Indian librarian Shiyali Ramamrita Ranganathan introduced the Colon Classificationsystem, which classifies all knowledge into broad, fundamental concepts. The Colonsystem then divides these concepts into several distinguishing characteristics, whichRanganathan called facets. The classification system uses colons (:) to distinguishbetween the various facets in a single notation. The name of the Colon Classificationsystem is derived from its use of the colon in its notation scheme. Although use of theColon Classification system is limited to a few Indian libraries, Ranganathan’s concept offacet analysis in classifying knowledge has been widely influential. Some of its keyconcepts have been adopted by subsequent editions of the Dewey and Universal systems,among others.Libraries that serve users in very specialized fields of knowledge may also develop theirown classification systems. They are especially likely to do so if the major libraryclassifications do not adequately provide for the organization of the literature theycollect. For example, organizations specializing in the study of mathematics developedthe Mathematics Subject Classification to categorize material on advanced mathematicaltheory covered in specialized academic journals. The Mathematics Subject Classificationallows mathematicians to classify works to a much greater degree of specificity than anyof the major systems would allow.Numerous classification systems have been created for use in other special libraries aswell. The National Library of Medicine classification system, for example, has beenadopted by most major medical libraries in the United States. That system, which isstructured like the Library of Congress Classification, uses the letter W (unused by theLibrary of Congress system) for medical works. It also takes advantage of unused parts ofthe Library of Congress Classification class Q, for science. For other subject areas, theNational Library of Medicine system applies the Library of Congress Classificationunchanged.Subject HeadingsMany single works in a library deal with multiple subjects. These works may be difficultto classify using traditional classification systems such as Dewey Decimal Classificationor Library of Congress Classification, because these systems typically assign only oneclassification number to each item. As a result, only one subject is represented, and thework’s other topics are not expressed in the classification number. Users searching thelibrary’s catalog under one of the alternate topics would never find that particular work.To avoid this problem, most libraries also identify their materials with subject headings,which assign multiple index terms to a work. This enables users to find works using anyof a number of different search terms. Subject headings may be single words, compoundwords, or phrases that describe the subjects of a given document. Subject headings areparticularly useful for executing online searches, which allow for a high degree offlexibility in identifying search terms.In the United States, the two most frequently used systems for creating subject headingsare those developed by the Library of Congress (LC) and the Sears List. The LC subject
headings, first introduced in 1914, provide detailed terms for a vast number of topics. TheLC headings are used in academic libraries, medium-sized to large public libraries, andmany special libraries. The Sears List, developed in 1923 by American librarian MinnieEarl Sears, consists of a much smaller set of terms and is designed primarily for publicand school libraries. The two lists are not entirely compatible and cannot be used in thesame catalog.Unlike index entries in an individual book, subject headings are generally used only if amajor portion of the work deals with that particular subject. Under Library of Congressguidelines, at least 20 percent of a document must address a given subject for asubheading on that subject to be assigned to the book. Examples of LC subject headingsinclude:RiversFunctional literacyGroup homes for childrenEducation, PreschoolBurnout (Psychology)All of the works in a library’s collection that deal with rivers in general would be listed inthe catalog under the “Rivers” subject heading. Works dealing with a specific river, suchthe Mississippi River, would be indexed under the name of that river. “Rivers” is arelatively straightforward subject; subject headings may also represent complex conceptsfor works dealing with more than one theme. In order to express complex subjects,catalogers add subdivisions to the basic headings. These subdivisions can indicate, forexample, specific time frames (20th century, 1860s, Middle Ages), geographical areas(Cairo, Pennsylvania, Canada), or the form of the document (bibliography, dictionary,fiction). Subdivisions may be added to the basic heading or combined with othersubdivisions. They are usually separated from the subject heading by dashes. Forexample, the book National Dreams: Myth, Memory, and Canadian History (1997), byDaniel Francis, is listed under the following LC subject headings. Users could find thebook by searching under any one of these headings:Group identity—CanadaPopular culture—CanadaCanada—HistoryOnline computer catalogs provide far greater power for subject searching than do book orcard catalogs. Most online catalogs allow users to execute keyword searches by using oneor more of the important words in the subject-heading string. In keyword searching,library users can locate the subject heading “Universities and colleges—Graduate work—Examinations” simply by entering the words universities and examinations. This willretrieve catalog entries for all the library’s works on that subject. The keyword approachresults in larger, less-targeted retrievals, often requiring the catalog user to review manyrecords to find the works desired. The great advantage of keyword searching is thatcatalog users do not have to be familiar with the exact wording of the subject heading to
locate desired items. In addition, they can easily browse large numbers of related workswithout having to physically locate the items on the shelves. D. Locating Library MaterialsVisitors to a library can locate materials in different ways, depending on their ownparticular needs and interests. Someone looking for recreational reading material maywish to simply browse through the library’s selection of recently published best-sellers.Libraries typically maintain a section that showcases these popular materials. Most users,however, come to the library in search of information about a particular subject. Thereference desk is often the best place for these users to start their search, becausereference librarians are trained to help library users locate the materials they need.However, users must also learn how to search for information themselves if they are tomake the best use of the resources the library has to offer.Searching for and locating relevant information requires careful thought and strategy.Users can often find answers to their questions by first looking through general referencesources, such as encyclopedias, dictionaries, atlases, and other materials that are usuallylocated near the library’s reference desk. These sources can provide overviews of thesubject that may lead to more-detailed sources of information. Users looking for a widerange of literature on a particular subject can search through the library’s catalog, whichprovides an index of the library’s collection. In addition, users can search through variousother indexes, abstracts, and databases. These sources provide references to relevantmagazine and journal articles. The Internet can also be a useful source of information. 1 . Searching the CatalogLibrary users can generally find the information they need by searching the library’scatalog, which is an index to all the materials in the library’s collection. Catalog entriestypically list each item’s author, its title, its subjects, the date it was published, the nameof its publisher, and for some materials, the names of editors, illustrators, or translators.Users can search for items in most online catalogs by entering keywords in any of thesecategories. Users of specialized collections might have the option of searching for othercharacteristics of library materials as well. A rare-book collection, for example, mightallow users to search for materials by the name of the printer or binder of the book.By searching through the catalog, users can easily determine whether the library ownsworks by a particular author or whether it has a work with a specific title. For example,consider a user searching for the book What Is Natural: Coral Reef Crisis (1999), by JanSapp. This user could simply conduct a title search of the catalog by typing in What Is
Natural: Coral Reef Crisis. Or, by searching under the last name of the author, Sapp, theuser could see whether the library has this book or other works by that author.Searching for materials on a particular subject can be more difficult than searching formaterials by authors or title. Before beginning a subject search, the user should firstcarefully consider various aspects of the information needed, identifying keywords andsignificant concepts associated with the given subject. These words and concepts canfunction as possible search terms. If searching under one term turns up too many possibleworks to realistically examine, a more specific term might be more useful. Likewise, if asearch term reveals too few items, the user might achieve more productive results bysearching under a more general term.Some libraries feature union catalogs, which list the holdings of multiple libraries. Userscan search union catalogs for materials that are unavailable at their local library but thatmay be accessible through interlibrary loan. For more information on library catalogs, seethe subsection Catalogs in the Organization of Resources section of this article. 2 . Searching Indexes, Abstracts, and DatabasesEven though library catalogs contain listings for every item in a given library’scollection, catalogs do not list individual articles in the library’s magazines and scholarlyjournals. To find details of articles on a given subject, library users must consult indexes,abstracts, or databases. These resources provide information on articles contained inperiodicals, which are publications such as newspapers, magazines, and journals that areissued at regular intervals. Each index, abstract, or database typically focuses on aparticular subject or range of related subjects. For example, some indexes list informationabout articles on art, whereas others contain information about articles on medical issues.An index of periodicals lists citations containing bibliographic information about eacharticle, including article title, author, publication title, and date of publication. An abstractcontains the same information that a periodical index contains, as well as a paragraph oreven a few paragraphs summarizing the article. Library databases are indexes andabstracts organized for easy access on a computer. Library databases are typically storedon CD-ROM or accessed via the Internet. Nearly all libraries have printed abstracts andindexes of periodical literature, but periodical information at most libraries is morecomplete on computer databases.The Reader’s Guide to Periodical Literature is the best-known print index to English-language periodicals of general interest. Published twice per month, the Reader’s Guidelists articles in more than 150 magazines commonly subscribed to by public and schoollibraries. It arranges its listings alphabetically by author and subject, but not by title. TheReader’s Guide generally lists six pieces of information in each citation: article title,author, publication title, volume number, page number(s), and date of publication. TheReader’s Guide is cumulated regularly. This means that listings in the latest issues are
