library science

Principles and practices of library operation and administration, and their study. It emerged as a separate field of study in the second half of the 19th century. The first training program for librarians in the U.S. was established by Melvil Dewey in 1887. In the 20th century, library science was gradually subsumed under the more general field of information science. Today's graduate programs in library and information science are accredited by the American Library Association (founded 1876) and prepare students for professional positions in other areas of the information industry as well.

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System of arrangement adopted by a library to enable patrons to locate its materials quickly and easily. Classifications may be natural (e.g., by subject), artificial (e.g., by alphabet, form, or numerical order), or accidental (e.g., chronological or geographic). They also vary in degree; some have minute subdivisions while others are broader. Widely used systems include the Dewey Decimal Classification, the Library of Congress Classification, the Bliss Classification, and the Colon Classification; special libraries may devise their own unique systems.

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Collection of information resources in print or in other forms that is organized and made accessible for reading or study. The word derives from the Latin liber (“book”). The origin of libraries lies in the keeping of written records, a practice that dates at least to the 3rd millennium BC in Babylonia. The first libraries as repositories of books were those of the Greek temples and those established in conjunction with the Greek schools of philosophy in the 4th century BC. Today's libraries frequently contain periodicals, microfilms, tapes, videos, compact discs, and other materials in addition to books. The growth of on-line communications networks has enabled library users to search electronically linked databases worldwide. Seealso library science.

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Largest city public library in the U.S. and one of the great libraries of the world. It was established in 1895, and its central building opened in 1911. Its holdings include more than 10 million books and more than 10 million manuscripts, as well as large collections of pictures, maps, books for the blind, films, and microfilms.

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U.S. library, the largest and one of the greatest of what may be considered national libraries. Founded in Washington, D.C., in 1800, it was housed in the Capitol until the building was burned by British troops in 1814; it moved to permanent quarters in 1897. In addition to serving as a reference source for members of Congress and other government officers, it is outstanding among the learned institutions of the world, with magnificent collections of books, manuscripts, music, prints, and maps. It contains some 18 million books, 2.5 million recordings, 12 million photographs, 4.5 million maps, and more than 54 million manuscripts.

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National library of Great Britain, formed by the British Library Act (1972) and organized July 1, 1973. It consists of the former British Museum library, the National Central Library, the National Lending Library for Science and Technology, and the British National Bibliography. The British Museum library, founded in 1753 based on earlier collections and later increased by the addition of royal libraries, had the right to a free copy of all books published in the United Kingdom. Its collection included a rich series of charters (including those of the Anglo-Saxon kings), codices, psalters, and other papers ranging from the 3rd century BC to modern times. The present-day British Library receives a copy of every publication produced in the United Kingdom and Ireland.

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Library of the University of Oxford and one of the oldest and most important nonlending reference libraries in Britain. The Bodleian is particularly rich in Asian manuscripts and collections of English literature, local history, and early printing. Though it was established earlier, it was not secured by the university until 1410. After a period of decline, it was restored by Sir Thomas Bodley (1545–1613), a collector of medieval manuscripts, and reopened in 1602. Under provisions established in 1610 and 1662, it is a legal deposit library enh1d to free copies of all books printed in Britain.

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