Libraries – homes of knowledge | Sunday Observer

Libraries – homes of knowledge

28 February, 2021

Many people, both young and old use libraries. They go there to get information or to read for pleasure. Libraries generally hava reference section and a lending section where people can borrow books, bring them home and enjoy them and return them after some time. This period is generally two weeks but in some instances it can even be as long as a month. The reference section can only be used by being at the library itself in other words going to the library and reading or referring the books there. This is because the books are valuable and many people need to use them.

There are many special libraries such as medical libraries and copyright libraries. The copyright libraries have copies of each and every book that has been published in that country. Some special libraries will have books only on one subject or one author, for example Shakespeare.

Libraries can belong to many institutions such as schools, universities or churches. Public libraries are open to people of all ages and are generally run by Municipal Councils or similar organisations. University libraries are for under- graduates, post graduate students and the Academic staff. Museums too have libraries. The library at the British Museum is world famous. Some libraries are only for the use of certain sections of people. The Disney World, Orlando library is only for the use of company staff.

If people need to use a special library they have to get permission from the library authorities.

In addition to books, libraries also have old and rare manuscripts and tablets, Modern libraries also have music CDs, movies and videos.

It was in Iraq that the earliest known library was discovered. It belonged to the ancient civilisation in Sumer. In ancient times they did not have paper but wrote on clay tablets. Their style of writing was called called cuneiform. What is amazing is that these tablets were found to be over 5,000 years old.

The largest and most important library in the ancient world was the Library of Alexandria, Egypt. Sadly, this valuable library was destroyed when Egypt was conquered by the Romans in 30 BC.

The first public library in Rome was founded by a lieutenant of Julius Caesar named Asinius Pollio. At the time Rome had 28 public libraries in the city. With the downfall of the great Roman Empire in 330 AD, many books were transferred to the large library in the eastern city of Byzantium. Many monasteries of this time had libraries too.

The 17th and 18th centuries had many national libraries being founded all over Europe and there this time was called ‘The Golden Age of Libraries’.

Some people also have large private collections of books or libraries.

Libraries are in the charge of ‘librarians who are especially qualified in the science of managing libraries.


Kiddle Encyclopedia

Compiled by a Staff writer