EnglishGeneralLibrary Science

Library :: Definition and meaning.

What is Library?

The word library cames from the Latin word “Librarium” which in turn from “Liber” meaning a book.
Figure: Various Stages of Life of Information.
In literal sense, therefore a library is a collection of book. Many years ago a well-known Librarian said “A Library consists of books, brains and a building by which he meant stock staff and accommodation”. Actually, there must be a forth element and is “Readers”.
Actually the English word library refers to a collection of books gathered for study, research, reference and recreation.
An early meaning, how obsolete is that “a library is a place where books are written” During the latter half of the 14th century the term “Library” was defined as a place where books are kept for reading, study or reference.
By the 19th century the word “Library” denoted a building, room or set of room containing collection of books for the use of public or some portion of it or the member of the society.
Definition of Library:


A Library is defined as a place in which books, manuscripts, musical scores, or other literary and artistic material are kept, for use but not for sale” and as an institution for the custody or administration of such a collection.
ALA (American Library Association) glossary of library and information science “Library as a collection of materials organized to provide physical bibliographical and intellectual access to group with a staff that is trained to provide services and program related to information needs of the target group.”
UNESCO define Library as, “any organized collection of printed books and periodical or any other graphic or audio-visual materials with a staff to provide and facilitate the use of such materials as are required to meet the informational research, educational and recreational needs of users.”
S.R Ranganathan – “A library is a public institution or establishment charged with the care of books, the duty of making them accessible those who require the use of them.”
Harrods librarian’s glossary and reference book define Library as:
“1) A collection of books and other literary material kept for reading, study and consultation.

2) A place, building, rooms, set apart for the keeping and use of a collection of books etc.”



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