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Literature and Writing
different types of libraries, microfiches, art reproductions, study habits, liber
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Library (institution), collection of books and other informational materials made available to people for reading, study, or reference. The word library comes from liber, the Latin word for “book.” However, library collections have almost always contained a variety of materials. Contemporary libraries maintain collections that include not only printed materials such as manuscripts, books, newspapers, and magazines, but also art reproductions, films, sound and video recordings, maps, photographs, microfiches, CD-ROMs, computer software, online databases, and other media. In addition to maintaining collections within library buildings, modern libraries often feature telecommunications links that provide users with access to information at remote sites.
The central mission of a library is to collect, organize, preserve, and provide access to knowledge and information. In fulfilling this mission, libraries preserve a valuable record of culture that can be passed down to succeeding generations. Libraries are an essential link in this communication between the past, present, and future. Whether the cultural record is contained in books or in electronic formats, libraries ensure that the record is preserved and made available for later use. Libraries provide people with access to the information they need to work, play, learn, and govern.
People in many professions use library resources to assist them in their work. People also use library resources to gain information about personal interests or to obtain recreational materials such as films and novels. Students use libraries to supplement and enhance their classroom experiences, to learn skills in locating sources of information, and to develop good reading and study habits. Public officials use libraries to research legislation and public policy issues. One of the most valued of all cultural institutions, the library provides information and services that are essential to learning and progress.
This article provides an overview of the different types of libraries and explains in detail their various collections, functions, and services. It also profiles careers in library work, the education of librarians, and several professional organizations for librarians. Other sections of the article trace the history of libraries, from their origins in the ancient world through the end of the 20th century and the major trends and challenges facing libraries today. Finally, the article describes contemporary library systems in countries throughout the world.
Halsey, Richard S., M.Mus., S.M.L.S., Ph.D.
Dean Emertius, School of Information Science and Policy, State University of New York at Albany.
Moran, Barbara B., A.B., M.Ln., Ph.D.
Professor, School of Information and Library Science, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Co-Author of "Library and Information Center Management".
Goldberg, Beverly, B.A.
Senior Editor, "American Libraries".
Lane, Nancy D., B.A., M.S.I.S., Ph.D.
Development Officer, Australian Academy of Science. Author of "Techniques for Student Research", "Information Technology: Design and Application", and other books.
Aman, Mohammed M., B.A., M.S., Ph.D.
Dean and Professor, School of Library and Information Science, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. Editor of "Digest of Middle East Studies". Author of "The New Bibliotheca Alexandrina: A Link in the Historical Chain of Cultural Continuty" and other books.
Ikem, J.E., B.A., B.A., P.G., Dip.Lib.
Deputy University Librarian, University of Ibadan, Nigeria.
Saye, Jerry D., B.S., M.L.S., Ph.D.
Associate Professor, School of Information and Library Science, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Co-Author of "Manheimer's Cataloging and Classification: A Workbook" and other books.
McNamara, Charles B., B.S., M.S., M.A., Ph.D.
Curator of Rare Books, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Author of "French books and Manuscripts, 1700-1830: An Exhibition and Description of Collections in Cornell University Library, Ithaca".
Saye, Terri O., M.A., M.L.S.
Catalog Librarian, Kathrine R. Everett Law Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Co-Author of "Manheimer's Cataloging and Classification: A Workbook".
Wiegand, Wayne A., B.A., M.A., M.L.S., Ph.D.
Professor, School of Library and Information Studies, University of Wisconsin-Madison. Co-Director, Center fot the History of Print Culture in Modern America. Author of "Irrepressible Reformer: A Biorgaphy of Melvil Dewey" and ther books.
Dempsey, Bert J., A.B, M.S., Ph.D.
Assistant Professor, School of Information and Library science, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
Tibbo, Helen R., B.A., M.L.S., M.A., Ph.D.
Associate Dean and Associate Professor, School of Information and Library science, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
Pierce, Sydney J., B.A., M.L.S., Ph.D., Ph.D.
Associate Professor, School of Information and Library science, Catholic University of America. Editor of "Weeding and Maintenance of Reference Collections".
Marco, Guy A., B.Mus., M.A., M.A.L.S., Ph.D.
Former Senior Fellow and Anjunct Professor, Graduate School of Library and Information Science, Dominican University. Co-editor of "Music and Fine Arts in General Library".
Huang, Samuel T., M.A.L.S., M.S.
Curator of Rare Books and Special Collections. Professor, University Libraries, Northern Illinois University.
Jackson, William Vernon, B.A., M.S.L.S., A.M., Ph.D.
Senior Fellow, Graduate School of Library and Information Science, Dominican University. Professor Emeritus, University of Texas. Editor of "World Libraries".
Chepesiuk, Ronald, M.L.S., O.A.S.
Associate Professor and Head of Archives and Special Collections, Dacus Library, Winthrop University.
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