The celebrated library at Alexandria in Egypt contained the greatest collection of literature in the ancient world. Founded at the end of the 4th Century B.C., it had the objective of collecting in one place a copy of every important Greek text ever written. Ever since, a compulsion to compile just such a comprehensive collection of literature has been a feature of every major civilized culture: the British Library, the Library of Congress, the Bibliothèque Nationale, all were founded with similar aims, and now maintain massive collections of books and journals.

The scale of such undertakings, even in times when comparatively few written works were produced, was vast: writ large in these endeavours are exactly the problems of storage, retrieval and security which modern data-processing managers wrestle with. The history of the Alexandrian Library itself offers one of the earliest object lessons in the importance of following effective data security procedures: Plutarch records that in 47 B.C. part of the library caught fire, and many unique books were lost forever that might otherwise have survived.

Library: special collection of various sources of information, which are organized in such a manner that patrons can access specific articles of information; staffed with individuals whose sole purpose is to disseminate said information upon request and/or demand. Libraries can be:

Public: (paid for with tax dollars and accessible by all members of the community)

Special/Private: paid for by sponsoring business or organization- usually used as a reference source for members and sometimes patrons of the business or organization. This is the catch-all category, it also may be a special collection of Elvis memoriablia and books related to The King, patrons are whoever sponsors the library feels like granting access to; may also be the library for a newspaper which is used to reference stories, etc

Academic: Affiliated and funded by a college or university, used as a resource for members of the college or university (students, staff, alumni)

School: Attached to public or private schools, inventory reflects the specific learning goals and objectives the school sets up for its students; patrons are students and teachers, sometimes parents

Resource: LIS 600 (Foundations of Library Science UNCG)

In computer science, a collection of subroutines and functions stored in one or more files, usually in compiled form, for linking with other programs. Libraries are one of the earliest forms of organised code reuse. They are often supplied by the operating system or software development environment to be used in many different programs. The routines in a library may be general purpose or designed for some specific function such as graphics.

Libraries are linked with the user's program to form a complete executable. The linking may be static linking or dynamic linking.

The modern library is a place of learning. No longer is it believed that libraries should only be repositories of books. Most libraries have a reasonably sized audio-visual department, several internet connected computers and a number of horn-rimmed spectacle-wearing librarians, as well as the traditional books.

It is good manners to keep your voice down to a low level, as people may well be studying for exams or researching some vital PhD paper.

Libraries often become geek magnets, due to the vast collection of knowledge available in paper, magnetic and meat form. However, the computers also attract other users who want to see if they can bypass the filters and get to the porn sites.

In Civilization or Civilization II, a library is a city improvement that increases the knowledge production in the city it is built in. It is easy to build libraries fairly early in the game, since all they need is the civilization advance of writing and 40 production shields.

Although they are easy to build and can be very useful, veteran civ players don't always focus on building libraries early on in every game. Since a library generates a 50% boost to knowledge production, the city must be generating at least 2 knowledge arrows to get a bonus, and at that level the library barely justifies its cost of upkeep. Especially in far flung empires, where trade is being lost to corruption, it can sometimes be hard to get a noticable bonus out of libraries. Many players choose instead to gain knowledge through increasing trade with caravans or roads, or by trading knowledge with other civilizations.

On the other hand, a small civilization on an island that can switch to a progressive form of government fairly quickly can benefit greatly by building a number of libraries and later universities.

Everything about libraries.

General Concepts

History of Libraries

Organizations and Support Groups
Library Related Journals
About Libraries
Programming Libraries
Lust, Love, and Sex
Lists, Reference Tools, and Ideas
Not Really Libraries at All
I Have No Clue
(mostly nodeshells)

Please /msg me with any changes, additions or corrections.

Li"bra*ry (?), n.; pl. Libraries (#). [OE. librairie, F. librairie bookseller's shop, book trade, formerly, a library, fr. libraire bookseller, L. librarius, from liber book; cf. libraria bookseller's shop, librarium bookcase, It. libreria. See Libel.]


A considerable collection of books kept for use, and not as merchandise; as, a private library; a public library.


A building or apartment appropriated for holding such a collection of books.



© Webster 1913.

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