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This nOde last updated January 20th, 2004 and is permanently morphing...
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library (lý┤brŔr┤ŕ) noun
1.a. A place in which literary and artistic materials, such as books, periodicals, newspapers, pamphlets, prints, records, and tapes, are kept for reading, reference, or lending. b. A collection of such materials, especially when systematically arranged. c. A room in a private home for such a collection. d. An institution or a foundation maintaining such a collection.
2.A commercial establishment that lends books for a fee.
3.A series or set of books issued by a publisher.
4.A collection of recorded data or tapes arranged for ease of use.
5.Computer Science. A collection of standard programs, routines, or subroutines, often related to a specific application, that are available for general use.
[Middle English librarie, from Anglo-Norman, from Latin librÔrium, bookcase, from neuter of librÔrius, of books, from liber, libr-, book.]
Library, repository for recorded information in various formats, including books, microforms, magazines, phonorecordings, films, magnetic tapes, slides, videotapes, and electronic media.
Types of Libraries
Types of libraries include national libraries, such as the Library of Congress (established in 1800) in Washington, D.C.; research libraries, such as the Folger Shakespeare Library in Washington, D.C.; college and university libraries; public libraries, which generally contain literature, social services information, reference works, music, and recreational books and films; school libraries, which support the curricula of their school systems; and special libraries, designed to serve specific professional needs. Libraries of different types are often connected through cooperative lending arrangements.
History of Libraries
Libraries originated in the Middle East between 3000 and 2000 BC. The greatest library of the ancient world was established by the Greeks in Alexandria in the 3rd century BC (Alexandria, Library of). By the 2nd century AD public and private libraries containing Greek and Latin works had been established in Rome.
Many scientific and mathematical texts were copied and preserved in libraries by Muslim scholars in the 8th and 9th centuries. In Western Europe, literature was preserved in the libraries of monasteries. The rise of universities in Italy as early as the 11th century also stimulated the development of academic library collections. The 14th century was a notable period for the establishment of European libraries.
With the invention of printing in the 15th century, books became more readily available and reading increased, causing private libraries to expand. During the 17th and 18th centuries national libraries came into existence throughout Europe. The first public library designed for popular education was founded in Manchester, England, about 1850.
The first American libraries were the private collections of Massachusetts settlers. The first American academic library was founded in 1638 by English clergyman John Harvard, with a bequest of 300 books to Harvard college in Cambridge, Massachusetts (Harvard University).
Other types of libraries
developed during the late 18th and early 19th centuries, including
professional and historical libraries. Funds provided by American
industrialist Andrew Carnegie in the 1880s and 1890s supported the
construction of more than 1680 public libraries. Through the Library
Services Act of 1956 and the Library Services and Construction Act of
1964, the federal government has supported the growth and extension of
library services throughout the country.
Free public libraries in Canada date from the passage of the Ontario Free Libraries Act in 1882. The National Library of Canada, founded in 1953, receives a copy of every book published in Canada.
Modern Library Services
The modern American library usually divides its tasks into two categories, one relating to internal operations (called technical services), the other dealing directly with library users (public services). Technical services include the acquisition, cataloging, organization, and physical treatment of library materials.
The computer has brought about an important development in library cataloging: The Library of Congress, which receives a copy of every book copyrighted in the United States, now puts cataloging information on magnetic tape for use by other libraries in their computer systems. This cataloging information is distributed by several major networks.
Roman libraries usually contained a single, large reading room, ornately decorated and lined with shelves for scrolls and manuscript volumes. In the Middle Ages (5th century to 15th century) European libraries usually were housed in monasteries, universities, or royal households. Beginning in the 1400s libraries expanded their reading areas and developed storage systems. Large, richly decorated, halls housed both readers and books or manuscripts. Drastic changes in library building took place in the 19th century with the emergence of a large reading public and an enormously expanding stock of materials. Until the early 20th century central reading rooms in larger libraries were fairly large, decorated, and furnished with rows of long tables and simple wooden chairs. Smaller rooms frequently housed special collections.
Today, library buildings are constructed so that they can be easily expanded or modified to accommodate changes in collections, formats, and user needs. The rapid expansion of information technology since World War II (1939-1945) has forced libraries to consider new methods of storage, such as compact movable shelving and the microfilming of materials. The decor of modern libraries is determined largely by practical considerations.