merged with the previous issue, so that to find recent articles, users need to consult onlytwo or three issues of the Reader’s Guide. Each of the older, bound volumes of theReader’s Guide covers a two-year period. Some smaller libraries subscribe only to theAbridged Reader’s Guide, which indexes about 45 magazines. The Reader’s Guide seriescontains listings as far back as 1890. An earlier index, Poole’s Index, provides referenceinformation for English-language articles published from 1802 to 1890. Although theReader’s Guide is still available in public and school libraries, most library patrons nowuse computer databases to find magazine and journal articles.Computer databases typically cover a particular subject or range of subjects. Forexample, the PsychLIT database contains bibliographic information on articles in thefield of psychology. The Modern Language Association Bibliography contains citationsfor articles in the arts and humanities. The Educational Resources Information Center(ERIC) maintains a database of articles from education journals. Most databases offeronly indexed or abstracted information, but some databases, known as full-text databases,provide the entire text of articles. Searching strategies can vary considerably from onedatabase to the next, but most databases give tips to guide users in searching theparticular database. In addition, reference librarians are specially trained to assist users insearching through databases.Many public, academic, and school libraries have compendiums of computer databases,such as the InfoTrac catalogs of databases. Introduced in 1985, InfoTrac catalogsintegrate many different kinds of databases into a single collection that can be accessedon CD-ROM or via the Internet. For example, patrons of public or academic libraries canuse a single InfoTrac catalog to search computer databases of general interest magazines,government publications, academic journals, legal publications, and health-relatedperiodicals. InfoTrac catalogs in school libraries may be tailored to support classroomassignments at various grade levels. These catalogs typically include computer databasescontaining the full text of articles in leading magazines, newspapers, and reference books. 3 . Finding Materials on the Library ShelvesCatalog citations indicate each item’s call number, which classifies the subject of thework and also identifies the item’s location on the library shelves. After finding an itemin the catalog, a user can refer to maps in the library indicating the general placement ofworks within a wide range of call numbers. For example, a library using the Library ofCongress Classification system might place together on one floor all of its works withcall numbers ranging from H (social sciences) through P (languages and literature).Another floor might hold the library’s works with call numbers ranging from Q (science)through Z (library science). Signs on each row of shelves indicate the more specific rangeof materials located there. For example, one row of shelves might contain works withLibrary of Congress call numbers from PS3511 through PS3523. Each book in thelibrary’s collection will display the call number on the book’s spine or on the outside ofthe back cover. Because call numbers indicate the subject content of a given work as well
as its location, once a user finds one relevant item on the shelf, he or she may find otheruseful items simply by browsing through the materials in the same location.Finding periodicals in the library is similar to finding books. After a user finds a usefularticle citation in a library database, abstract, or index, he or she must determine whetherthe library owns the periodical in which the article appears. The user can determinewhether the library owns the publication by conducting a search of the library’s catalogby publication title. Most libraries arrange all of their periodicals in one general locationin the library. Therefore, if the library subscribes to the periodical in question, the usercan generally find the publication by searching for the magazine or journal title on theshelves of the periodical section. Some libraries also maintain periodical archives onmicrofilm (a small roll of film printed with rows of very small images that can be viewedusing a library’s microfilm viewer), microfiche (similar to microfilm, but printed on asmall sheet), and CD-ROM.The shelves on which a library’s materials are arranged are known as stacks. Open stacksare accessible to patrons for selecting their own books and other materials. Some librarieshave such large collections that many books have to be kept in closed stacks, which arenot open to the public. To obtain books from closed stacks, the patron fills out a call slip,writing on it the call number, author, and title of the requested book. A librarian thengives the patron a number, which is also written on the slip. A library assistant finds thebook in the closed stacks. In large libraries the number given to the patron may be flashedon a lighted board when the book is ready to be picked up. V. BORROWING LIBRARY MATERIALSThe great majority of libraries allow users to borrow materials from their collections, andmany public libraries consider this their most important service to users. Libraries thatlend their materials to users are known as circulating libraries or lending libraries. Usersborrow library materials from the circulation department, which keeps track of thelibrary’s collections. The circulation desk is typically located near the entrance of thelibrary. To ensure equitable distribution of materials among different users, librariesestablish policies about who can borrow items, which items may be borrowed, for howlong they may be borrowed, and what happens when an item is not returned on time. A. RegistrationTo borrow library materials, a user must be registered with the library’s circulationdepartment. The registration procedure involves recording the user’s name, address,telephone number, and other basic information. Upon registration, the library usuallyprovides users with a library circulation card in addition to a printed handout with
information about the library’s hours, any fines charged for overdue books, descriptionsof various library services, and other information. Most public libraries limit registrationto residents of the area served by the library. Public libraries generally allow children toborrow materials, but parents or guardians usually must sign the registration form toverify their consent and to assume responsibility for any borrowed items. College,university, school, and special libraries generally require users to be affiliated with theparent institution to borrow library materials. Libraries of all types usually exclude thosewho have abused the library’s circulation policies in the past by failing to return items. B. Circulating and Noncirculating ItemsIn most lending libraries, selected items of the collection are unavailable for circulation.For example, libraries generally do not lend general reference books, in order that thesepopular items are available to all users at any given time. Libraries also rarely lendcurrent issues of magazines and journals, although some libraries bind older issuestogether and allow users to borrow them. In addition, libraries usually do not lend rare,fragile, or expensive items that they could not afford to replace if the items were lost ordamaged. C. Circulation Systems Automated Library CirculationIn the past, a lending library attached pocket envelopes containing circulation cards toeach circulating item in its collection. When a user wished to check out a book from thelibrary, the circulation desk would record the due date and the user’s name on the card.Libraries used the information printed on these cards to monitor and control thecirculation of their collections. Libraries would also replace the card with a slip of paperindicating the due date for the user. To remind users of the borrowing period, thecirculation desk also generally stamped a due date on a slip attached to the item.Today, most libraries use optical scanners to read and record information on barcodelabels attached to library materials and on user identification cards. Using this automatedsystem, libraries can quickly and accurately determine the status of borrowed items,monitor overdue materials, and inventory library collections. As in the past, however,circulation desks continue to record the due date on a slip attached to each borroweditem.
D. Borrowing PeriodsMost public libraries allow users to borrow materials for two to four weeks. However,some libraries establish shorter borrowing periods for selected popular items—such asnew best-selling novels, popular nonfiction, and videos—so that greater numbers of usersmay have access to them. Libraries also try to provide greater access to popular materialsby stocking multiple copies of these items, so that even if one or two copies are lent out,additional copies may remain for other users. Public libraries often allow users to borrowfine art, such as framed prints or photographs, for longer periods, sometimes as long assix months.Most libraries allow users to reserve or place holds on items already borrowed by anotheruser. When a user places a hold on a particular item, the library adds her name to a list ofpeople waiting for that same item. When the item becomes available, the library contactsthe user by phone, mail, or e-mail. Most libraries allow users to renew borrowedmaterials for another complete borrowing period if there are no other users waiting forthe same items. Libraries with automated circulation systems typically allow users torenew their borrowed materials over the telephone or through e-mail. E. Overdue PoliciesWhen borrowed items become overdue, libraries send users an overdue notice,sometimes followed by a telephone call. If the item is still not returned after a timeestablished by the library’s circulation policies, the library sends the borrower a finaloverdue notice or a bill listing any fines the user has incurred. Most libraries suspend auser’s borrowing privileges after the user fails to return items. An increasing number oflibraries also have a policy of using collection agencies or credit bureaus to collect finesfor long-overdue materials. F. Interlibrary LoansMost circulation departments provide interlibrary loan services, which allow users torequest items from other libraries that participate in interlibrary loan networks.Interlibrary loans give users access to resources not available in their own libraries.However, most libraries limit the kinds of materials that are available in an interlibraryloan. For example, videos, sound recordings, and computer software are often notavailable through interlibrary loan even though they may be borrowed directly from thelibrary that maintains these items. In large library systems, the circulation department at
the central library generally coordinates interlibrary distribution of library materials tousers of the various branches who request these items.Library users typically request interlibrary loan materials at the circulation desk of theirlocal library. Users with connections to the Internet can access the catalogs of remotelibraries online. That way the users can determine whether these libraries own desiredmaterial and whether that material is available through interlibrary loan. In addition,online users can often request items directly from a remote library that participates in aninterlibrary loan network with the user’s local library. When users request materialsthrough an interlibrary loan program, the materials from the remote library are usuallydelivered to the user’s local library through mail or delivery services. Increasingly,however, libraries share copies of materials using the Internet or facsimile transmissions(faxes). This enables libraries to share subscriptions to expensive journals, reduceinstitutional costs, and save space on library shelves while providing access to manymore titles than any one library can afford. VI. REFERENCE Reference Librarian Full SizeBecause libraries provide access to ever-expanding sources of knowledge, findingspecific pieces of information is often a complex procedure. To assist users in findinginformation, most academic and large public libraries employ professional referencelibrarians who have special training in research techniques and information retrieval.Reference librarians help individuals and organizations find information and make
