A Public Library is a social institution established by law, financed by public fund, open for all without any discrimination, for general and free diffusion of knowledge and information in the community. It is the obligation of government to establish a public library system throughout the country at national, state and local levels. Besides this, the rural and suburban areas should also be covered by branch and mobile libraries.
UNESCO Public Library Manifesto 1949 which was revised in 1972, a public library is-
i. Established under the “clear mandate of law.
ii. Maintained wholly from “public fund”.
iii. Levies no “direct charge” (fees) from its users for any of its services.
iv. Open “for free and equal “ use by all members of the community irrespective of race, color, caste, creed, religion, age, sex, nationality, language, status or level of educational attainments.
v. The local gateway to knowledge, provides a basic condition for lifelong learning, independent decision making and cultural development of the individual and social groups.
vi. An essential agent for the fostering of peace and spiritual welfare through the minds of men and women.
This definition describes two functions of a library:
- To see that no race, nationality profession, trade, religion, school of thought, or local custom is over-looked.
- Every library collection should be buildup according to define plan.
- Knowing the general and special community, collection will be developed.