Library Education and the Library Profession
The first formal educational program for training librarians was established by American librarian Melvil Dewey in 1887 at Columbia University in New York City. Other universities followed, and individual libraries also sponsored training programs.
An influential report published in 1923 and sponsored by the Carnegie Corporation, criticized the emphasis on clerical procedures in library training and urged that it be more professionally oriented and lead to an advanced academic degree. During the next few decades the master's degree in library science became a normal requirement for professional library employment. Many library schools now also offer doctoral programs. The curriculum of library schools now usually incorporates elements of information science.
Librarians have established a variety of professional organizations on the regional, national, and international levels. In the United States there are state library associations, the American Library Association, the Special Libraries Association, and groups such as the Music Library Association and the Association of Research Libraries.
Meek young men grow up in
libraries, believing it their duty to accept the views which Cicero,
which Locke, which Bacon, have given,
forgetful that Cicero, Locke, and Bacon were only young men in
libraries, when they wrote these books. Hence, instead of Man
Thinking, we have the book-worm.
Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-82), U.S. essayist, poet, philosopher. Lecture, 31 Aug. 1837, delivered before the Phi Beta Kappa Society, Harvard University (published in Nature, Addresses and Lectures, "The American Scholar," 1849).
What is more important in a library than anything
else- than everything else- is the fact that it exists.
Archibald MacLeish (1892-1982), U.S. poet. "The Premise of Meaning," in American Scholar (Washington, D.C., 5 June 1972; repr. in Riders on Earth, as "The Premise at the Center," 1978).
Michael Horowitz and Cynthia
Palmer are the directors of the Fitz Hugh Ludlow Memorial Library in
San Francisco, the only library in the world exclusively devoted to
the literature of mind-altering drugs. Michael Horowitz was Timothy
Leary's archivist and is coauthor of _The High Times
Encyclopedia of Recreational Drugs_. Both edited Aldous
Huxley's essay collection _Moksha: Writings
on Psychedelics and the Visionary
Palmer and Horowitz live in northern California. Their daughter is Winona Ryder, and Tim Leary was her godfather.
"we're not really biological creatures anymore... most of what we pass on to our children is culture, libraries." - Hans Moravec, director of the Mobile Robot Laboratory at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh
In 1815 Thomas Jefferson sold his 6500-volume book collection to the federal government as the nucleus of the restored Library of Congress, which had been destroyed during the War of 1812 (1812-1815).
track _Remember_ MP3 by Deep
film _Waking Life_ (avi parts 1 & 2)(360megs total)/(vhs/ntsc)directed by Richard Linklater
(A girl and a boy are sitting in a library)
What are you writing?
What's the story?
There's no story. It's just people, gestures, moments, bits of rapture, fleeting emotions. In short, the greatest story ever told.
Are you in the story?
I don't think so. But then, I'm kind of reading it and then writing it.
From 1939 to 1946 Jorge Luis Borges was a municipal librarian, but he was fired from his post by the PÚron regime.
The universe (which others call the Library) is composed of an indefinite and perhaps infinite number of hexagonal galleries, with vast air shafts between, surrounded by very low railings. From any of the hexagons one can see, interminably, the upper and lower floors. The distribution of the galleries is invariable. Twenty shelves, five long shelves per side, cover all the sides except two; their height, which is the distance from floor to ceiling, scarcely exceeds that of a normal bookcase. One of the free sides leads to a narrow hallway which opens onto another gallery, identical to the first and to all the rest. To the left and right of the hallway there are two very small closets. In the first, one may sleep standing up; in the other, satisfy one's fecal necessities. Also through here passes a spiral stairway, which sinks abysmally and soars upwards to remote distances. In the hallway there is a mirror which faithfully duplicates all appearances. Men usually infer from this mirror that the Library is not infinite (if it were, why this illusory duplication?); I prefer to dream that its polished surfaces represent and promise the infinite ... Light is provided by some spherical fruit which bear the name of lamps. There are two, transversally placed, in each hexagon. The light they emit is insufficient, incessant.
- Jorge Luis Borges, _The Library Of Babel_