effective use of library resources. Reference librarians are also available to recommendnotable works of fiction, nonfiction, and poetry, as well as videos and sound recordings.Materials in the library’s reference section include items such as encyclopedias,dictionaries, atlases, and handbooks. These materials are generally stored next to thelibrary’s reference desk. They are typically unavailable for circulation so that all userscan access them at any given time. Some public libraries offer quick reference servicesover the telephone. For questions that require more extensive research, a referencelibrarian will often refer users to staff members who specialize in a particular subject, orthey will consult online databases. At some public and academic libraries, referencelibrarians charge a small fee to perform research using online resources.Large public libraries may employ reference librarians who specialize in children’smaterials. Because children are often relatively inexperienced in library use, theyfrequently turn to reference librarians for assistance in finding materials. Many childrenask questions related to their school work, but they also request information abouthobbies, popular culture, and social issues that interest them. Parents, guardians, andchild-care providers also turn to children’s reference librarians for assistance in findinginformation on issues such as child development, education, nutrition, and health.Reference work requires skill in interpersonal communication, familiarity with theexpanding array of information sources, and a command of general knowledge.Reference librarians attempt to anticipate users’ questions and to improve the quality oflibrary services by preparing guides, brochures, multimedia presentations, and self-tutorials on effective library use. In many academic institutions, reference librarians offercourses in library use and research strategies. VII. CAREERS IN LIBRARY WORKLibrarianship—the science of managing the operations of a library—did not emerge as adistinct and separate profession until the end of the 19th century. Until then, theindividuals who oversaw library operations usually combined these duties with theirwork in other professions. For example, in the Middle Ages priests or universityprofessors often assumed the responsibilities of managing library operations. Aseducation for librarians became standardized during the 20th century, the professioneventually became well established. Librarianship developed further as professionallibrarians established networks and associations through which they shared a body ofknowledge, published professional journals, and instituted codes of ethics. A. Librarians and Library Staff
The typical library staff consists of three levels of employees: professional librarians,support staff, and part-time assistants. The proportion of each of these in any giveninstitution depends on the type of library, its budget, and the types of users it serves.Professional librarians usually constitute the smallest number of a library’s employees.Most professional librarians have earned at least a master’s degree in library science orinformation science, the study of information and the manner in which it is generated,recorded, stored, retrieved, transmitted, and used. Some professional librarians haveearned additional graduate degrees as well. Professional librarians require a wide range ofskills and talents. They must have solid bibliographic and technological skills, as well asstrong communication and interpersonal abilities. Advances in library technologies havealso led to a high demand for professional skills such as database searching andcompetence in using the Internet and other computer networks and systems.The librarian in charge of administering the entire institution is usually referred to as thedirector. Other professional librarians typically administer the library’s variousdepartments. In small libraries, however, the director may be solely responsible formanaging all of the library’s departments. In addition to their managerial work,professional librarians assume primary responsibility for providing reference assistance,developing and managing the collections, and overseeing cataloging.Nonprofessional support staff commonly assume most of the responsibility for directlyserving library users. Their activities include essential functions such as inputting,coding, and verifying bibliographic and other data; ordering library materials; assistingwith catalog development; performing circulation duties such as checking out books tousers; and performing other services vital to the library’s daily operation.Most libraries employ part-time staff members in addition to full-time professional andsupport staff. Part-time staff members typically shelve books, perform low-level clericalduties, and carry out other relatively simple but essential tasks. In academic libraries,large numbers of part-time student-assistants play a critical role in the day-to-dayfunctioning of the library. Public libraries also hire so-called library pages to helpperform tasks that require no professional training, such as shelving books andperiodicals. In addition, many public libraries make use of community volunteers to assistlibrary staff in simple tasks. Many professional librarians were first attracted to theprofession while they were working as library assistants, pages, or volunteers.In small libraries, librarians might perform a range of tasks, with one or two librariansand possibly a clerk handling all of the activities of the library. Because of the small sizeof the staff, a single librarian might combine clerical and professional tasks. In largelibraries, the support staff have taken on many of the tasks previously performed byprofessionals. Much of this transfer of responsibility has been made possible by theintroduction of relatively simple and efficient computer technology, which has permittedsupport staff to accomplish large portions of cataloging that were once done byprofessionals. Additionally, while professional librarians usually manage library
functions such as circulation and acquisition, support staff or part-time workers oftenperform the bulk of the actual tasks in these departments.The patterns of library staffing vary from country to country. In general, libraries in moredeveloped countries distinguish clearly between the tasks done by professional andnonprofessional staff. In less developed countries, the smaller size of staffs and a lack ofnew, efficient computer technology have made this separation more difficult. B. Education of LibrariansFor centuries, young people learned to be librarians while on the job with moreexperienced practitioners. Librarians often performed difficult tasks, but their dutiesusually did not require specialized professional training. Since the late 19th century,however, the tasks performed by librarians have become more complex and moredependent on technology. As a result, the study of library science has moved from thework setting to professional schools in universities.In the United States and Canada, education designed for the professional librarian is atthe postgraduate level. Prospective librarians attend one- or two-year professionaleducation programs leading to a master’s degree in library science or its equivalent, suchas information science. Traditionally, professional librarians studied subjects in theliberal arts, such as literature or history, before beginning their professional education.An increasing number of librarians now have undergraduate degrees in the naturalsciences, computer science, business, or other related areas. 1 . Growth of Library Education ProgramsAmerican librarian Melvil Dewey began the first formal education program for thetraining of librarians in 1887 at Columbia College (now Columbia University) in NewYork, where he was librarian. The program moved to the New York State Library inAlbany when Dewey became director there in 1889. The success of Dewey’s program intraining highly skilled professional librarians soon led other universities, institutes oftechnology, and large public libraries to establish their own professional degree programsin library science.Early library schools largely based their teaching on providing students with experiencein actual libraries. However, this practice began to change in 1923 with the publication ofTraining for Library Service, a book by economist Charles Williamson. The so-calledWilliamson Report advocated continuing the trend of moving library-science programs touniversity settings. It also called for an increase in educational theory for librarianship,
the development of professional journals and other literature on the profession, and theemployment of full-time faculty as instructors of library science.Over time, universities implemented the changes called for in the Williamson Report, andthe quality of education for librarianship gradually increased. In the first part of the 20thcentury, graduates of these schools received bachelor’s degrees in library science. Thesedegrees designated completion of four years of undergraduate work and an additionalyearlong course of study in library science. In the 1950s universities began makinglibrary science a professional degree, generally called a master’s degree of libraryscience, or M.L.S. degree. 2 . Modern ProgramsThe skills and specialized knowledge demanded of librarians have continued to increase,and schools of library science have adjusted their curriculums accordingly. Most schoolsof librarianship have responded to the heightened use of technology by increasing thenumber of courses in information science. Information science combines aspects oflibrarianship with technical elements such as computer programming,telecommunications, database management, and computer graphics. It also includes thestudy of ways in which humans process information and ways in which people interactwith machines. Information science programs integrate study from the fields ofcommunication, computer science, cognitive psychology, artificial intelligence,mathematics, philosophy, engineering, business, and others. This interdisciplinarybackground gives graduates a broad knowledge of library automation, systems, budgets,online searching, research, and cataloging. Since the 1980s, most schools of libraryscience have become schools of library and information science or simply schools ofinformation science.Many schools permit or require students to gain some practical training in a library beforeapplying for their first job as a librarian. A growing number of schools also requirecourses in research methods. To have sufficient time to teach the new skills needed bylibrarians without sacrificing any of the traditional bibliographic skills, a number ofschools have increased the amount of class hours required for a degree.All programs to educate librarians share certain characteristics. They provide courses incataloging and classification, reference, management, and collections development.Programs typically offer courses in the history of books and librarianship to give studentsa background in the profession’s past. Students in most schools of library and informationscience have the opportunity to develop at least some degree of specialization. Some maytake advanced courses in a particular library function, such as reference work, whileothers may take courses related to a particular type of library, such as a course in medicallibrarianship or public librarianship.
