Library | Definition, Etymology, Synonyms & Antonyms

Library

Library (noun)

Definition

A library is a collection of books, periodicals, digital resources, and other materials organized and maintained for people to access for educational, informational, recreational, and research purposes. Libraries serve as valuable cultural and educational institutions, providing resources and services to the public.

Etymology

The word "library" has its origins in the Latin word "librarium" or "liber," which means "book." The concept of libraries can be traced back to ancient civilizations like Mesopotamia and Egypt, where collections of clay tablets and papyrus scrolls were preserved in temples and palaces.

Synonyms

  • Book repository
  • Resource center
  • Information center
  • Collection of knowledge

Antonyms

  • Illiteracy
  • Ignorance

Example

A unique example of a library is the Library of Congress in the United States. It is one of the largest and most renowned libraries in the world. The Library of Congress houses millions of books, manuscripts, maps, photographs, recordings, and other materials, serving as the research arm of the U.S. Congress and providing resources to scholars and researchers globally.

FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)

What services do libraries offer?

Libraries offer a wide range of services, including lending books and other materials, reference assistance, research support, access to computers and the internet, educational programs, storytimes for children, and community events.

Are libraries still relevant in the digital age?

Yes, libraries remain relevant in the digital age. While the format of materials may have evolved to include digital resources, libraries continue to be vital centers for information access, lifelong learning, and community engagement.

Can anyone use a library, and is there a cost involved?

Libraries are open to the public, and anyone can use their resources and services. Most public libraries are free to use, and membership is typically not required. However, some specialized libraries or academic libraries may have specific access rules.

What is the role of a librarian?

Librarians are trained professionals who manage and organize library resources, assist patrons in finding information, provide research support, curate collections, develop educational programs, and promote information literacy.

How do libraries acquire their collections?

Libraries acquire their collections through various means, including purchases, donations, and interlibrary loans. They carefully select materials based on relevance, quality, and the needs of their patrons. Many libraries also subscribe to digital databases and e-book services to expand their resources.

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