by making suggestions as to which book might fulfill their requirements. Now a days, libraries have online databases which make it easier for people to locate the books within the library and also makes it easier for a librarian to keep a track of which books have been borrowed, by whom and by when they are to be returned.
The different types of libraries are:
- Academic Libraries: These are the libraries that are present in colleges and universities. The resources are available to the staff students and faculty. These libraries differ according to the different universities or colleges and they may have more than one library on their campus.
- Public Libraries: These are libraries which are accessible to all the public. These have books or documents that focus on service areas such as youth, teens and adults.
- School Libraries: These are usually part of the school system where students borrow books right from kindergarten to the time they reach grade 12.
- Special Libraries: these are the ones that are run by different corporations, hospitals, the military, museums, private business and the government. These may be made to serve a specific purpose such as to cater to the needs of the blind or those who are physically challenged etc.
The importance of libraries
- Libraries act as a medium for community education.
- The collection contained within a library may be for a specific need such as to cater to the blind or the physically challenged etc.
- The libraries preserve old artifacts, documents of historical importance, documents relevant to a particular community etc.
- Libraries help individuals learn new things about which they had no previous knowledge.
- Libraries provide access to all individuals regardless of whether they can afford it or not.
- They also enable people to create their own content as they gain knowledge from using the library
- The different book from all over the world that feature stories and characters that people could never meet otherwise lets them see how big and varied the world is.
Advantages of a library
- Libraries help students in their studies as they can refer to a wide amount of information from different sources.
- It helps in developing a student’s literary skills at an early age.
- Since the library is a peaceful place, people may be able to finish off their work without any disturbances.
- They also provide a place for mental recreation to the readers through novels or story books.
- People can update their knowledge about any particular subject by referring to new books in a library.
- A public library in a rural area may enable the youth in such areas to be more educated and use their time reading and gaining more knowledge than wasting their time loitering or gambling
- Such libraries allow us access to books that we could never buy for ourselves as they are too expensive.
- The online library databases allow people to access the books from wherever they are and thus they are not required to go all the way to the library.