Few four-year colleges and universities offer programs specifically for the training oflibrary support staff. Because the range of work done by support staff varies so greatly,there is no uniform educational system for these nonprofessional positions. Many supportstaff have a four-year college degree, and some have graduate degrees. Others have onlya high school education or a two-year associate degree from a community college.Library support staff often have no training specifically designed to prepare them forwork in a library except for the training they receive on the job. In the United States andCanada, some library support staff are graduates of formal library training programsoffered by two-year community colleges.Library employees at every level benefit from ongoing study in continuing educationprograms. At one time it was possible for new employees to come to the job knowingalmost everything they would need for a lifetime of employment, but that is not the casetoday. All library systems are continually changing, and employees need to update theireducation and training to keep abreast of these developments. Most schools of library andinformation science offer a range of continuing education courses designed for libraryemployees who wish to modernize or expand their skills. In addition, various professionalassociations offer continuing education courses for library employees. C. Professional AssociationsLike members of other professions, librarians have banded together in professionalassociations to solve common problems and to advance the profession. Theseprofessional associations address issues such as financial support for libraries, censorship,and cooperative acquisition of library materials. They also attempt to influence legislationthat affects libraries, establish policies and standards relating to libraries and librarians,and support continuing education for librarians. Almost all of these organizations publishjournals or monographs relating to their particular areas of interest. Professional libraryassociations hold conferences on a regular basis so that librarians may come togetherwith colleagues to develop policy and share ideas.Professional associations for librarians operate at the local, regional, national, andinternational levels. Most professional librarians belong to at least one professionalorganization. This section of the article lists some of the largest and most influentiallibrary associations. For more information about library associations worldwide, see theLibraries of the World section of this article.The American Library Association (ALA), founded by Melvil Dewey and others in 1876,is the oldest and largest library association in the world. Headquartered in Chicago,Illinois, the ALA’s membership comprises librarians from all types of libraries. The ALAholds a large annual conference each summer, as well as a midwinter meeting each year.The association is highly influential in the publishing field and in lobbying on behalf oflibrarians.
The Canadian Library Association (CLA), founded in 1946, is the national libraryassociation of Canada. Like other national library associations, it holds an annualconference featuring workshops, exhibits, and awards ceremonies to present researchgrants and scholarships. It has its headquarters in Ottawa, Ontario.The Library Association is the national library association of the United Kingdom.Founded in 1877, the Library Association consists of members throughout the UnitedKingdom and in more than 100 countries around the world. It maintains headquarters inLondon, England.The Special Libraries Association (SLA), founded in 1909, has a large membershipdrawn from various types of special libraries. It offers continuing education courses andpublishes a range of professional materials for special librarians. The SLA has itsheadquarters in Washington, D.C.The Association for Library and Information Science Education (ALISE), founded in1915, is the professional association for faculty members in schools of library andinformation science. Its purpose is to promote excellence in education for library andinformation science. The ALISE maintains headquarters in Arlington, Virginia.The American Society for Information Science (ASIS) was founded in 1937 as theAmerican Documentation Institute, and changed its name to its present one in 1967. Itsmembers work to develop new and better theories, techniques, and technologies toimprove access to information. It has its headquarters in Silver Spring, Maryland.The Association of Research Libraries (ARL), founded in 1932, represents the libraries ofNorth American research institutions. The organization addresses issues common toresearch libraries, such as teaching, research, community service, and scholarship. Itmaintains headquarters in Washington, D.C.The Society of American Archivists (SAA), begun in 1936, is an association ofarchivists, librarians, record managers, historians, and manuscript curators. Located inChicago, Illinois, it provides leadership to help ensure the identification, preservation,and use of the nation’s historical records. D. International Library ProgramsSeveral professional organizations and private foundations around the world work topromote international cooperation in establishing new libraries and in improving serviceat existing libraries. These organizations also provide librarians with international forumsin which they can exchange ideas, develop networks for sharing resources, and createcompatible standards and protocols for various library procedures. Some of the mostprominent international library programs are those sponsored by the InternationalFederation of Library Associations and Institutions (IFLA); the United Nations
Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO); the InternationalFederation for Documentation and Information (FID); the International Council onArchives (ICA); the British Council; the United States Department of State; and theInternational Association of School Librarianship (IASL). Private foundations alsopromote increased and improved library services around the world.The International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions (IFLA) is anindependent association that represents libraries and library associations around theworld. The organization maintains headquarters in The Hague, Netherlands. It adviseslibraries on matters such as interlibrary loan practices, copyright laws, library buildingdesign, and development of legal deposit regulations that entitle national libraries toreceive copies of every work registered for copyright in their respective countries. It alsostimulates cooperation among writers, scholars, publishers, and libraries, and it assistslibrarians in promoting literacy and universal access to knowledge. In addition, IFLAadvocates the formation of a worldwide information network.The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO)promotes international cooperation in the areas of education, science, culture, andcommunication. As part of this mission, UNESCO funds programs for the construction oflibraries around the world and for the improvement of existing library services. Forexample, its support has enabled countries in the Middle East to establish the ArabInformation Systems Network, through which member libraries can share collections andservices. UNESCO maintains headquarters in Paris, France.The International Federation for Documentation and Information (known as FID) is oneof the world’s oldest and most influential international library organizations. FID wasfounded in 1895 in Brussels, Belgium, by bibliographers Henri LaFontaine and PaulOtlet, who first developed the Universal Decimal Classification system. Today, FIDmaintains headquarters in The Hague, Netherlands. Over the years, FID has beenresponsible for creating standards for microfiche reproduction; conducting research onthe theoretical aspects of information; and promoting research on the impact ofinformation, communications, and knowledge on national economies and society.The International Council on Archives (ICA) is an alliance of archival institutions,professional associations, and individual professional archivists. Founded in 1948, theICA is concerned with the management of records and archives in all media and formatsthroughout their life cycle. The council also facilitates and promotes the use of recordsand archives by scholars and the general public. Areas of ongoing interest includemaintenance of electronic archives, disaster preparedness planning, and automation ofarchival resources. The ICA has its headquarters in Paris, France.The British Council is the United Kingdom’s international network for education, culture,and development services. It has established libraries in many countries of LatinAmerica, Eastern Europe, Asia, and Africa, all managed by local staff. It has alsodeveloped an online library based in Helsinki, Finland, that is available to other libraries
around the world. The British Council has headquarters in London and Manchester,England.The U.S. Department of State, through its Office of International Information Programs,maintains about 150 information resource centers in more than 110 countries. Thesecenters were administered by the United States Information Agency until 1999, when theagency was abolished and its functions transferred to the State Department. The centersfeature electronic equipment that can rapidly deliver information promoting U.S. intereststo foreign governments, media, and educational institutions. In developing countries, theState Department supports public libraries that encourage study and understanding ofAmerican society and institutions. The department has its headquarters in Washington,D.C.The International Association of School Librarianship (IASL) encourages thedevelopment of school libraries and library programs throughout the world. Founded in1971, the IASL also promotes collaboration among libraries in all countries, including thelending and exchanging of library materials. The organization maintains headquarters inSeattle, Washington.Private philanthropic organizations also provide leadership in the establishment andmaintenance of libraries around the world. In the early 20th century the CarnegieCorporation of New York was instrumental in establishing free public libraries in Africa,Latin America, and the South Pacific, but the organization stopped this program in 1917.Today the Ford Foundation, based in New York City, provides vital financial support forlibraries in the developing nations of Africa, Asia, and Latin America. VIII. TRENDS AND CHALLENGESLibraries of all types are experiencing a period of radical change. Technological andsocial developments that began in the late 20th century have fundamentally altered theways libraries accomplish their traditional missions of selecting, organizing, preserving,and providing access to information. A. Growth of Information and Technology Library Computer Services
Electronic sources of information and low-cost microcomputers have introducedunprecedented changes to the services and operations of modern libraries. Computingtrends that began in the 1980s have enabled low-cost digital storage of information, rapidtransmission of data across computer networks, and sophisticated retrieval and processingof electronic documents and information. These changes—especially the rapid spread ofthe Internet—have reshaped the feasibility and economics of information distribution soradically that they have permanently altered the ways in which librarians perform theirwork. Against this background of increased information availability and technologicalinnovation, libraries are developing new, at times revolutionary, methods of providingusers with access to an ever-expanding amount of information. 1 . Automation of Library FunctionsLibraries first sought to automate their internal operations in the 1960s. The Machine-Readable Catalog (MARC) project, begun in 1966 by 16 American libraries, establisheda standard format for electronic versions of the card catalog. Because a number oflibraries collaborated to form the MARC standard, they shared the enormous burden ofcreating records for the electronic catalog. By 1972 libraries around the world were usingand contributing to the development of the revised MARC standard, known as MARC II.The potential of saving tremendous amounts of time and money through sharedcataloging led to many other cooperative projects among libraries. In the United Statesand Canada, several regional organizations grew out of these efforts, including the OhioCollege Library Center (OCLC), a computer network for Ohio’s college and universitylibraries; the Research Library Information Network (RLIN) of the Research LibrariesGroup, a consortium of libraries founded by Columbia, Harvard, and Yale universitiesand the New York Public Library; and the University of Toronto Library AutomationSystem (UTLAS). In addition to the initial goal of providing shared cataloging, regionalorganizations offer an array of services to libraries, including online acquisitions servicesand interlibrary loan systems.Many of these regional organizations evolved to become national and internationalnetworks. Large organizations that share catalogs with one another are known asbibliographic utilities. Their massive catalogs compile materials from many memberlibraries, creating a vast resource for catalogers and researchers alike. For example,OCLC eventually grew to become the Online Computer Library Center, which serves asan international library computer service, bibliographic utility, and research center that bythe 1990s contained more than 41 million records in its union catalog, known asWorldCat. Similarly, the UTLAS consortium of Canadian libraries was purchased by theU.S. firm Auto-Graphics, which set up a subsidiary in Canada to run this shared catalogof Canadian library databases. The new name of this service is AG Canada.In the early 1980s some libraries began to feature online public access catalogs (OPACs),which allow users to access the libraries’ catalogs via computer. Previously, the high cost
of acquiring the new computer technology and the difficulty in using the first softwareprograms meant that libraries had to restrict use of online catalogs to a few speciallytrained librarians. By the 1980s, however, advances in technology and reductions in costallowed libraries to begin offering public access to online catalogs. For example, theUniversity of California system introduced its massive online public access catalog,MELVYL, in 1981.Today, online public access catalogs are a common feature of all types of libraries. Theyhave replaced and integrated four separate card catalogs: one each for author, title, andsubject, as well as a card for the call-number shelf list. Online catalogs allow for rapidsearching in each of these designated fields, as well as in some fields—such as the typeof publication or the language in which a work was written—that were not searchable inthe past. Since they were first introduced, online catalogs have been enhanced by theaddition of keyword searching, which allows a user to search for works using any word ina given field. Online catalogs also typically allow users to determine whether a givenitem has been checked out by another user, and if so, when the item is due back in thelibrary. 2 . Automated ResearchAs early as the 1960s some researchers gained improved access to information with theintroduction of electronic databases that contain abstracts and indexes of library holdings.These databases—known as abstracting and indexing (A&I) databases—containpublishing data for articles and books as well as abstracts that summarize each work’scontent. By the early 1970s, commercial online services provided researchers with waysto remotely search through large databases, such as the Dialog Information RetrievalService (DIALOG), the National Library of Medicine’s Medical Literature Analysis andRetrieval System (MEDLARS), and the Educational Resources Information Center(ERIC) database published by the U.S. Department of Education. Several othercommercial databases now provide researchers with access to an enormous amount ofinformation. For example, the DIALOG Corp., Dow Jones Interactive (a division of DowJones & Company), and Lexis-Nexis (a division of Reed Elsevier) all enable researchersto search for a single word or phrase in the full text of millions of articles published overmany years.The first abstracting and indexing databases—like the first online library catalogs—werevery expensive and difficult to use. They generally required a trained researcher whoworked as an intermediary for library patrons searching for information. Beginning in themid-1980s, however, commercial vendors began publishing databases on CD-ROM.These databases were less expensive to produce and easier to use. The new formatallowed users to quickly search databases with relatively little assistance from trainedprofessionals.
