American Library Association (ALA) glossary of library and Information Science- special library is “a library established, supported and administered by a business firm, private corporation, association, government agency, or other special interest group of agency to meet the information needs of its members or staff in pursuing the goals of the organization. Scope of collections and services is limited to the subject interest of the host or parent organization.”
“A library or information center, maintained by an individual, corporation, association, government agency or any other groups; or, a specialized or departmental collection within a library.”- Harrods Librarian Glossary.
Special library may be define as ” A library established, supported and administered by a business firm, private corporation, association, government agency or other special interest group or agency to meet the information needs of its members or staff in pursuing the goals of the organization. scope of collections and services is limited to subject interest of the host or parent organization.”
Objectives of Special Library:
Functions of special library:
- It selects and procures documents and other sources of relevant information;
- It processes the procured information or documents with the help of classification, cataloguing, shelf arrangements etc. to make them easily available for the users;
- It subscribes to a good number of journals related to its area;
- It provides indexing and abstracting services to the users to save their time;
- It provides reference services to the users by telephone, by post or by email;
- It gives current awareness service (CAS) regarding new arrivals and latest services to the users;
- It provides Selective Dissemination of Information (SDI) services to the users as per their subject interest and requirement;
- It also gives document delivery service to its user;
- It brings out library bulletins weekly/ fortnightly/ monthly to keep the users up to date with latest information;
- It gives translation services to provide the desired information to the users in their convenient language;
- It also provides internet as well as internet facility to the users in order to access the library collection and catalogue at their desktop;
- It responds to the reference queries and make retrospective search of literature as per users demand;
- It compiles bibliographies, union catalogues, documentation lists, newspaper-clippings, accession lists etc. to save the time of its users; and
- It provides inter library loan facility to the users.
Book Selection policy of Special Library
- Selection policies of special library must be established within the form of the libraries stated objectives.
- The subject coverage special libraries collection must be intensive and extensive. The collection mixed the current anticipated information requirements of library clientele.
- It is advisable to have a library committee consisting of specialist who can give advice on book selection and purchase.