Public Library

A public library is a library that is accessible by the public and is generally funded from public sources (such as tax money) and operated by civil servants. There are five fundamental characteristics shared by public libraries. The first is that they are generally supported by taxes (usually local, though any level of government can and may contribute); they are governed by a board to serve the public interest; they are open to all and every community member can access the collection; they are entirely voluntary in that no one is ever forced to use the services provided; and public libraries provide basic services without charge.

Public libraries exist in many countries across the world and are often considered an essential part of having an educated and literate population. Public libraries are distinct from research libraries, school libraries, and other special libraries in that their mandate is to serve the general public's information needs (rather than the needs of a particular school, institution, or research population). Public Libraries also provide free services such as preschool story times to encourage early literacy, quiet study and work areas for students and professionals, or book clubs to encourage appreciation of literature in adults. Public libraries typically allow users to take books and other materials off the premises temporarily; they also have non-circulating reference collections and provide computer and Internet access to patrons.

Read more about Public LibraryServices Offered, Digital Divide, Origins As A Social Institution, Funding Problems

Other articles related to "public library, library, public":

L'architecture Vivante - L’Architecture Vivante in Libraries
... In the United States (excerpts) New York Public Library (each of the issues from 1923 - 1933 seems to be available) Library of Congress (some issues available ...
Sewickley Public Library - History
... prepared for the Home and School Association of Sewickley on November 8, 1912, the Sewickley Public Library owes its origins to the arrival of a whiskey boat at the Saw Mill landing one Saturday ... proper and rational amusement and self-improvement." The Young Men's Library Association was formed in 1873 and rented a room for library services at the Mozart Hall (corner of Beaver and ... In 1880 the property of the library was transferred to the Sewickley School Board under the general school laws of the state ...
Library System Of Lancaster County - Member Libraries
... Adamstown Public Library (serving Adamstown, Brecknock, Denver, East Cocalico and West Cocalico) Columbia Public Library Eastern Lancaster County Library (serving ...
Public Library - Funding Problems
... Most public libraries rely heavily on local government funding ... Library "friends" groups, activist boards, and well organized book sales supplement government funding ... strapped communities compete financially with other public institutions, such as police, firefighters, and schools ...
Lawrence Public Library
... The Lawrence Public Library is a public library located in Lawrence, Kansas ... and, through its membership in the Northeast Kansas Library System (NEKLS), all of the citizens of the NEKLS multi-county regional library system ... The library's current director is Topeka native and University of Kansas graduate Brad Allen ...

Famous quotes containing the words library and/or public:

    I view askance a book that remains undisturbed for a year. Oughtn’t it to have a ticket of leave? I think I may safely say no book in my library remains unopened a year at a time, except my own works and Tennyson’s.
    Carolyn Wells (1862–1942)

    The approval of the public is to be avoided like the plague. It is absolutely essential to keep the public from entering if one wishes to avoid confusion. I must add that the public must be kept panting in expectation at the gate by a system of challenges and provocations.
    André Breton (1896–1966)