3. The InternetSidebarsPOINT/COUNTERPOINTShould the Government Subsidize Internet Access?The explosive growth of the Internet has raised concerns about the creation of a “digitaldivide” between those who can afford Internet access and those who cannot. Will thepoor be left behind as jobs and other opportunities in the United States economyincreasingly shift to Internet-related businesses? Will those with Internet access enjoyeducational advantages over those without such access? Should the government step in tohelp? In this Point/Counterpoint Sidebar, attorney Mark Schwartz argues that free-marketforces are lowering costs and expanding access more quickly and efficiently than anygovernment action could. Tony Wilhelm, director of the Benton Foundation’sCommunications Policy Program, counters that the government needs to intervene toguarantee access for all citizens.open sidebarThe Internet, a computer-based worldwide information network, has had an enormousimpact on libraries. Librarians use the Internet and its multimedia component, the WorldWide Web, to answer reference questions and to provide access to materials notpreviously available to their patrons. When the Internet was first introduced in the 1960s,access to computer networks was limited almost exclusively to government and scientificcommunities. In the 1980s and 1990s, however, the speed and availability of computernetworks and data communications lines increased tremendously, and greater numbers ofpeople gained access to the Internet. On university campuses, investment in personalcomputers and high-speed local area networks (LANs) provided students and faculty withthe ability to access vast new sources of information via the Internet.Americans who cannot afford access to the Internet have increasingly turned to publiclibraries to bridge the information gap between rich and poor. Many public libraries haveattempted to meet that challenge by making Internet access a top priority. As a result,libraries have extended their traditional roles of facilitating self-education and individualenrichment by providing low-cost or free computer access to online resources such asgovernment, consumer, medical, and legal information. In 1996 fewer than 28 percent ofpublic libraries in the United States offered their users access to the Internet. By 1999 thatfigure had climbed to more than 72 percent. For more information, see the subsectionIntellectual Freedom in the Trends and Challenges section of this article. B. FundingBeginning in the late 1980s, an economic recession in the United States led to dramaticcuts in funding for all kinds of libraries. These cuts were especially damaging to publiclibraries and to libraries in public schools. With their budgets severely reduced, publiclibrary systems across the country began closing many of their branches. Many
communities—such as Worcester, Massachusetts, and Merced County, California—wereforced to close their entire public library systems, including the central library and all ofits branches. Public libraries that remained open often could not afford to update theircollections with new books and magazine subscriptions. Even after the U.S. economyrebounded in the mid-1990s, public libraries continued to struggle in their efforts to meetincreased public demand for information while facing rising costs for staff training,materials, and equipment.Public schools also face budget shortfalls for their libraries. For example, demand forInternet access strains most school library budgets, often at the expense of traditionallibrary materials such as books and magazine subscriptions. The National Center forEducation Statistics estimates that U.S. school library expenditures on books droppedfrom a peak of $478 million in 1974 to $266 million in the school year of 1992-93. Muchof this reduction in expenditures on books is the result of costs associated with providingcomputers, Internet access, CD-ROMs, and other new technologies. Related costs includeseveral thousands of dollars each year on staff training, computer maintenance, softwareupgrades, online reference subscriptions, and computer supplies such as printer paper andtoner cartridges.For more information about funding in public libraries, see the subsection PublicLibraries: Funding in the Types of Libraries section of this article. For information aboutthe history of funding public libraries in the United States and Canada, see the subsectionUnited States and Canada: Public Libraries in the History of Libraries section of thisarticle. C. Theft of Library MaterialsWhen libraries allow users to physically handle their materials and to borrow them forperiods of time, these materials inevitably are vulnerable to theft. Some experts haveestimated that public libraries in the United States lose as much as 2 percent of circulatedmaterials when users fail to return borrowed items. Some users steal library materials toillegally resell them, while others simply take the materials home for their private use andfail to return them.Libraries of all types primarily lose items not through premeditated theft, but when usersopenly check out materials and ignore pleas to return them. Many states have laws thatallow libraries to turn users’ overdue accounts over to collection agencies. Libraries thatcatch users stealing their materials cancel the thieves’ borrowing privileges and oftenprosecute the thieves under the law.Libraries usually monitor their collections by tagging materials with magnetic strips.These strips will trigger alarms if users try to carry the materials through electronic gatesat library exits without properly checking out the items at the circulation desk. Somelibraries also limit access to valuable or popular items that they consider more likely to be
stolen. For example, libraries may require users to leave an identification card withlibrary staff members in order to read certain materials. Research libraries usually requireusers to read noncirculating materials only in designated reading rooms. Many librariesalso install security cameras or have security officers who patrol reading rooms andstacks. D. Preservation of Library MaterialsLibraries have always struggled against the physical destruction of their collections.Fires, floods, earthquakes, and wars have damaged the holdings of countless libraries,destroying forever much of the recorded history of human civilization. But librarymaterials also fall victim to slow decay caused by acid content in paper, insectinfestation, improper storage or handling, and excessive heat, mildew, humidity, and airpollution. The slow decomposition of library materials is a universal problem, occurringon a massive scale in developing and industrialized countries alike. In 1990 theAssociation of Research Libraries estimated that in the United States as much as 25percent of the materials in research libraries were at risk of serious decomposition. Thesituation is even worse in developing countries, which typically have much smallerbudgets to direct toward the maintenance and preservation of library materials. To ensurethat library materials remain available to present and future generations of library users,libraries engage in a variety of preservation efforts. These efforts include theconservation of original materials and the transfer of information from original materialsto more durable formats. 1 . Paper-Based MaterialsOne of the greatest threats to library materials stems from the acid content of paper inbooks, manuscripts, and other materials. Until the mid-19th century, nearly all the paperused for written or printed materials was made from cotton or linen rags. This type ofpaper could last several hundred years without decomposition. Since then, however, thevast majority of paper has been made from wood pulp treated with acidic chemicals. Theresidual acid slowly decomposes the paper, causing it to become extremely brittle. Therate of decomposition depends on the original quality of the paper and on theenvironmental conditions under which the materials have been stored. Acid-based paperis especially susceptible to light, heat, humidity, and pollution, all of which accelerate thedecomposition of library materials. After a period of 50 to 100 years, books made withacid-based paper decompose to the point where they can crumble with any handling atall.Libraries and archives can stop the harmful effects of acid in paper by using adeacidification process, which retards the embrittlement of paper, greatly prolonging the
life span of paper-based library materials. In early deacidification efforts, libraryconservationists dipped highly valuable pages, one sheet at a time, into a water-basedalkaline solution that neutralized the acid in the paper. Because this was an extremelytime-consuming and expensive process, only the most valuable pages of library materialscould be preserved. However, in 1996 the Library of Congress began implementing amass deacidification process that can neutralize the acid of several thousand books at atime by using a gaseous mixture. The Library of Congress estimates that deacidificationcan prolong the life span of paper-based library materials by 250 to 300 years.Some research libraries and archives, especially at colleges and universities, preservetheir highly valuable collections by storing them in specially designed facilities thatstrictly control the levels of light, heat, and humidity. The facilities also feature air-circulation systems that filter out damaging airborne pollutants. Access to the storageareas is often limited to trained staff members. The staff members retrieve the materialsand deliver them to patrons for use in reading rooms, where proper handling procedurescan be ensured.Publishers can contribute to future preservation efforts by following the guidelines of theAmerican Library Association and other library organizations, which advise publishers touse acid-free paper when printing new books considered to have enduring value. Despitewide acceptance of the value of these guidelines, fewer than 20 percent of hardcoverbooks in the United States are printed on acid-free paper. Even fewer paperback booksare printed on acid-free paper.Aside from conserving original materials through processes such as deacidification,libraries transfer the information from some fragile materials to newer, more durableformats. For example, to preserve the information contained in newspapers, books, andother paper-based materials, libraries photographically reproduce the pages ontomicrofilm or microfiche, miniature transparencies that users can magnify for viewing orprinting with special equipment. Microfilm and microfiche significantly increase thelongevity of library content. They also enable libraries to store bulky, paper-baseddocuments in much smaller spaces. 2 . Audio and Visual MaterialsNot only paper-based materials risk deterioration on library shelves. Similar dangersconfront audio and visual library materials, such as sound recordings, photographs, films,and videotapes. For example, nitrate-based film stock was the only available format formotion-picture production until 1951, but the nitrate in this type of film causes it to decayvery quickly, even in controlled settings. Today, half of the 21,000 feature-length filmsmade in the United States before 1951 no longer exist. Many have been lost or destroyed,but a vast number have simply decomposed beyond repair. Libraries and archivespreserve nitrate-based films by transferring the images to a more resilient, acetate-basedfilm stock. They preserve other audio and visual materials in similar ways. For example,
original sound recordings are preserved by transferring them from delicate and unstablewax cylinders or magnetic tapes to newer digital formats such as CD-ROMs.In addition to preserving their materials from deterioration, libraries must guard againstthe obsolescence of machine-readable materials—materials that are read and interpretedby machines. Many valuable documents in machine-readable materials were firstrecorded in formats that have now become obsolete. Machines able to play back therecordings either no longer exist or are so rare that they are not practical for use inlibraries or even for storage in archives. For example, U.S. president Richard Nixon usedSony Model 800 machines to record the famous White House tapes that eventuallyincriminated him in the Watergate scandal of the early 1970s. Today these tape machinesare obsolete, and only a few still exist to play back the original White House tapes. Toallow historians, scholars, and interested citizens to hear these recordings, the NationalArchives and Records Administration transferred them to newer formats, such as CD-ROMs. 3 . Computer DataComputer software and hardware introduce additional problems to the preservationefforts of libraries and archives. Because common standards for computer software andhardware change so quickly, vast amounts of information stored in obsolete computerscan no longer be accessed using modern equipment. As a result, libraries and archivesrisk forever losing access to valuable computer documents such as government statisticaldata and geological surveys. To ensure that original computer data remain accessibleusing contemporary equipment, libraries and archives must continually transfer these datato new formats. For example, every ten years the National Archives and RecordsAdministration transfers all computer data and other electronic records to new formats.Because transferring electronic records can be an extremely costly and time-consumingprocess, most library conservators and archivists can transfer and preserve only thosematerials that they determine are of enduring value. As the quantity of computer-basedrecords increases each year, the task of identifying which electronic materials warrantpreservation becomes increasingly difficult. E. Intellectual FreedomLibraries attempt to acquire, create, and provide access to all types of information,including information that is potentially controversial. In the United States, librarianshave steadfastly defended this practice, which is known as intellectual freedom.Intellectual freedom encompasses a broad set of principles that support freedom ofspeech and freedom of the press. The most widely endorsed expression of intellectualfreedom is the Library Bill of Rights, first drafted by the American Library Association
(ALA) in 1939. In recent years, the availability of controversial information over theInternet has presented new challenges to the principles of intellectual freedom. 1 . The Library Bill of RightsSince the mid-20th century, the American Library Association has presented the mostpersistent and influential defense of the library’s role in protecting intellectual freedom.The ALA’s Library Bill of Rights is a basic policy statement on access to libraries andlibrary materials. It asserts that all libraries are forums of information and ideas, and thatlibraries should not exclude certain materials because of the origin, background, or viewsof the author or others involved in the creation of the materials.Americans first expressed their ideas about intellectual freedom by condemning thecensorship of specific publications. In 1939 certain libraries around the country begancensoring the novel The Grapes of Wrath, by American author John Steinbeck. Somelibrarians removed the book from their shelves because they considered it immoral, butmost who censored the novel opposed the social and political views advanced by theauthor. The ALA responded to the censorship of The Grapes of Wrath and other books byadopting in 1939 the first draft of the Library Bill of Rights. Since then, the ALA hasrevised, amended, and interpreted the document several times, often in response topressures against specific publications or library practices.Over the years, the ALA has broadened the scope of the Library Bill of Rights beyondopposition to censorship. The ALA now encourages libraries to ensure that everymember of the community has free access to library materials, regardless of anindividual’s origin, age, background, or views about society or politics. In addition, theALA asserts that libraries must strive to protect the confidentiality of patrons’ circulationrecords to ensure that every individual may freely use all library materials without fear ofreprisal. The ALA also encourages libraries to protect their librarians’ own intellectualfreedom by guaranteeing them rights to free expression without fear of professionalreprisal. Finally, the ALA suggests that libraries should carefully determine whether theymay advocate social or political causes without compromising their objectivity in theselection of materials. 2 . Intellectual Freedom and the InternetThe Internet has introduced unique challenges to libraries’ defense of intellectualfreedom. Since the Internet emerged as a mainstream communications medium in themid-1990s, libraries have provided Internet access in an effort to expand the scope ofinformation available to users. However, many people feel that some content available onthe Internet, particularly pornography, should not be available for viewing in libraries.
These people are particularly concerned that children will gain access to sexually explicitmaterials through Internet computer terminals in libraries.Citing free-speech protections, U.S. federal courts have repeatedly blocked laws designedto protect children from accessing pornography on the Internet, and libraries are payingclose attention to these rulings. In a unanimous decision in 1997, the United StatesSupreme Court struck down the Communications Decency Act, a 1996 law that made it acrime to make “indecent” or “patently offensive” material available to minors overcomputer networks. In the Court’s decision, Justice John Paul Stevens wrote that “theinterest in encouraging freedom of expression in a democratic society outweighs anytheoretical but unproven benefit of censorship.” Lawmakers responded in 1998 bypassing a narrower antipornography bill, the Child Online Protection Act (COPA). Thislaw required commercial World Wide Web sites to ensure that children could not accessmaterial deemed “harmful to minors.” In 1999 a federal judge blocked that bill as well,ruling that it too would dangerously restrict constitutionally protected free speech.Despite legislative and community efforts to limit children’s access to particular sites onthe Internet, the ALA maintains that, in accordance with the Library Bill of Rights,libraries must support access to information on all subjects that serve the needs orinterests of each user, regardless of the user’s age or the content of the material.Accordingly, the ALA opposes efforts to block library users’ access to specific types ofcontent on the Internet, including efforts to block access to pornographic content.Furthermore, it argues that providing connections to the Internet and other electronicnetworks is not the same as selecting and purchasing material for a library’s collection.The ALA therefore maintains that users themselves must assume responsibility fordetermining what material is appropriate. Likewise, the ALA argues that parents andlegal guardians who are concerned about their children’s use of electronic resourcesshould provide guidance to their own children rather than requiring libraries to do so.However, the ALA does acknowledge that some information accessed electronically maynot meet a library’s standards for the content of its own collection.Many parent advocacy groups have expressed concern that the ALA’s defense ofintellectual freedom has had the unintended effect of allowing children to viewpornographic materials on the library’s computers. Some local public libraries haveresponded to these concerns by reserving specific Internet terminals for children. Thelibraries have equipped these computers with special software designed to filter out anypornographic material while allowing access to all other materials. Critics of filteringsoftware claim that it blocks access to numerous sites that have nothing to do withpornography or sexually explicit material.In 1997 the ALA issued a strong statement against the use of filtering software bylibraries, affirming that the use of such software to block access to constitutionallyprotected speech violates the Library Bill of Rights. The ALA joined civil libertiesgroups in opposing the Children’s Internet Protection Act, a 2000 law that required allpublic schools and libraries receiving federal technology funds to install filteringsoftware. In 2002 a panel of three federal judges unanimously struck down the law,
finding that the filtering software suppressed Web sites whose content wasconstitutionally protected. However, in 2003 the Supreme Court reversed that decisionand declared the law constitutional. Just as libraries have the right to excludepornography from their print collections, the Court said, so too may they excludeinappropriate material from their Internet terminals. Concerns about infringement of freespeech are misplaced, the Court ruled, because the law allows libraries to permit access toblocked sites at the request of patrons for “bona fide research or other lawful purposes.”The burden placed on these library patrons, the Court said, was “comparatively small”when weighed against the legitimate interest of the government in shielding childrenfrom inappropriate sexual material.Until the 1960s very few libraries offered services specifically designed for people withdisabilities. Since then, however, many libraries have made significant modifications totheir buildings and to their collections in an effort to provide the disabled communitywith access to library resources and services. For instance, libraries now serve the needsof the visually impaired with reading materials printed in the Braille system (a system ofraised dots that can be read by touch), books on tape (audio recordings of books,commonly known as talking books), and large-print magazines and books for users withlimited sight.In the United States, the passage in 1990 of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)led to significantly greater access to library resources for people with disabilities. TheADA provided disabled persons with protection against discrimination and guaranteedthem access to public services and accommodations. Libraries complied with the law by,among other things, adding entrance ramps and elevators to provide wheelchair usersgreater access to library buildings. They also widened aisles in the book stacks to allowthese same patrons easier access to library materials.The Library of Congress’s National Library Service for the Blind and PhysicallyHandicapped issues a catalog of recordings on compact disc and cassette. It also listsbooks available in large-print and Braille editions. A cooperative network of librariesthroughout the country circulates these materials to make them available to as many usersas possible. Libraries in the United States have also assisted with the development ofRadio Information Service, a closed-circuit radio reading service for people who arevisually impaired. Volunteers for this service read newspapers, books, novels, and shortstories for users via closed-circuit radio.Modern technology has expanded library services for people with impaired vision andhearing. For example, some libraries have introduced computers with the Versa Braillesystem, which translates what is appearing on a computer screen into Braille characters.Some libraries also feature a device called an Optacon, which converts print or computeroutput into a tactile form. To read, the user moves the Optacon camera across a line ofprint while interpreting the movements of the tactile forms with the index finger of theother hand. The Kurzweil Reading Machine is another computer device that librariesprovide for visually impaired users. It scans a book, magazine, or other printed materialand then reads it aloud using a synthesized voice. The Reading Edge Scanner can also
convert printed text into speech. Some libraries are equipped with Braille printers, whichallow blind and visually impaired patrons to make Braille copies of computer-generatedmaterial. For people with limited vision, some libraries provide computers with largekeyboards, oversized keys, and monitors that automatically enlarge the letters that appearon the screen.Some libraries provide specialized telecommunications devices for the deaf and thehearing impaired, known variously as TTs (text telephones), TDDs (telecommunicationsdevices for the deaf), and TTYs (teletypewriters). TTY is the most widely used of theseabbreviations. TTYs consist of display monitors and keyboards that allow hearingimpaired users to type messages and send them via telephone lines to people with TTYdisplays in other locations. A deaf or hearing impaired person can also place a call tosomeone who does not have a TTY by sending a message through an operator at a relayservice. The operator calls the intended party on the telephone and relays messages wordfor word during the conversation. Many libraries also have other special aids andmaterials for the deaf and the hearing impaired, including closed-captioned videos, whichprint written dialog on the television screen as it is being spoken. IX. HISTORY OF LIBRARIESLibraries are nearly as old as the written word. The earliest known body of writtenmaterials was assembled in Mesopotamia (in present-day Iraq and Syria) more than 5,000years ago. Ever since then, cultures have established libraries whenever social, political,and economic developments have enabled them to record and collect knowledge. Theformation of libraries required the support of political or religious leaders who recognizedthat historical records were necessary to document, protect, and promote their society’sachievements. Libraries also could not have developed without readers—a core group ofliterate, educated people who had enough leisure time and motivation to use the newresource.The Sumerians, an ancient Mesopotamian civilization, collected written records of legalcontracts, tax assessments, and bills of sale. They recorded these documents incuneiform, a system of writing in which scribes (writers or copiers) cut wedges ofvarying size, shape, and depth into damp clay tablets. For permanent storage, theSumerians then baked the tablets and placed them in central locations. These collectionsof cuneiform tablets functioned as libraries for use by community leaders, who generallywere the only literate members of the society. Archaeological evidence shows that scoresof cuneiform library collections existed more than 4,000 years ago in Mesopotamianurban centers.Diodorus Siculus, a Greek historian of the 1st century BC, described a library of sacredtexts at Thebes in the mortuary temple of Egyptian king Ramses II (ruler from 1290 to1224 BC). However, modern archaeologists have found no evidence of such a library inexplorations of the temple ruins.
The palace library of Assyrian king Ashurbanipal, built in the city of Nineveh on theTigris River in present-day Iraq in the 600s BC, offers the earliest detailed evidence of anancient library’s composition. Ashurbanipal’s palace scribes produced the religious,literary, historical, legal, and business documents that made up the library’s collection.They produced these documents as clay, wood, and sometimes wax tablets. Over time,the scribes developed a complex system to organize and classify the library’s collection,using tablets of different shapes for different types of records. For example, they usedfour-sided tablets to record loan transactions and round tablets to record agriculturalproduction. They then placed different types of documents into containers of differentshapes and designated separate rooms for the storage of records concerning government,history, geography, law, taxes, astronomy, and other subjects. The scribes further refinedtheir bibliographic system with organizational aids such as colored markings, colophons(explanations of a document’s production), and a subject classification scheme that usedkeywords in the text’s first line. Estimates place the contents of Ashurbanipal’s library atthe time of his death at over 25,000 tablets written in several languages.Ancient GreeceAncient Greece was the first known civilization to establish libraries for use by thepopular classes as well as for members of the ruling elite. In the 500s BC Pisistratus, whoruled Athens, and Polycrates, the ruler of Sámos, both began constructing what could beconsidered public libraries. Most people still could not read, however, so in practice theselibraries served only a small percentage of the total population. In addition to thegovernment-owned libraries, wealthy Greeks and members of the professional classestablished private libraries, as well as specialized libraries in medicine, philosophy, andother disciplines. The philosopher Aristotle had an extensive library that scholarsconsulted, although historians have found no actual listing of the titles in his collection.Greek scholars Euripides, Plato, Thucydides, and Herodotus also owned significantpersonal libraries.To organize and inventory the library’s thousands of scrolls, Alexandrian poet andscholar Callimachus developed the Pinakes, a 120-volume catalog of the library’sholdings organized into at least ten main subject categories. Within these broad subjectcategories, Callimachus listed authors alphabetically by first name. A mob destroyed thelibrary of Alexandria in the 2nd century AD, but by that time it had already demonstratedthe economic and cultural value of amassing large research collections and forging a setof practices to organize and classify them.For hundreds of years the only library to rival the library of Alexandria in the size andscope of its collection was the library in the kingdom of Pergamum, in western AsiaMinor (now Turkey). Archaeological research indicates that the Pergamum librarycontained as many as 160,000 scrolls, and like the Alexandrian library it had a catalog tosimplify access to the collections. The library was founded by Attalus I, who reignedfrom 241 to 197 BC. His son, Eumenes II, who reigned from 197 to about 160 BC,significantly expanded the library. Attalus III, who became ruler of Pergamum in 138 BC,bequeathed his kingdom and its library to the Romans in 133 BC.
According to legend, Alexandrian ruler Ptolemy II banned the export of papyrus fromEgypt because he was jealous of the competing library in Pergamum. This ban forcedscribes at the Pergamum library to use an alternative writing material, and they eventuallybegan to transcribe many of their library’s texts onto parchment, a material made fromanimal skins. Ironically, the parchment turned out to be more durable than papyrus,particularly when several sheets were sewn together to form books. Because of itsincreased durability, by 400 AD parchment had replaced papyrus throughout Europe asthe principle writing material. D. Ancient RomeAfter conquering Macedonia in 146 BC, the Roman Empire acquired large collections ofliterature from the Greek libraries scattered throughout the region. Roman officials oftencarried this literature back to their private villas as spoils of war. As the Roman Empiregrew in wealth and power, Romans considered it fashionable to surround themselves withbooks as a mark of social distinction. By 50 BC many wealthy Roman families haddeveloped extensive private libraries.Although Roman emperor Julius Caesar commissioned a public library for Rome beforehe died in 44 BC, Roman libraries open to members of the public did not exist until 28 BC,when the emperor Augustus dedicated two collections attached to the Temple of Apollo.Like Ashurbanipal’s library and the library of Alexandria, however, only a fraction of thelocal population was permitted access to Roman “public” libraries. Those who did haveaccess were permitted to use the libraries primarily for official purposes. By the end ofthe 3rd century AD, Rome boasted nearly 30 quasi-public libraries, most attached totemples. These libraries divided their scroll collections by language into Greek and Latinsections, organizing them by subject and then alphabetically by author. Although housedin impressive buildings, the collections of Roman libraries were small in size andvulnerable to fire, insect damage, and other hazards.The Ulpian library was one of the greatest quasi-public libraries in Rome. Founded byEmperor Trajan in AD 114, the Ulpian library, like many Roman libraries, was dividedinto Greek and Latin sections. Roman emperor Hadrian also built a considerable privatelibrary for his palatial residence outside of Rome at Tivoli.By the 4th century AD, Rome was in decline as the world’s political and cultural center,and, as attacks by invaders intensified, Rome’s strong library tradition began todisintegrate. The center of the fading Roman Empire during this period of decline movedeastward to Constantinople (present-day İstanbul), and the Byzantine Empire became ahaven for many great book collections. Emperor Constantine the Great copied the Romanpattern of dividing collections by language when he established his own palace library in330 AD. In subsequent centuries Constantinople’s churches accumulated small libraries ofliturgical manuscripts, while some of its monasteries built impressive collectionsnumbering nearly 10,000 items.
Christians dispersed (and in many cases destroyed) Roman library collections when theydefeated Roman paganism during the 4th century AD. However, early Christians believedin using books and libraries to disseminate and preserve their religious writings.Christians carried on the Roman concept of the library in collections established byseveral Christian leaders, such as Saint Damascus I in the 4th century and Saint Gregory Iin the 6th century.In the 6th century Catholic bishops in Europe began taking control of all church property,including manuscript collections in libraries. Thereafter, library collections becamecommunal church possessions that could be copied and distributed relatively freely. Forabout the next 1,000 years during the Middle Ages (which lasted from the 5th century tothe 15th century), medieval libraries in Europe acquired, copied, and disseminated textsby relying on correspondence between monasteries. Eventually, these libraries developeda system of procedures to organize and classify their collections. From this mix ofactivities emerged a highly decentralized system of libraries scattered throughout Europe.By the beginning of the Middle Ages, the papyrus scroll was no longer the common textformat. It had been replaced by the parchment codex, an early form of book consisting ofbundles of folded parchment sheets inscribed on both sides. These sheets were stitchedtogether and placed between protective covers. In codex form these manuscripts carriedmore text in less space, and they were easier to transport and read than were papyrusscrolls. In addition, their bindings were easier to decorate, and their compactness allowedchurch officials to move them in and out of closed storage spaces within walls, wheremanuscripts were kept with other treasures. The church clergy stored less-valued texts inarmaria, or book cupboards, which were generally situated in more-accessible churchlocations.To enhance quality and quantity of manuscript production, a church official oftenestablished a separate room, called a scriptorium, in which a carefully selected group ofskilled clergy—known as monastic scribes—copied valuable religious texts. The scribesalmost invariably wrote their manuscripts in Latin, which allowed speakers of differentvernacular (local) languages to understand and communicate in a single, universal modeof expression. They used quill pens to copy the Bible, liturgical books, Latin grammars(books containing rules and principles of the Latin language), and small numbers ofsecular books onto parchment. Because medieval libraries did not follow the directives ofany centralized authority, they frequently developed special techniques in the productionof manuscripts. For example, certain scribes became experts at creating elaborate textsknown as illuminated manuscripts, which were embellished with beautiful colorillustrations and were often bound with fine leather set with jewels.By the middle of the 6th century, leaders of the Christian monastic order known as theBenedictines were requiring their monks to read daily. Thus, as missionary monkstraveled throughout rural Europe to establish relatively isolated monasteries, they madesure to include space for libraries. For example, the monasteries of Saint Gall inSwitzerland, Holy Island in England, Fulda in Germany, and Bobbio in Italy allmaintained outstanding libraries. Many of these rural monasteries provided secure
quarters for collections of sacred manuscripts that urban church libraries could no longerprovide. In the mid-7th century, for example, Benedict Biscop, an English abbot, traveledfive times to Rome, returning with pack animals loaded with valuable books. In the late8th century the English scholar Alcuin established two libraries in Aachen in what is nowGermany—one for the court of Charlemagne, king of the Franks, the other for the palaceschool. In addition, Alcuin built a library at Tours in France after he became bishop there.By contemporary standards, monastery libraries were small. Before 1200 mostmonasteries housed fewer than 100 books and manuscripts. Very few monasterycollections exceeded 300, in large part because, on average, the approximately 40 scribesat work in each monastery scriptorium could reproduce no more than two manuscriptsper year. Nonetheless, the copying and distribution of books and manuscripts spreadLatin culture to monasteries located throughout rural Europe. By perpetuating copyingpractices, over time monastic scribes also helped standardize orthography (the art orstudy of correct spelling), calligraphy (the art or study of handwriting), and punctuation.Europe and its libraries changed substantially during the High Middle Ages, which lastedfrom the mid-11th century through the 13th century. Europeans had increased contactwith distant civilizations through the efforts of explorers such as Marco Polo and throughthe wars fought by soldiers in the Crusades. Europe also experienced increasedproduction and consumption within an emerging money-based economy. This began togenerate surplus wealth that could be used for patronage and investment. In addition,throughout Europe religious reforms began to take hold and monarchies began todevelop. All of these factors combined to shift the locus of learning from ruralmonasteries to schools within urban cathedrals. Some of these schools eventuallydeveloped large and influential libraries.Cathedrals served as the headquarters for the church’s bishops and archbishops; they alsoserved as schools where religious training—and some secular training—for priests tookplace. Unlike monastic libraries, the libraries in cathedrals and cathedral schools weredesigned for educational rather than inspirational reading. For this reason they containedmore secular books than did monastic collections. Universities grew out of thesecathedral schools and nurtured the rise of professions such as law and medicine. Theyalso answered the needs of a growing and increasingly literate middle class thatdemanded greater access to books and information. Members of the new middle classalso advocated a wider acceptance of local, vernacular literatures in addition to theuniversal, Latin-based literature.Libraries responded to these public demands by increasing the size and scope of theircollections. The library at the Sorbonne reflected many of these changes. The Sorbonnewas established by French theologian Robert de Sorbon in about 1257 as a college oftheology for students at the University of Paris. By 1289 its library had issued a catalogcontaining listings for 1,000 volumes, and many of these volumes contained separatelytitled works. All but four titles in the catalog were in Latin. The library at the Sorbonnealso instituted a set of rules and regulations for library use. To ensure protection for itsvaluable books, it chained about 20 percent of its collection to shelves that were tilted
toward readers at an angle. There, several standing patrons could consult one manuscriptat a time, or one patron could consult several manuscripts at a time. By the end of the15th century the Sorbonne’s collection had grown to 2,500 volumes, increasing numbersof which were in vernacular languages. Elsewhere in Europe, library managers alsoimplemented new measures to secure, house, and arrange collections that in many caseshad grown to several thousand volumes. F. The Renaissance and Reformation Gutenberg Bible
Gutenberg BibleThe Gutenberg Bible is the first book known to have been created with movablemetal type. It was printed by Johannes Gutenberg in Mainz, Germany, between1450 and 1455. The advent of movable type increased the efficiency of printing andthe number of books that could be produced. More books and a more literatepopulation, in turn, enhanced the spread of libraries throughout Europe.Encarta EncyclopediaCulver Pictures Full Size
European libraries changed significantly after 1450, when German printer JohannesGutenberg first began printing with movable type in the city of Mainz. Printing spread sorapidly throughout western Europe that by 1600 new presses had issued approximately30,000 separate titles totaling about 20 million books. For a time, libraries—like theirpatrons—continued to favor hand-copied Latin manuscripts. However, between 1450 and1600 Europe experienced a series of power shifts that greatly influenced thedissemination of printed books to libraries throughout the continent. In addition, many ofthese books were written in vernacular languages rather than in Latin.During the Renaissance, from about the mid-14th century to the latter part of the 16thcentury, scholars produced a flood of literature expressing new beliefs about society,religion, government, art, culture, and other subjects. Books and libraries played a centralrole in the revival of interest in the intellectual heritage of ancient Greece and Rome.Scholars and poets in Italy such as Petrarch and Giovanni Boccaccio sparked thesedevelopments in the 14th century by actively seeking out long-forgotten manuscripts ofclassical authors and by building small private libraries. However, libraries establishedduring the Renaissance usually contained works from all periods, classical, medieval, andcontemporary. Sistine Hall of Vatican Library
Sistine Hall of Vatican LibraryThe Vatican Library was designed by Italian architect Domenico Fontana between1587 and 1590. An impressive example of Renaissance architecture, the library hasone of the finest collections of books and manuscripts in the world.Encarta EncyclopediaScala/Art Resource, NY Full Size